Biz buzz // I Am Coffee

Coffee shop to neighbor new Lyndale Avenue Subway

Kim Seng has been a Subway franchisee since 1989, when he opened his first sandwich shop at the corner of Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street.

He’s since opened shops in Calhoun Village and at the corner of Franklin and Chicago avenues. This month, he’ll launch his fourth Subway at 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue, along with a coffee shop called I Am Coffee that his wife, Naychy Seng, will oversee.

Kim Seng said his wife was getting bored in the Subway business and proposed the idea for a coffee shop. The couple ran a doughnut shop once, he said, but I Am Coffee will be their first full-coffee venture.

The plan is to serve both local and imported brews, some from as far away as Italy. Espresso, cappuccino and bubble tea will also be offered. The shop will be decorated with paintings from a Cambodian artist.

Kim Seng said in late December that he was awaiting final city inspection of his businesses. He planned to have both open by mid-January.  

Hours will be 9 a.m.–11 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 9 a.m.–midnight Friday and Saturday for the Subway and 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily for I Am Coffee.


Fitness center opening in Lyn-Lake

A neighborhood health club called Lyn-Lake Fitness is scheduled to open this month near the corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street.

It’s the second Southwest fitness venture for husband and wife owners Joe and Desiree Ahrens, who also run Ahrens Exercise Physiology at 48th Street and Nicollet Avenue. That facility is focused on one-on-one training, which the new center will offer in addition to open workouts for members.  

“We wanted to expand to this place to offer more of an open gym so people could come in without just doing a personal trainer and work out on their own, but still keep that small neighborhood feel,” Desiree Ahrens said.

The new space features separate rooms for weight lifting, cardio workouts and personal training.  

The Ahrens are south Minneapolis residents who love working and living in the area. The Lyn-Lake node was particularly appealing to them because of its foot traffic.

“There’s just so much more action going on and so much more visibility,” Desiree Ahrens said.

Lyn-Lake Fitness will be open from 6 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Friday. Weekend hours are still being worked out. For more information, go to or call 822-3668.


Lifetime Fitness spa/yoga concept planned for former Walker Library

Health club chain Lifetime Fitness is planning to open a high-end spa and yoga boutique in the former Walker Library at 2901 Hennepin Ave.

A date for the opening and details about the boutique’s offerings were not yet available, but Lifetime spokesman Jason Thunstrom said the concept is new and one the company — known for its large, lavish fitness facilities — plans to test in numerous locations in Minnesota and beyond.

“This will be truly top-notch and cutting edge by the way of talent we put in the space and the portfolio of yoga and spa services that we intend to offer,” he said.


Fairy Godmother closing shop

After more than six years of business, first at the corner of 38th Street and Grand Avenue and more recently in Calhoun Square, self-proclaimed Fairy Godmother Terre Thomas is closing the boutique that shares her moniker.

Well known for her ball-gown attire, baked handouts and ceaseless well-wishing, Thomas’ inventory and mission was built around “inspiration, encouragement and fun.” She carried everything from magic wands, books, cards and knickknacks to — in her “Restore the Tingle Department” — an assortment of women’s erotic toys.   

But the store struggled in recent years, especially when the economy dipped, Thomas said.

“Of course I’m sad and disappointed it’s come to an end because we really had so much fun doing this,” she said.

Thomas said she plans to keep a smaller inventory for online sales at and she’s also planning to market her new book, “Five Things Every Woman of a Certain Age Should Have Under Her Bed”.

Her store will close Jan. 16 and a farewell party and book signing is scheduled for Jan. 10. All items in the store are now 25-percent off and will be 50-70-percent off from Jan. 10 until the closing date.  

Thomas said she planned to keep an office in Calhoun Square through spring and can still be reached at 825-2850.