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Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘excelsior boulevard’

Grand Frames

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Little Bean Photography has opened Grand Frames next to its Excelsior Boulevard studio in St. Louis Park, offering custom framing services, as well as grab and go picture frames by Jonathan Adler, gifts including Alora Ambiance scent diffusers and stationery. Owner and photographer Elissa Kadue got frustrated not being able to find frames befitting her irresistible photos of babies and tots. She went out and found colorful acrylics, polka dots and stripes, painted frames and finishes ranging from shabby chic to modern. In all, there are hundreds of framing options. (Don’t feel like you have to have your picture taken first; Grand Frames is up for any job).

Once she opened the door to retail, it only made sense to add complimentary categories like note cards and candles. Baby gifts are on the way, along with more picture frames. Even with the inventory a bit light, I have high hopes for this smart little shop. One look at the photos on the walls proves that Kadue has a great eye. 4617 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-303-3411

Coming to Excelsior & Grand…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Got a sneak peek of Max’s new space at Excelsior & Grand in St. Louis Park – just across the parkway from the current store. I think it’s going to be a good move for this under appreciated luxe gift gallery, which specializes in jewelry, art and chocolate (trifecta!). The new space is wider and will allow for more display room. Max’s is scheduled to be closed for about a week and reopen in the new spot Feb. 5.

All’s well that ends well, but the truth is, this move was not owner Ellen Hertz’s idea. Excelsior & Grand is moving her to make room for CVS in the anchor spot that fronts Excelsior Boulevard, previously home to a couple of ill-fated restaurants. CVS. Sigh. On the positive side, it could bring some neighborhood traffic to this shopping district, which has struggled to fill vacancies and draw a crowd, despite the good location and bustling Trader Joe’s. Max’s has been one of the few shining stars – thanks to Hertz’s tireless promotional efforts and stellar merchandise. The biggest bummer about CVS, besides not exactly raising Excelsior & Grand’s profile as a shopping destination, is the waste of patio space. I ate at Laredo’s, not because the food was good (how do you screw up guacamole?), but because it was so lovely to sit outside on the wide stretch of sidewalk, near grass and a fountain. I hope they at least add some tables and benches – the place could use some loitering.

At least the spaces are filling. Also opening at Excelsior & Grand in February: Bubbly Paws, a self-serve dog wash and full-service dog spa form the owners of Pampered Pooch Playground and Get In Shape For Women, offering small group personal training (it’s new to Minnesota). And in March comes Oil & Vinegar, selling cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Customers will be able to make custom blends and take cooking classes.

What else would you like to see at Excelsior & Grand? Weigh in!

Way to go, Max’s

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

It’s easy to get caught up in the designer chocolates at Max’s. But there are other reasons to check out this St. Louis Park shop, which offers an elegant mix of jewelry, art and chocolate. Max’s was recently named one of the top retailers of 2008 by Niche magazine. The award recognizes retailers who are committed to fair business practices and to growing the North American craft community. Only 33 galleries and stores throughout the country received the honor. Seems the occasion calls for…well, chocolate!

Kiddywampus on the move

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Kiddywampus, the Edina toy store that has vowed to donate all profits to children’s charities, is moving from its obscure spot behind the Convention Grill to a larger space on Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park, about a block east of Trader Joe’s. Key dates: moving sale, March 3 to 8; first day open in St. Louis Park, March 11; grand opening party, March 15. Watch for more details on the sale and the new store at You can also check out Kiddywampus online at | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved