I have to tell you about this place I just found! I have completely fallen in love with Untainted Inc., a luxury boutique that specializes in all-natural and organic skin care and luxury spa products. The little shop is hidden in a historic building off Water Street in Excelsior and is filled with dozens of apothecary jars with different essential oil bath salts on wooden cable drums and barn wood tables topped with body soaps, candles and lotion bars. I loved everything they had in grapefruit and eucalyptus. The best part? Everything is made locally, right in the shop where you can watch each of their products being made. If you want to see them pouring candles or lip balms, whipping a batch of moisturizer, or lining up fresh soaps on the curing trays, you can look right into The Studio. Owned by a husband and wife duo who opened their doors in August 2016, they welcome anyone for a tour. When you go, talk to Therese. She is extraordinarily helpful and she loves questions, no matter the ailment. I am so glad I stumbled on them and can’t wait to go back!
CLOSED BUT YOU CAN SHOP ONLINE!
If “Minnesota cool meets coastal casual” street fashion is your thing, I have a place thats right up your alley. Located in a renovated garage in Excelsior’s modern neighborhood boutique, Buck + Fir. It’s in a loft-like space with an entrance in the parking lot behind Water Street, tucked into a historic building. You can find it under the big hand-painted sign by local artist Dusty Signs. Inside the brick walls are white and the ceiling is black, lending to the street style vibe. Specializing in women’s streetwear with a Minnesota flair. Hosting brands like Blank NYC, Minnetonka Moccasin, Brixton, MPLS/STP Clothing, Saucony Originals, Ebbet’s Field, Free People, Tretorn, Olive and Oak, Outdoor Voices, Melmax Designs, While Odin Sleeps, Poler Stuff, Burlap Bag and Happy Spritz. Featuring staple clothing including T-shirts, flannel, scarves, denim and sneakers. Buck is owned by Cindy Berset and her daughters Kelsey and Ashley Berset who are the trio behind the Suburban restaurant, a fast favorite of mine. It’s totally worth checking out.
Since I’ve been on a bit of a brunch kick, I have another outta-the-park spot to share with you. Coalition Restaurant in Excelsior, on the same block as my favorite antique store Leipold’s, where Boots the cat lives and a stones throw from Lake Minnetonka. Located on one of the most picturesque main streets in Minnesota, and housed in an 1886 brick building, Coalition pairs well with the motif. It’s down the block from Victor’s and around the corner from Excelsior Brewing; in the old Biella space complete with rustic floors, chandeliers and industrial lighting, exposed brick, smoky mirrors and an antique tin ceiling. This space is stunning. And don’t think its just the upscale decor that will have you breaking down the door – the food is phenomenal. I mean, look at it! Vibrant, colorful, flavorful, comforting, creative and borderline sassy. Okay, I’ll admit, I love Coalition so much I’ve been there a few times, bringing more and more of my friends to experience it. This last visit included complimentary donuts so good we had to get an extra order to go! And if you like your brunches boozy, Coalition has you covered, full bar with craft cocktails and locally sourced tap beers. Need a recommendation? Try the Corpse Reviver #2 or the Blood Orange Mimosa.
Today’s #mnbucketlist addition is a personal favorite of mine because I’ve been able to get some really random Minnesota history filled trinkets. Off Water street in downtown Excelsior, just a block from Mr. Jimmy’s Bench, sits The Country Look-In Antiques. A boutique-like, rustic, historic rummage sale if there ever was one. Floor to ceiling, they carry 18th- and 19th-century antiques that include things like vintage cameras, shabby colonial furniture, old fishing lures and flies, architectural finds, sailboats… it’s just off the Port of Excelsior, not surprising finds but amusing perusing nonetheless. I will admit, this place is digitally off the grid but they have some pretty cool stuff. Oh! My favorite find? That Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox figurine you see pictured. Its full of Brandy.