Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
At an age when most young men would be happy to move out of their parents' basement, Martin Stubstad wasn't in too much of a rush. That's because back in 1977, Martin was building his own business, Archery Headquarters, bow by compound bow, and his base of operations was in his parents' cellar. Today, the business not only occupies its own space, but it's the go-to shop for hobbyists and professional bows-folk alike. There, quiver-curious visitors can do more than just purchase archery supplies, such as bows, arrows, and apples. Certified instructors teach classes, from a one-lesson intro course to more advanced shooting classes, while archers practice their skills in the shooting lanes on the range.
Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
From its humble origins as a soda fountain in 1930s Saint Paul, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar has grown into a franchise with more than 28 locations all over Minnesota and the Midwest. As TV screens blast sports news in the background, patrons at each eatery dine on a menu of classic American and pizzeria fare. Thick, hand-pressed burgers form bunned towers with hefty toppings such as smoked bacon, haystack onions, and chipotle mayo. Families looking to bond can practice fractions on regular, deep-dish, or thin and crispy pizzas or group juggling acts with samplers of 27 juicy wings. In addition to pastas and salads, each location's bar carries a varied drink menu that includes draft beers such as Blue Moon and Samuel Adams alongside wine, martinis, and margaritas.
At the indoor and outdoor riding arenas at Dakota Stables, instructor Donavin Prescott conducts lessons for all experience levels in Western, and English riding styles, running through basic techniques, such as grooming and tacking, as well as more advanced skills. Outside the ranch, guides lead visitors on trail rides exploring local parks and coordinate longer weekend trips or hands-on camps for children aged 8–18. The stable also provides training and boarding services.
Joe and Courtney Norgaard, the owners of Local Roots Fine Foods, create made-from-scratch soups with locally-sourced ingredients. Late summer flavors harmonize in the gluten-free garden vegetable soup loaded with zucchini, onion, red potatoes, and carrots in a fire-roasted tomato base. Creamy red-potato-and broccoli-chowder makes bellies purr with its natural decadence, and free-range chicken noodle soup might tempt family members to fake the common cold. All of Local Roots Fine Foods' products are free of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives, and each of the sampler's six 32-ounce containers arrives filled with enough soup to feed 2–3 people.