Exploring Ireland

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Written by By Jen Jacobson

An adventure—and a friendship—for a lifetime

I’ve always been a bit Ireland-obsessed. I soak up every movie or book I can find that’s placed there, engross myself in Celtic mythology and always seem to be adding new Irish artists to my playlists. When I was 17, I bought my first Ireland calendar and reveled in the pictures of the cliffs and countryside. Each year after that, I bought a new version, saying I would stop once I finally booked my trip. 

After almost 20 years of dreaming and watching flight costs, I decided last fall that 2017 was the year to make that dream happen. As a single mom, that wasn’t the easiest call to make. Work and child schedules had to be negotiated; money had to be tucked away. But I was determined. I even picked up a second job solely to make sure money would be earmarked for the trip.


I was finally going! Now the big decision: Did I have the guts to go alone? Sure, why not? Solo travel can be a blast, and some tour groups cater specifically to those going it alone. Bringing the kids along just wasn’t in the budget at this point. 



Sharing Olde Fashioned Christmas Cheer

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Written by By Kim Zabel




Co-owners Kristin Alexander and Adrianne McNiff have been nearly inseparable business partners since 2007. But it hasn’t always been that way. Both wanted to open a traditional coffee shop, and both saw a need for one in the Mantorville area, so they decided to combine their talents. Adrianne has a degree in the culinary arts, and Kristin has a degree in marketing. Both spent years in their fields before joining forces. 

“It was like fate,” Kristin says. “We were both taking a risk. We didn’t really know each other very well, but we both had the same dream so we decided we were going to do it, hoping it would work.” The traditional coffee shop model quickly expanded to include all-day breakfast, gourmet coffees, homemade desserts and an ever-expanding menu. 

Kristin and Adrianne have felt supported and accepted by the Mantorville community. “There are a lot of women business owners in Mantorville. The local paper in Kasson used to have a huge section devoted to them,” Kristin says.

Much of their success is formed through the combination of Kristin’s marketing know-how and Adrianne’s culinary skills. “I am a pretty darn good baker,” Adrianne says. “We have really good pies and desserts here.” 


Karrie Berg and RaeLynn Mattick became business partners three years ago. RaeLynn worked as a stylist at Creative Change and was renting her styling chair there but was looking for more. Karrie wanted to expand the business, so they became partners. In addition to hair, the salon also features spa services such as manicures, pedicures, massage, waxing and dermaplaning. 

Unlike Kristin and Adrianne, Karrie and RaeLynn had been friends for years before the partnership. “Karrie actually did my hair when I was a kid,” RaeLynn says. “She did my first highlight!”

“We are very approachable and friendly. I think one of the biggest stigmas with salons is that it’s intimidating to walk into them, but we get complimented all the time on how welcoming and homey it feels here,” she says. That welcoming attitude is evident throughout the Mantorville community as well. “No one is really in competition with one another. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed,” RaeLynn says. 


Lynnette Nash is a people person. “This is who I am and what I do,” Lynnette says. “If I am not at the shop, I miss people. I’m the kind of person that will go out into a crowd and start talking to the people around me.” 

Lynette has the support of her family to help her do what she does. Her mom purchased the confectionery shop in 1989, and Lynnette bought it from her four years ago. Her mom still works in the shop, dipping chocolates by hand, and Lynnette’s daughter, Alexa, plans to come into the business when she graduates with her degree in food and consumer science. 

“This is very much a family thing. If I’m busy, my son comes here to help. My husband is here too. It’s all about doing the product and doing the product well,” she says. 

“The interesting thing is that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist here in Mantorville. Everybody just supports everybody,” Lynnette says. 

Mantorville invites everyone to celebrate Olde Fashioned Christmas on Saturday, December 2 with a candlelight tea, caroling and sleigh rides. You can even take the trolley to Mantorville with your favorite group of friends for Olde Fashioned Christmas from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register at or call 507-421-0573.

