The 2014 Best of White Bear Lake: Top Shops, Restaurants and More

Don your bathing suit, grab your beach towel and dive into the Best of White Bear Lake 2014.

Enjoy photos of  this year's event from talented staff photographer Tate Carlson.

In this special 13th edition of 2014, you’ll get to know the people, places and things you have deemed to be in the swim of things: your top picks in a whopping 50 categories, from restaurants and clinics to new shops and teachers. Speaking of large numbers, we are thrilled that you, dear readers, showed up en masse to let your voices be heard; we had more than 3,000 votes this year! So come on in, the water is fine.

Food & Restaurants

Whether it is a spot for the ultimate breakfast, a place where your kids feel right at home, or an eatery that brings a different culinary perspective, your top picks for restaurants and dishes reveal just what you’re hungry for. So whatcha waiting for? Dig in.

Best Breakfast/Brunch
Key’s Café & Bakery
Family-owned and operated, Key’s Café & Bakery is known for its legendary breakfasts. Owner Celine Carlson has been working at the café since her mom, Barbara Hunn, started the restaurant 41 years ago. “[My mom] taught us how to cook, run a business and, most importantly, how to treat employees and customers,” she says. But when it comes to the most important meal of the day, customers can’t get enough of the Italian hash. Between that, the cinnamon French toast and the eggs Benedict—you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to breakfast heaven. 2208 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.2885.
Runners up: Cobblestone Café, Washington Square Bar & Grill


Best Burgers

Washington Square Bar & Grill
After a long day of shopping in White Bear Lake, stop by Washington Square Bar & Grill for the best burgers in town. The restaurant’s most popular selection would have to be the Jack Daniels burger—and for good reason. “It’s a hand-packed, seasoned burger with fried onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, topped with homemade Jack Daniel’s sauce,” says general manager Naomi Krautkramer. Yum! 4736 Washington Square, White Bear Lake; 651.407.7162.
Runners up: Manitou Station, Rudy’s Redeye Grill


Best Ethnic Food

Ban Thai

Serving delicious, authentic Thai food since 2005, Ban Thai gives guests the experience of eating in a traditional Thai home. Step inside and feast on classics like fresh Bangkok spring rolls, Gang Panang chicken, and pra ram rong song with Ban Thai’s special roasted curry, coconut and peanut sauce. 2186 Third St. Ste. 111, White Bear Lake; 651.407.8424.
Runners up: Don Julio Authentic Mexican Restaurante, Donatelli’s


Best Wine Selection

Acqua
Acqua’s extensive wine list perfectly complements its mouth-watering, Italian-inspired menu. Featuring a number of wine selections by the glass and by the bottle, you’ll find everything from a 2012 chardonnay hailing from California to a 2006 Barbaresco from Treiso, Italy. Cheers! 4453 Lake Ave. S., White Bear Lake; 651.407.7317.
Runners up: Ingredients Café, Rudy’s Redeye Grill


Best Happy Hour

Rudy’s Redeye Grill
Every day from 3–6 p.m. and 9–11 p.m., this neighborhood spot boasts some of the tastiest specials around. You can enjoy select appetizers like spinach-artichoke dip and calamari for $4.25, along with a $2 discount on tap beer and glasses of house wine for just $4. 4940 Highway 61 N., White Bear Lake; 651.653.6718.
Runners up: Washington Square Bar & Grill, Manitou station

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Donatelli’s
This family-friendly eatery opened in 1976, and has been welcoming the White Bear Lake community through its doors ever since. The kids will love ordering off their own special menu, which includes kiddo-pleasing dishes like spaghetti, mini corn dogs, grilled cheese and even fettuccine Alfredo. 2692 E. County Road E, White Bear Lake; 651.777.9199.
Runners up: Keys Café & Bakery, Washington Square Bar & Grill

