Business

Coverage of businesses originating in and/or catering to the MN geek community, including but not limited to gaming companies, publishers, stores, favorite geek hangouts, start-ups with cool ideas, and Kickstarters worth noting.

Lucia Hawley Helps Minnesotans Balance Their Well-Being through Food

“How can we get you feeling awesome?” That seems to be the catchphrase for Twin Cities nutritional therapist Lucia Hawley, who runs her practice out of Solcana Fitness and Wellness in Minneapolis. It also describes the driving purpose behind that practice—ever since Lucia was little, she has been finding ways to use food as a healing tool. This came out of having numerous physical and emotional issues dismissed with a diagnosis of “Oh, you’re fine,” or “You’ll grow out...

The Electric Fetus and Mill City Sound Headline Twin Cities Offerings for Record Store Day

On Saturday, April 22, music fans and collectors will flock to record shops looking for deals, exclusives, and giveaways to commemorate Record Store Day, which is celebrating its 10th year in 2017. For those in the Twin Cities in particular, the occasion will be bittersweet—it comes a year and a day after local music superstar Prince Rogers Nelson died at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. At the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, which was established in 1968 and is widely regarded...

Pocket-Sized Poems at Twin Cities Bookstores Explore the Theme of Migration

“As a child, I marked the year by the honking of Canadian geese making their way south and then north,” said Abby Travis, editor at Minneapolis nonprofit publisher Milkweed Editions. “Migration was part of my calendar, the way I marked time and the change of seasons. I knew if the geese were early or late, I was fascinated by how they knew when to go or where to go, how to get there, and where they stopped along the...

Persistence Is the Key to Success for Minnesota Author Lynn Garthwaite

Success can come in many forms, and everyone has a different key to reaching it. For some, it means getting out of bed before hitting snooze. Others don’t feel they’ve achieved success until they have changed the world. I recently had the opportunity to talk with local author and publisher Lynn Garthwaite about this topic, and she provided some great insight into her personal key to success: tenacity. Her story is a prime example of staying the course until...

Can Can Wonderland Is the Twin Cities’ New Venue to Amaze and Inspire

Can Can Wonderland has been open for less than two months, and already the place is packed on a Sunday morning. When I arrive at 11:00 a.m. to meet with Jennifer Pennington, Can Can’s cofounder and CEO, the coat rack in the hallway is full of coats of all sizes. We grab a seat next to the main bar (as opposed to the “wee” bar), right near the entrance. The venue specializes in artistry of all forms, and the drinks are...

Sekai Project and the Rise of the Visual Novel’s Western Audience

Although not especially well known outside the fandom community, the visual novel is a popular genre of video game among anime fans (not to be confused with the similarly named graphic novel). These games, produced in Japan, consist of narrative prose accompanied by pretty pictures in the familiar aesthetic found in anime and manga, and they play somewhat like a Choose Your Own Adventure book but with a longer story, the player making periodic choices that influence the direction the narrative...

Byte Brings Geekery and Social Justice to Downtown Minneapolis

In the food-service industry, it’s well known that you can have either a job you enjoy or a job that pays well—almost never both. But a new geeky restaurant seeks to change that dilemma and make restaurant work a practical and realistic career choice for folks in the Twin Cities. Byte, open March 1 in Minneapolis’s Warehouse District, is the brainchild of longtime chefs Travis Shaw and Mark Lowman and combines three core themes: geek culture, social justice, and...

Bingley’s Is the Twin Cities’ Best-Kept Secret for Tea Lovers

There’s an unexpectedly special place hiding in an unassuming gray brick building at the corner of 24th and Stevens in Minneapolis’s Whittier neighborhood. There’s no sign to tell you it’s there, but if you venture up to the second floor on certain afternoons of the week and walk through a door just off the lobby area, you’ll find yourself in the tasting studio of Bingley’s Teas Limited. Most likely, you’ll be greeted by a woman standing at an ornate wooden...

Clockwerks, Minneapolis’s Steampunk Brewery, Opens for Business

The Twin Cities have no shortage of breweries—we are lucky enough to live in a city where it seems as if a new brewery or taproom opens around the corner every day. But when I learned that one of these new openings involved a steampunk-themed brewery, I needed to know more. The cofounders and co-owners of Clockwerks Brewing, Brett Michlitsch and Lonnie Manresa, were kind enough to sit down with me to answer my questions, tell me their origin...

The MN Bookstore Guide to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday 2016

The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here. You can find some great deals on Black Friday, and that goes for books as well—but it’s the day after that when book lovers and the people buying gifts for them will find the best bargains. Independent bookstores have run with Small Business Saturday over the last few years as a shop-local alternative to Black Friday, with one of the big draws being author Sherman Alexie’s Indies First campaign...
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