Biz buzz // Yoga studio for moms is on the move

TANGLETOWN — Blooma, a yoga studio tailored for pregnant women and young families, is moving into part of the old Hollywood Video space at 5315 Lyndale Ave S. on Oct. 15. 

Blooma is moving from a cramped “mat-to-mat” studio in Edina into airy rooms with 21-foot ceilings.

“It will have a beautiful sense of space for moms who might be feeling physically tight,” said owner Sarah Longacre. 

She said clients are excited to stretch out in the space that once housed the Boulevard Theater. 

“Some people keep laughing that they used to make out with boys in the back row,” she said.

Blooma will double its class offerings in the new building. A new “Birthing from Within” class incorporates imagery and art, and a class on the Bradley Method focuses on natural, unmedicated childbirth. Other classes include BYOB (bring your own baby), prenatal yoga and Tweens Yoga. Blooma recently brought in a live cellist for an evening Yoga Nidra session, and staff hope to do it again in the future.

“It is five years to date since Blooma opened, and we’re finally going to where our moms and clients are,” said Longacre, noting that proximity to I-35W and Highway 62 will be handy for commuting moms. 

The space’s former tenant, Champion Ballroom, has moved to 407 W. 60th St. 

More frozen yogurt on the way 

TANGLETOWN — Another new tenant opening next March in the strip at 53rd & Lyndale is FreeStyle Yogurt, a local chain that serves all-natural frozen yogurt. 

“We don’t have any powdered mix in our yogurt,” said Founder Dave Brandner. “We have live and active cultures that are certified by the National Yogurt Association, so you can enjoy getting the health benefits of yogurt.”

Brandner said frozen yogurt has a third of the calories and half the sugar of ice cream, with no trans fat and virtually no cholesterol. It promotes weight loss and improves digestion, he said. 

“It’s truly a guilt-free dessert alternative that tastes great,” he said. 

The focus on true yogurt limits the shop’s flavors somewhat, but 14 choices remain, including Ghirardelli chocolate, white-chocolate mousse and red velvet cake batter. The shop features a long line of topping dispensers for the dishes, which run 42 cents an ounce. Customers can also opt to spin a wheel for a chance at a cheaper price. 

The store will seat about 30 people, and Brandner is happy about the widened sidewalk recently constructed on Lyndale, which will allow for roomy outdoor seating as well.

The new leases leave one available 2,600-square-foot space fronting Lyndale at Boulevard Commons. 

Broders’ growing veggies for food bank

FULTON — The team at Broders’ Pasta Bar started a new experiment this year. 

They now volunteer together at a private garden, donating everything they grow to a local food bank.

“It’s a fledgling little brand new project; it’s hard to keep up with it,” said President Molly Broder.

But it’s safe to say the experiment has worked — Broders’ has donated 290 pounds of vegetables to the Greater Lake Country Food Bank. 

“We’ve been bringing things down there twice a week,” Broder said. 

The staff grew a huge list of produce: tomatoes, fresh herbs, lettuces, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash and more. 

The staff worked with Hands for Harvest, a nonprofit that uses volunteer farmers to grow produce for food shelves.

On her garden blog, Broder said she recently delivered vegetables to the food bank, where all of the vegetables and dairy products are free. She watched some of the shoppers carefully taking stock of the food.

“It felt good to see the end game in this process and know that the effort is worthwhile,” she wrote.

Nicollet attracts new businesses

WHITTIER — The project to install pop-up art in vacant storefronts appears to be paying off, with two new leases signed along Nicollet Avenue. 

A  vacant space above Caravelle that was animated with art is now home to Wu Hang Massage at 2529 Nicollet Ave., offering deep-tissue Chinese massage and long hours: 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m., seven days a week. 

Another vacant space at 2710 Nicollet Ave. next to the Shuang Hur Oriental Market provided a temporary home for a Chinese ceramic art exhibition. The tenant sold porcelain tea sets, giant canvases and certified Jingdezhen masterpieces.

“This is working to get tenants into commercial properties,” said Project Founder Joan Vorderbruggen. “The proof is in the pudding.”

Vorderbruggen said she was also encouraged to see Little Tijuana reopen at 17 E. 26th St. after a 20-month hiatus.

The next round of “Artists in Storefronts” starts Dec. 1, funded by the Whittier Alliance. A call for artists is currently underway. 