Best New Restaurant
EAT! @ Banning and 5th
Since opening two years ago, EAT! has quickly become a favorite among White Bear Lake residents. When stopping in, belly up to the counter and watch the staff prepare delicious dishes from scratch using the freshest ingredients. This popular eatery is open for breakfast and lunch Monday–Saturday, as well as Thursday evenings, and has become known for its sandwiches, quiche, soups, salads and sweet treats. 2202 Fifth St., White Bear Lake; 651.653.1225.
Runners up: Don Julio Authentic Mexican Restaurante, Manitou Station


Best Outdoor Dining

Washington Square Bar & Grill
On sunny afternoons, the patio at Washington Square Bar & Grill is the place to be. Kick back and relax while sipping on a nice summertime cocktail or one of the restaurant’s 20 different tap beers. And on Sunday evenings, you can catch live music from 6–8 p.m. 4736 Washington Square, White Bear Lake; 651.407.7162.
Runners up: Rudy’s Redeye Grill, Acqua

Best Private-Party Venue
Manitou Station
Most people know Manitou Station for its restaurant and pub. However, the second floor of the facility is devoted to its full-service event center. “Many [event coordinators] are surprised to see the event center and its spacious rooms when touring upstairs,” says co-owner/manager Jake McKeague. Boasting panoramic views of the downtown area, the event center is a great place to host an elegant wedding reception or even a corporate meeting. 2171 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.429.0119.
Runners up: Rudy’s Redeye Grill, Kellerman’s Event Center

Best Pasta Dish
Ingredients Café
Focusing on fresh and sustainable food, Ingredients Café serves up a handful of pasta dishes that are simply delish; we love the lemon caper chicken penne. You can also get smaller portions of select pasta dishes on the lunch menu, along with the chef’s pasta of the day creation. 4725 Highway 61 N., White Bear Lake; 651.426.6611.
Runners up: Donatelli’s, Acqua

Best Bartender
Efrain Santiago
Bartender Efrain Santiago knows how to make a mean drink. With 17 years of experience—and 15 of those at Washington Square—Santiago knows a thing or two about concocting the perfect beverage. Though the hours can be challenging and the work can be fairly physical, it’s the interaction with customers that Santiago enjoys the most. But the question remains—what is White Bear Lake’s best bartender’s drink of choice? “Personally, I prefer wine or craft beer. But on a warm summer night, I’ve been known to sip on a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a lemon twist,” he says.
Runners up: Chet Kuhn, Manitou Station; Rebecca Jones, Ingredients CafÉ

Editor’s Pick
Best Lunch

Cobb Salad from EAT! @ Banning & Fifth
When I say I’m addicted to the fresh Cobb salad from EAT!, with its crispy romaine lettuce, moist chicken, bacon, bleu cheese crumbles (yum!), grape tomatoes, egg, sunflower seeds and a smile-inducing amount of house-made, creamy bleu cheese dressing that has you wondering where have you been all my life, I really do mean it. I adore it. I love it. Okay, I’ve said it aloud. No judging, please. 2202 Fifth St., White Bear Lake; 651.653.1225.

Best Bakery
Grandma’s Bakery
If you come across aromas of freshly baked cookies and homemade breads while traipsing around downtown White Bear Lake, it’s a good bet they’re coming from inside Grandma’s Bakery. Celebrating its 35th year in business last July, the family-owned operation is known for its delectable cookies, breads, pies and decorated cakes. 2184B Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.762.2900.
Runners up: Keys Café & Bakery, Chez Arnaud (now closed)


Editor’s Pick
Best Hidden Gem

Garden next to Key’s Café
In what can only be described as an enchanted garden, this quaint respite is perfect for forgetting your cares and enjoying the day. Celine Carlson (owner of Key’s Café) decided on a whim to create this garden a few years ago and filled it with shrubs, flowers and a treasure trove of garden accouterments; community members loved it so much they planted things there, too. Celine added more items last year, making it even more delicious. This is definitely a place I long to linger. 2208 Fourth St., White Bear Lake.

Home and Garden
Whether you’re looking to build a home or spruce up the one you have, or are itching to get out there and beautify the yard for the warm–weather months, these local favorites will help you get the job done.

Best Garden Shop
Twin City Nursery & Landscaping
If you’re in need of anything for your yard or garden, it’s likely that Twin City Nursery & Landscaping has just what you need. Serving the White Bear Lake community since 1973, this family-owned garden center grows nearly all of its own nursery stock at its location in St. Paul, Oregon. 4941 Long Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.429.0144.
Runners up: White Bear Floral, Bachman’s

Best Home Retail/Furnishings
Painted Table
If your home décor is in need of a little facelift, the Painted Table is your one-stop-shop for creative inspiration. The brains behind this local furniture painting and home accessories business are three sisters—Diane Choiniere, Nancy DeSchane and Sally DeSchane-LeMay. 2180 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.653.5638.
Runners up: Nesting Inc., Goodthings


Best Interior Designer

Christina Lynn Interiors
In the interior design business for the past 17 years, Christina Lynn Miller knew she was hooked from the minute she first learned about the field from her high school art teacher. “I love the entire design process—it never gets old for me,” Miller says. Christina Lynn Interiors has a selection of home accessories for purchase at the White Bear Lake store, and the firm also offers a full range of interior design services. 4701 Banning Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.274.8832.
Runners up: Gay Parker, Nesting Inc.

Best Builder/Remodeler
Pratt Homes
Co-founders and brothers Len and Lowell Pratt have been building stunning homes for 41 years, and listening to what their customers want is something they’ve been passionate about from day one. Looking to remodel? They can help with that, too. 3500 Willow Lake Blvd. Ste. 100, Vadnais Heights; 651.429.8032.
Runners up: Husnik Homes, Bald Eagle Builders Inc.

Best Landscaper
Goetz Property Maintenance & Landscaping
For 20 years, Joe Goetz and his team have been creating beautiful landscape designs from beginning to end. And you can say goodbye to your yard-work woes, because when it comes to mowing the lawn or raking the leaves that seem to be piling up, they’ve got that covered, too. 2030 Main St., Centerville; 651.426.2136.
Runners up: Letourneau Landscaping Inc., Nelco Landscaping


Editor’s Pick
Best Act of Kindness

Suburban Community Channels
When Ray Widstrand was hospitalized from injuries he incurred after being senselessly attacked last summer, his co-workers and friends at Suburban Community Channels, where he was a master control operator, organized a benefit fundraiser and silent auction. They sent out press releases, they reached out to friends, families and anyone who could help. They have prayed for Ray, stood in the gap for him when he could not, and have shown how we stick together in this neck of the woods.

Health & Wellness
It is said that our bodies are our temples. Well, lucky for us, there are a lot of places around here to help us keep that temple (and mind) in ship-shape. From yoga classes and fitness studios to orthodontists and chiropractors, here are your top picks for clinics and fitness options that keep you happy and healthy.

Best Chiropractor
The Carlson Chiropractic Clinic
At the Carlson Chiropractic Clinic, you’ll find a team of people who want to help you find a long-term plan to treat your back or neck pain—not just a quick fix. Dr. Dustin Carlson, Dr. Brian Lund, Dr. Amy Hamlin and their friendly staff, provide treatment for a host of issues like back and neck pain, numbness, and sports injuries. 4717 Clark Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.762.8040.
Runners up: Barr Chiropractic and Sports Clinic, Mondo Chiropractic

Best Dental Clinic
Washington Square Dental
Dr. Charles Kaminski has been practicing dentistry in White Bear Lake ever since he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1978. “My biggest enjoyment is that I see my friends and neighbors on a daily basis,” he says. “Many of my patients have been coming to see me for 20-plus years.” 4754 Washington Square, White Bear Lake; 651.426.9499.
Runners up: Lakeshore Family Dentistry, Isaacson Gentle Dentistry

