Photo by Becca Sabot
Pile of candy from Sugar Sugar
Touch! Sniff! Squeeze! Whether catering to shoppers who are young or young at heart, these stores make browsing an adventure.
The Sweetest: Sugar Sugar South Minneapolis
They had us at Sugar. Multiply that, and you get Sugar Sugar, elevating candy treats with clever packaging and a mix of retro favorites and gourmet novelties.
True Gem: Wild Rumpus Linden Hills
Where else can you pet a chicken or talk to a parrot while browsing one of the best collections of children’s literature?
“Our guests are busy parents who like to shop online, so we’ve improved our website, adding free in-store pickup for all online orders.” — Wing WItthuhn, co-owner of Pacifier, three locations
Vintage charmer: Hunt & Gather South Minneapolis
Colorful. Chaotic. Cramped. It’s all part of the charm that is Hunt & Gather, the vintage shop that keeps us coming back for more with its mix of entertaining kitsch and quality vintage finds.
The Toy Champ: Creative Kidstuff Seven locations
Creative Kidstuff continues to find ways to keep us engaged and excited about play. With multiple Twin Cities stores, CK is currently building a new space at Mall of America (near Nordstrom) that will feature even more interactive stations and display elements. “We are trying to carry out our ‘Do touch, do play’ concept and take it up a notch,” says Becky Olk, director of stores. The new MOA store is scheduled to open in November.
Photo by Jonathan Chapman
Day Brightener: Honeyshine Linden Hills
The store is a stage and the owners/producers are always dreaming up the next show—inventing unexpected ways to display the home objects and gifts you didn’t realize you needed.
Well Read: Red Balloon Bookshop Grand Avenue
Always up on the next great read for kids of all ages, and frequent host of top authors and illustrators.
Leader of the Class: Patina Seven locations
It’s not about any one candle or card. It’s the surprise and delight of happening upon an entire table of goodies, cohesively merchandised to make cleaning, cooking, bathing, or tailgating seem more fun. Fall trend: Native American vibe. Think: arrow graphics, blanket scarves, ponchos, and plaid.
Bibelot Four locations
The veteran never fails to deliver little amusements for every occasion.
Goodthings White Bear Lake & Maple Grove
Balancing style and fun, from novelties to women’s fashion.
CorAzoN Minneapolis & St. Paul
Discover up-and-coming artists, gourmet treats, décor, and more.
Master Maker: Mary Lauer
What fans of Galleria luxury boutique Oh Baby! may not realize is that CEO and designer Mary Lauer is now selling her fairy tale-fueled collection—hand screenprinted leggings, vintage-styled rompers, gold sparkle tutus—to more than 600 stores worldwide, including posh spots such as Fred Segal and Harvey Nichols.
The line’s whimsical, handmade look plays well in Europe, Lauer says. Last year, Anthropologie and Neiman Marcus commissioned Oh Baby! for exclusive holiday merchandise.
Almost all of it is made in Minnesota. Oh Baby! Brand for Happy Family Design recently quadrupled its space in Northeast Minneapolis, with 30 sewers, graphic artists, and screenprinters.
And while she continues to expand her line, Lauer isn’t neglecting her stores, including Oh Baby! Wayzata and Que Será home store in Excelsior, which is turning its lower level into additional store space, opening in early fall.
Photo by Caitlin Abrams