Now open: The Gray House

LYN-LAKE — The Gray House is now open at 610 W. Lake St., and the scallops are an early favorite, featuring fingerlings, mustard crème fraiche, honey and a slab of bacon.

“A lot of people from the neighborhood have come by,” said chef and owner Ian Gray, who seems to be promoting his farm-to-table sources as much as the restaurant. 

“We’re encouraging the community to be supporting our farms,” he said. 

A chalkboard inside the restaurant details a long list of farms that provide Gray with food, such as the Nerstrand-based Singing Hills Goat Dairy, and Wisconsin-based Tiny Planet Produce. He recently picked up a giant load of Blue Hubbard squash from Pflaum Farms in Farmington. 

Gray is also collaborating with the Minnetonka-based Lucid Brewing to infuse beer with flavors of his own design. He recently dropped off coriander berries, ground cherries from Bossy Acres in Dayton, and squash from Peter’s Pumpkins in Shakopee. Lucid steeped the concoction for a couple of weeks, and Gray’s new beer is slated to appear at The Gray House this week.

Uptown welcomes another patio

THE WEDGE — It didn’t take long for Uptown to discover the new outdoor patio at Bar Louie, 1348 Lagoon Ave. S., where patrons can sit around fire pits or dip their feet in blue-lit water. As the weather turns cooler this fall, heat lamps should prolong the outdoor experience.

Bar Louie is a chain with locations across the U.S., but co-owner Eric Fortney said it isn’t a “cookie-cutter type of place.”

“No two are alike,” he said. 

In Minneapolis, workers laid tile for 10 weeks to create a curving art installation above the bar.

The menu features small plates (like truffle butter popcorn or loaded tots), burgers (the Blue Louie includes blue cheese, bacon, fresh spinach and buffalo sauce), salads (blackberry, orange and brie), sandwiches (sesame tuna), and large plates (beer-battered fish and seasoned fries). 

“You could  literally eat here five days a week and not feel like you have to go back to the same menu direction,” Fortney said.

A support group for professionals 

KINGFIELD — Local professionals have formed a support group of sorts through Catalyst Consulting Group’s new Think Tank, which meets biweekly at a coffee shop.

Catalyst Founder Nancy Weiss said she started the free sessions because she wanted to meet other like-minded consultants, entrepreneurs and business owners.

“I thought that with the combined knowledge of people I know, we could really solve a lot of problems,” she said. 

At the Think Tank, participants introduce themselves and throw business-related questions into a hat. A few of the questions are discussed over the course of an hour at Royal Grounds Café. Prior topics have included how to handle a long-term client’s decision to leave, and when to turn down new work. Weiss takes notes on each session and sends take-home “kernels of wisdom” to interested people on her mailing list. 

“It’s kind of like co-coaching,” Weiss said.

Catalyst Consulting develops training programs, provides business writing, and coaches small businesses. For more information on the Think Tank, contact Weiss at [email protected]

Now open: The Lynn on Bryant 

LYNNHURST — The Lynn on Bryant makes its debut Oct. 15 at 50th & Bryant, offering breakfast and lunch the first week before expanding to dinner service as well. 

The restaurant’s interior features barn wood and a glowing dining room wall designed by an architect. The opening was helped by a successful Kickstarter campaign — the owners asked for $25,000 and received $34,607. 

“It’s nice and heartwarming,” said Manager Jay Peterson.

The French-influenced menu will feature hearty lunches, creative kids’ menus (some served in muffin tins), fish and steak specials, and French standards.

Plenty of thought has gone into the coffee as well. The café will sell Good Taste coffee roasted by Andrew Kopplin, the owner of Kopplin’s Coffee in St. Paul, and Kopplin will train all of the baristas. Chef and Co-owner Peter Ireland met Kopplin shortly after moving here. 

“They spoke the same language,” Peterson said.

Noted 

50TH & FRANCE — Edina has 60 new bike parking spots at 50th & France. Bikers will find new racks outside Cocina del Barrio, Walgreens, College Nannies & Tutors, D’Amico & Sons, Edina Liquor, Lunds and Lush Cosmetics. 


The Fun Sisters Boutique at 43rd & Nicollet is celebrating its 10th anniversary Oct. 12 & 13. For details, go to thefunsisters.com.


Got a buzz tip? Email Michelle Bruch at [email protected]