Best Orthodontist
Erickson-Aamodt Orthodontics
Providing comprehensive orthodontic care for both teens and adults, Dr. Keith Erickson and Dr. John Aamodt help give their patients something to smile about (pun intended). 4790 White Bear Pkwy., White Bear Lake; 651.426.3873.
Runners up: Dr. Kent Gulden, Signature Orthodontics

Best Pediatric Clinic
HealthPartners
Whether your kiddo has a skinned knee or the chicken pox, HealthPartners Pediatric Clinic in White Bear Lake can have them feeling better in no time. 1430 Highway 96 E., White Bear Lake; 651.653.2100.
Runners up: Northeast Pediatric Clinic, Northern Lights Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Best Fitness Studio
Life Time Athletic
This all-encompassing fitness club features indoor and outdoor pools and tennis courts, a full-service spa, a café with healthy food options, an indoor cycling studio and cutting-edge fitness equipment. Members also love taking advantage of the group fitness classes, kids’ activities, organized runs and much more. 4800 White Bear Parkway, White Bear Lake; 651.426.1308.
Runners up: White Bear Area YMCA, Tri Fitness


Best Golf Course

Dellwood Country Club
Love hitting the links? The Dellwood Country Club is a championship course that is as beautiful as it is rewarding. “The course is one of the best walks through nature that can be found in the metro area,” says general manager Dennis Countryman. “With many varied tee boxes, golfers of all skill levels enjoy playing Dellwood.” (Fun fact: Dellwood will be hosting the qualifying rounds for the 2015 USGA Senior Open.) 29 East Highway 96, Dellwood; 651.426.3218.
Runners up: Manitou Ridge, White Bear Yacht Club

Best Medspa/Rejuvenation
Sunbear Spa and Salon
For both men and women of all skin types, Sunbear Spa and Salon offers a number of non-surgical cosmetic procedures like IPL laser hair removal, photofacial treatments, medical facial peels, botox and juvederm. “Our Medspa works with only the most advanced skincare products, [combined with] our procedures, to achieve the desired results,” says owner Christina Rauch. 2207 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.5884.
Runners up: Indulge, Advanced Dermatology Care

Best Yoga Class
Gentle Flow Yoga at Drishti Yoga
Need to slow down and take a break from life’s hectic pace? Why not take a load off and find your Zen with a class at Drishti Yoga? The studio’s gentle flow yoga class started out with only a couple of people about five years ago, and now it has a full roster of regulars. Namaste. 2189 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.592.5535.
Runners up: yogadevotion, Yoga HotDish

Shops & Retail
With new shops coming in and those a bit more time-honored always chock-full of the things we’re looking for, yes, our retail stores are a big draw. And with some of the mainstays expanding (yay, Goodthings!), well, that’s just more for us to love. Offering everything from kids’ toys to fabulous jewelry to kitchen gadgets that will have you channeling your inner chef, meet your picks for top retail shops.

Best Small-Business Customer Service
Indulge Salon
At Indulge, running an excellent small business and providing top-notch customer service is more than a phrase on a wall; it’s their philosophy. As owner Kim Schoonover puts it, “[We are] highly motivated professionals providing extraordinary services with the best products available.” 2183 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.797.6440.
Runners up: Mueller Memorial, Frattallone’s Ace Hardware

Best New Shop
[email protected]
Barbara and Shawn Smith’s welcoming kitchen store is a first to White Bear Lake, making it intriguing enough in it’s own right. Add in hand-picked, unique products and [email protected] is a must-shop. And if all that kitchen gadget shopping makes you hungry, just pop into their eatery two doors down for a delicious bite to eat. 2202 Fifth St., White Bear Lake; 651.653.1225.
Runners up: Primp, Mainstream Boutique


Best Sporting Goods

Zappa’s Sporting Goods
Fred Zappa is proud to run Zappa’s Sporting Goods in White Bear Lake, but he’s also proud to call White Bear Lake his home. Zappa’s sells team and athletic apparel and equipment, and has been in business for the last 13 years. “We always make sure things are right for the customer,” says Zappa. A bonus for all of the hockey fans out there: Zappa’s is now stocking the official hockey puck of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Score! 5966 Highway 61 N., White Bear Lake; 651.762.1144.
Runners up: Hisdahl’s, Tri Fitness

