General Store Of Minnetonka
14401 Highway 7
Minnetonka, Minnesota 55345
Gail Bollis opened the family-run general store in 1984. She attended the Minneapolis School of Art and Design and had worked in the accessories department of two leading Minnesota furniture stores. “It was through these experiences that I fell in love with retail,” said Gail. She went on to start an arts and crafts boutique with other local artists. Eventually, the boutique became the General Store of Minnetonka. In a time when shopping malls were springing up, a general store seemed a quaint retail venture. “My love of antiques and interesting architecture, along with working in a creative environment, is what drew me to open my business in a free standing building instead of a mall,” Gail explained. Her daughter Jenny Putnam, the store’s buyer, has a flair and passion for fashion. Both Gail and Jenny came up with these creative last minute gift ideas.
Called “Minnesota Spirit,” this puzzle reflects the best of this diverse state. But there is an interesting twist: the puzzle on the box is different from the puzzle inside the box. Can you figure out the differences from outside the box? Families and anyone who enjoys a good puzzle will enjoy puzzling out “Minnesota Spirit.” If you want to learn more about the Great Lakes state, add other Minnesota puzzles to your holiday wish list.
Coloring books aren’t just for kids, unless you happen to be a big adult kid. “These coloring books are the latest gift craze,” said Jenny. Adults, as well as children, enjoy expressing their thoughts in color. Intricately designed, these books come in a variety of themes.
A gift basket with items you’ve chosen suits any occasion. Store shoppers can select from gourmet foods, Minnesota-themed foods and gifts, books and more. The gift baskets are assembled inside the store. Some interesting items for a custom gift basket are hand polished stainless steel wine pearls, a beer Chillsner, and a batter-up spatula for the home cook. Drop one or more artisan gift cards into the basket, too.
Related: Ask An Expert: DIY Gift Ideas
No wardrobe would be complete without a fashionable scarf. “Everyone Minnesota woman should have a fashionable scarf … or two or three,” Jenny said. “We have an incredible selection of plaids, florals and other great looking patterns.” Minnesota weather can be pretty unpredictable. A pretty scarf with a heavier weave can also warm on chilly days.
Bangles and sterling silver jewelry complement a fashionable scarf. “Stackable bangles are a hot jewelry trend,” Jenny noted. “Each Alex and Ani bangle has a special meaning or sentiment that makes it a touching gift for a special someone.” The Pandora collection features sterling silver, 14k gold beads and bracelets, earrings, rings and watches.
Minnesota Mug With Hot Cocoa
The Minnesota mugs in this Minnetonka store are in a class of their own. Uniquely designed, each mug has its own witty inscription. Choose any mug and pair it with a package of the store’s delicious hot cocoa. Or blend the cocoa with coffee for a delicious hot mocha drink.
Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.