Editor’s Note: Established in 1854, Mantorville was listed on the National Historic Registry in 1975. 

County Seat Coffeehouse
1 Fifth Street West
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Creative Change Hair Studio
516 N Main Street 

The Chocolate Shoppe
420 North Main Street

Finds on 5th
3 5th Street West

Mantorville Art Guild 
521 North Mantorville Street 

Hubbell House  
502 N Main Street


Kim Zabel works as a wellness instructor at 125 Live and the Rochester Area YMCA.



“Can you keep him until tomorrow, Mom?”

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Written by By CJ Fosdick


The pelican that spent the night in our garage.

Nothing surprises me about animals. Their instinct is infallible. They ferret out harbors for help or handouts, and their radar drives them to reliable sources. Our acreage on a hill surrounded by trees is one of those harbors. 


Four grown children repeat this “welcoming” stamp. All of them have several pets in their own homes. As a teenager, our eldest daughter, who now teaches third grade at Riverside Central Elementary School in Rochester, once lured a shaggy, golden-eyed Airedale home, thankfully stopping short of inviting him into the car, as he smelled like a skunk. After a tomato juice bath, he happily joined the family.



Lessons in Bat Catching From an Expert Herself

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Written by By Kathryn Lenn

 I began my bat catching apprenticeship right out of college. I lived with my cousin Corinn, and we had a little bit of a bat problem. In the six months I lived with her, we successfully caught six bats. Our first one was caught about four months into our roommate-ship. You do the math.


Corinn was my fearless leader, and I was her trusty sidekick. After our very first catch-and-release, we came up with a plan. The plan was executed in nearly every hunting endeavor (except the time we found the bat in the washing machine), and it worked beautifully. I’ll let you in on our secret. You need four things to successfully catch a bat: a broom, an empty garbage can, a broken-down cereal box and courage. When the broom has successfully knocked the flying rodent to the ground, gather your courage and cover it with the empty garbage can. From there, slide the cereal box underneath the can to trap the little monster, then release it into the wild. 




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Written by Jorrie Johnson

As I floated on a tube in the lazy river at America’s largest waterpark one Sunday afternoon in August, I pondered what spirituality means to me. At that moment, I was at peace—with my boys laughing and enjoying each other’s company, with the warm sun drying us off after splashing our way down the water slides, listening to and kicking our feet in the water. I was connected with people I love, the earth and universe. That was spiritual, but spirituality is deeper. It is what gives us hope when a friend or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or we make a mistake and we desire forgiveness from someone else or even ourselves, or we need to know we are loved no matter what. Spirituality comes from deep within ourselves and is expressed through various forms. 

Our homes are an extension of ourselves, giving us a place to rest and relax, to feel safe and secure and, ultimately, to live, to be and to become. We have a special section for the Rochester Area Builders Fall Showcase of Homes and Remodelers Tour (pages 13–21) in this issue. We hope you will tour some new and remodeled homes for ideas for your own home.



I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman: Val Kleinhans

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Written by Jorrie Johnson; Phots by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Valerie Klienhans moved to Rochester in July 2016 and started working with Townsquare Media in August. She recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with Z-Rock 107.7 and Quick Country 96.5.


Val posted on Facebook, “I can’t thank you guys enough for supporting my wacky adventures (really my whole radio career since 2011!) and tuning in when you can. Some of you even helped me move up the ladder, and I can’t thank you enough for that either. Last week I mentioned how much I appreciate the creativity I can bring to these stations, and I hope to do more of the same. Thank you all! Seriously!!”  You can help Val celebrate by becoming her friend on Facebook and liking Quick Country 96.5 and Z-Rock 107.7.  

Sara Drewry Clausen, regional director of the American Heart Association, comments to Val, “You are a talented and very creative woman! Congrats on the great year already in Rochester!!!!”

Sarah Fisher Wolf says, “She has done some awesome things for Z-Rock and for the local music scene.” She tells her, “Keep doing what you do best, girl!”