Best Eyewear
Fashion Eyes
If you’re looking for a new pair of specs to spruce up your look, or are in need of some sunglasses for the bright, sunny days ahead, Fashion Eyes has what you need. “We’re a fun little boutique, and we get to know the customers,” says owner Chris Yon. The selection of frames found within the store isn’t run of the mill, either; the frames are hand-selected and Yon herself knows several of the designers, including JF Rey out of Paris. Fashion Eyes offers full service eye exams and contact lens fittings with Dr. Sara Kaminski. 2200 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.0320.
Runners up: White Bear Eye Clinic & Optical, Birch Lake Eye Clinic

Best Jeweler
Joel B. Sherburne Jewelers
With years of experience and five goldsmiths on hand, Joel B. Sherburne Jewelers offers everything jewelry-related, from stunning custom jewelry pieces to restoration and repair. 2200 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.653.5024.
Runners up: White Bear Jewelers, Truly


Best Children’s Shop

Truly
If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items for the little ones in your life, head to Truly. According to co-owner Sherrie Chapin, this inspired shop is the place for “cool, funny onesies, handmade toys, appliqued Minnesota kids clothing” and more. 2175 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.8414.
Runners up: Goodthings, Lakeshore Learning Store

Best Gift Shop/Place for Unique Gifts
Goodthings
For the last 41 years, Goodthings has been keeping up with the times and trends with their selection of unique and fun gifts. “We’ve been the go-to place [for unique items] and we keep reinventing ourselves in fresh and new ways,” says owner Tyler Conrad. Goodthings is expanding down the street and will add yoga apparel, women’s clothing, shoes and a yoga studio. All sorts of Goodthings are coming. 2148 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.8006.
Runners up: Truly, The Farmer’s Daughter


Best Boutique

Primp
Primp really is the place to be for fun and unique fashions. “We have new things everyday and carry six of each item, so it’s always changing,” says manager Emily Klipp. As an added bonus, everything in the store is under $100, with most of the inventory actually ringing up under $50—looks like “primping” yourself is guilt-free. 4766 Banning Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.340.4717.
Runners up: Goodthings, Mainstream Boutique


Editor’s Pick
Best Place to Find a Bargain

Sweet Home
If you’re a little short on cash but in need of some home décor pieces, Sweet Home, the French-inspired vintage shop, is a great place to check out. My daughter recently moved into a house and is dedicating one wall in her dining room to empty frames, so I’ve helped out by purchasing myriad frames (some as low as $7) from the gals at Sweet Home. 2186 Third St. Ste. 104A, White Bear Lake; 612.414.7446.

Kids, Families & Pets

The sign of a wonderful community is the way they make families feel welcome and connected, and the White Bear Lake-area offers this in spades. With a variety of kid-centric activities, businesses and events, not to mention great schools and places for all family members (including the four-legged variety), yes, we are blessed to live here. So, without further ado, here are your favorites for the kids and family categories.

Best High School Teacher

Cameron Mahlum, White Bear Lake Area High School-South Campus
For more than 16 years, Cameron Mahlum has been sharing his passion for American History and American Government with his students at WBLAHS. “Students know I love what I do,” he says. “And the ability to be motivating and have an influence on someone is very rewarding.” 3551 McKnight Road, White Bear Lake; 651.773.6200.
Runners up: Wendy Suoja, White Bear Lake Area High School-North Campus; Shannon Anderson, White Bear Lake Area High School-South Campus


Best Preschool/Daycare

Lake Area Discovery Center
At Lake Area Discovery Center, children from 20 months to pre-K will receive top-notch care and instruction. “We are a great, nationally accredited learning environment with flexible programming to meet busy family needs,” says Janet Miller, executive director. 3770 Bellaire Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.762.7884.
Runners up: Children’s Discovery Academy, Preschools of St. Andrew’s

Best Community Event/Festival
Marketfest
For seven weeks every summer, Marketfest in downtown White Bear Lake is the place to be on Thursday nights. “It’s all about promoting the community,” says Marketfest director Angela Homic. During this beloved event, the streets are buzzing with a classic car show, petting zoo, live music, food and wares from 120 local vendors.
Runners up: Manitou Days, Farmers’ Market

Best Kids’ Birthday Party Spot
Monkey House
Looking to plan your child’s next birthday party? Look no further than Monkey House with its 5,000 square feet of pure fun that includes an inflatable bounce house, obstacle course, slide, climbers, foam pit and more. Birthday parties include one hour in the indoor play arena and another hour in the decorated party room. 1815 Buerkle Road, White Bear Lake; 651.348.8233.
Runners up: Tamarack Nature Center, Flips Gymnastics

Best Senior Classes/Program
White Bear Area YMCA
Those over 65 in our area love the YMCA’s SilverSneakers program—a fitness program created just for seniors with preventative measures in mind. White Bear Area YMCA is also home to a senior center, so after (or before) working up a sweat, there are plenty of opportunities to socialize and keep the mind active, too. 2100 Orchard Lane, White Bear Lake; 651.777.8103.
Runners up: White Bear Senior Programs, Normandy Park Education Center-Senior Program

Best Music Lessons
Evans Music
For 36 years, Evans Music has provided top-notch music lessons. Owners Susan and Gary Dupre sure do know their music: each instructor is educated in music, is a current performer (locally and nationally), and many have won awards. While piano, drums and guitar lessons are most popular, Evans Music is able to provide lessons for almost every instrument you’re itching to try. 2182 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.429.0236.
Runners up: MacPhail Center for Music, Birch Lake Elementary School; Elizabeth Evans, Richter Piano Studio

Best Summer Camp/Program
White Bear Area YMCA
If discovery and adventure is on your kids’ list of things to do this summer, the White Bear Area YMCA has you covered with a variety of programs that offer everything from field trips to sports to swimming, and a day camp that will have them experiencing the great outdoors. 2100 Orchard Lane, White Bear Lake; 651.777.8103.
Runners up: Tamarack Nature Center, Children’s Discovery Academy

Best Doggy Daycare/ Kennel/Boarding
Goldwood Kennels
At Goldwood Kennels, every pooch is pampered like a king or queen. No matter how long or short the stay, each dog has its own climate-controlled room, satellite music for his or her listening pleasure and four half-acre play yards to burn off some doggy energy. 9500 Dellwood Road N., White Bear Lake; 651.429.0648.
Runners up: Oneka Pet Resort, Birch Lake Animal Hospital

Best Pet Grooming
LuLu & Luigi
Expect the very best for your pet as you walk into the “Pawlour” at LuLu & Luigi. “Our guests know that we treat every dog and cat client as if they were our own,” says owner Laura Bednarczyk. 2168 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.287.2030.
Runners up: Chuck & Don’s Grooming, Blue Ribbon Grooming

Best Veterinary Clinic
White Bear Animal Hospital
At White Bear Animal Hospital, not only is the staff educated and experienced in complete medical services for cats and dogs, but they are always looking to increase and improve their protocols. “[We] work really hard at customer service and building relationships,” says Dr. Stuart Dalton. In addition to providing quality care to their animal patients, White Bear Animal Hospital has also built relationships with organizations that train service dogs and provide free- or reduced-cost services to families with pets who have financial need. 1909 E. County Road E, White Bear Lake; 651.777.1393.
Runners up: Birch Lake Animal Hospital, Lake Animal Hospital


Editor’s Pick
Best Moment of Community Pride

World’s Longest Ice Cream Sundae
On June 25, 2013, hundreds of folks filled the streets of downtown White Bear Lake to witness the making of the world’s longest sundae and the breaking of an old world record. Stretching to a length of more than 1,100 feet and consisting of 212 gallons of ice cream, with dozens of volunteers braving the sweltering heat to put it all together, the event raised more than $12,000 for the Relay for Life of White Bear Lake Area.