Regional Operations Manager at Townsquare Media James Berry Wilde comments, “You have blossomed this past year on both. You sound great on-air and have brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm.”



I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman: Tammy Lynn Darby

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Written by Jorrie Johnson; Phots by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Tammy Darby read I Am a Beautiful Rochester WomAn stories in Rochester Women magazine and thought it would be fun, but never expected to be featured in it herself. When she was approached with the opportunity to get a makeover at the Rochester Women’s Fall Expo last year, she jumped at the chance. 


“I love to get dressed up, and I have had a makeover once before, but I do not wear makeup on a daily basis,” explains Tammy.  “I felt like a different person, not only for the way I looked, but for stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting onstage to do the makeover at the 2016 Women’s Fall Expo. I never thought I would be strutting my stuff down a cat walk.”

She enjoyed talking with Katie Kirckof, owner of GLAM Beauty Lounge (formerly BB Make-up) before the makeover and observing what colors Katie used on her. “I would definitely recommend getting a makeover to friends and family. You may get introduced to a color or product that you normally wouldn’t consider trying and you will feel amazing,” says Tammy.  



Remodelers Corner: The Cory Kitchen

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Written by Bob Freund

When Alicia and Matt Cory moved into their home four years ago, the kitchen was a separate room with a doorway. A half-wall provided a limited view into the kitchen. It was a squeeze for their growing family. “The problem for us was traffic flow,” says Matt.

The Rochester couple remodeled the home’s original kitchen and adjacent laundry room last summer and fall. They worked with local Design Studio B to rework the kitchen for efficiency. At the same time, they wanted to complement the home’s existing style, which is dominated by a two-story limestone fireplace. A stone pathway also extends through much of the main living space. 

Topped with a slab of granite that is almost 8 feet long and just over 5 feet wide, the kitchen island is the “epicenter” of the family’s daily life, describes Matt. The irregular shaped island is large enough for their school-age boys to spread out homework on one side while a parent prepares dinner on the other. Furnished with five chairs and stools, the massive countertop also gives the kitchen a social gathering point when guests arrive.


If you’re a fan of the HGTV runaway hit “Fixer Upper,” you will absolutely love the brand-new home that custom  home builder R. Fleming Construction will have on the 2017 Fall Showcase of Homes in September. 

The home, located in wildly popular northwest Rochester at 6408 Summit Point Road NW, complete with shiplap and subway tile, is sure to capture your attention. This beautiful house is much more than a nod to a fashion trend; it’s a graceful, rustic—yet elegant—home that at once feels like, well, home. Acknowledging the latest trends, Lee Fleming of R. Fleming Construction says, “We’re seeing more people go for that farmhouse feel.”


This new-construction home incorporates excellent use of space, making it feel much larger than its actual finished square footage, which is just under 3,000. 



Women & Spirituality Conference: First Time in Rochester

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Written by Gina Dewink; Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

The Women and Spirituality Conference is a multi-faith, educational, healing event that brings together diverse spiritual traditions to create an atmosphere of shared spiritual growth. 

With 90 exhibitors and 84 speakers in the 2017 program, participants can explore religious traditions in a nonjudgmental, supportive environment. After 35 years at the University of Minnesota-Mankato, this year, the conference will be held in Rochester. Highlighted are the local women who will combine spirituality, art and community into the two-day conference, running September 16-17 at the newly renovated Mayo Civic Center.


Terri Allred, Women and Spirituality Conference producer, begins, “I sent the intention into the universe to do more work in the spiritual realm of my life and utilize my master’s degree in feminist theology. At that time, I was already producing an international belly dance event in San Francisco, as well as helping produce local events like ROCKchester and the World Festival. Literally the next day, a friend contacted me about this amazing conference looking for a new producer. Just two days later, I was in Mankato talking about details. The rest is history.”


Page 17 of 79

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