Personal & Professional Services
To keep our lives humming along, we often need the personal and professional services of others. Want to plan for your retirement, get your hair done or maybe find someone to take some of those long-awaited family photos? Book an appointment with one or more of these local service providers today.

Best Hairstylist/Barber
Molly Hoffman at Indulge

For the last three-and-a-half years, Molly Hoffman has been working wonders on the tresses of many in her role as stylist at Indulge. Molly, who’s advanced training and years of experience have paved the way for her expert styling, believes that while “every hairstylist is unique,” it’s her ability to relate to people that keeps them coming back. Molly enjoys a variety of cutting and coloring techniques, but her specialties are blowouts, and short haircuts for men and women. 2183 Third St., White Bear Lake, 651.797.6440.
Runners up: David Benson, Sunbear Spa and Salon; Mary Jane Marier, Mixx Salon

Best Photographer
Jody Savage Photography
“I take good care of my customers and make sure to go the extra mile,” says Jody Savage who considers herself a hybrid photographer, as she shoots photos in both digital and film. “I believe the film gives my work a very soft, organic feel, and really allows me to draw out the emotion,” she says. Primarily a wedding photographer, Savage also photographs families. 66 Juniper St., Mahtomedi; 612.247.5731.
Runners up: Barry Howell, Picture Place; Wilson Whitaker Photography

Best Insurance Agent
John Matschke
John Matschke of State Farm Insurance has established himself as the top insurance agent in White Bear Lake because he provides exceptional customer service and is available when his customers need him. “We work to develop long-term relationships with our customers; we want to be mindful of their needs,” says Matschke. 4874 Highway 61 N., White Bear Lake; 651.429.4999.
Runners up: Gordy Beulke, Dale Grambush


Best Massage Therapist

Monica with The Carlson Chiropractic Clinic
Monica really believes in the benefits of massage therapy, and for eight years, she has been sharing her love of massage at The Carlson Chiropractic Clinic. “I enjoy seeing people feel better,” she says matter-of-factly. 4717 Clark Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.762.8040.
Runners up: Somar Watson, Lifetime Athletic; Mary Jo Lohn, Healing Waters


Best Real Estate Agent

Cindy Werner at Coldwell Banker Burnet
Cindy Werner is a full-time realtor who is truly passionate about real estate and business. “For some agents, realty is a part-time job,” she says. “For me, it’s my career.” Werner holds an MBA and has Fortune 500 marketing experience, which complements her hard work ethic, attention to detail and market knowledge. “I really enjoy helping people make the big moves in their lives,” Werner says. 4801 Highway 61, White Bear Lake; 651.426.1671.
Runners up: Joy Erickson, Edina Realty; Jane Bacchus Ray, Edina Realty

Best Salon/Spa
Sunbear Spa and Salon
For the last 18 years, Sunbear Spa and Salon has been providing top-notch beauty, spa and medspa services to the White Bear Lake area. And don’t expect to have to book your appointment months in advance. “Our large facility makes it fairly easy for walk-ins,” says Sunbear general manager Debbie Swenson. They’ve recently added a new lounge, complete with full kitchen and a stunning outdoor veranda—perfect for bridal parties or spa days with the girls. 2207 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.426.5884.
Runners up: Indulge, Salon Zeo

Best Financial Advisor
Chuck Edson at Edward Jones
No matter what an individual investor’s long-term goal is—retiring with dignity, putting children through college or leaving a legacy—Chuck Edson will help them reach it. “We’re accountable to our clients,” he says. Edson is also a member of the White Bear Lake Rotary because, as he puts it, “economic success depends on the social well-being of White Bear Lake.” 2208 Third St., White Bear Lake; 651.429.1210.
Runners up: Jason Hedstrand, Focal Point Financial Services; Scott Ramsay, Ramsay & Associates