Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

Articles in Category: MnRA News

Dave Baker Recognized With Advocate of the Year Award

2021 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Baker Headshot 2021The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize State Representative Dave Baker with its Advocate of the Year award as part of the 2021 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“As a small business owner himself, Dave Baker knows firsthand the challenges of being a customer-facing business over the past couple of years,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president.  “And as a legislator Dave has been tireless in bringing his experience as well as passion for Minnesota to the forefront of every issue facing businesses and employees during the pandemic. Dave’s ability and willingness to work with anyone who would listen was mission critical for retailers.”

"As a small business guy and elected official, I know how important it is to tell your story,” says Dave Baker, State Representative and owner of Baker Hospitality in Willmar. “Retail and hospitality are always changing, and this past year has been an extreme example of that with the pandemic. I appreciate being recognized for my efforts to work with other legislators and the Governor to amplify the needs of businesses and hope my work has contributed to the confidence people have in our business community.”

“Dave brings his life lesson skills and caring attitude when he puts on his legislator hat by listening and trying to do what’s right that will make a difference versus doing it just to score some points or even votes,” says Ken Warner, president of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. “He always has a can-do positive attitude. I’m proud to call him my friend.”

“Representative Baker is a tenacious and collaborative champion for the hospitality industry,” says Liz Rammer, president & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota. “His leadership in the state legislature brought much needed financial relief to many struggling hospitality businesses. We are most grateful for his partnership and service and can think of no one more deserving of being named Advocate of the Year than Representative Baker.”

Baker was nominated by the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Advocate of the Year award. Eight other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Employee of the Year, Social Responsibility, Retail Innovation, Customer Commitment, Best Place to Work, Retail Community of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Retailer of the Year.

Baker will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Golden Valley. The event features six 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations strategies and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Shelby Studanski with Frame Minnesota Named Retail Employee of the Year

2021 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Shelby headshotThe Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Shelby Studanski with Frame Minnesota as Retail Employee of the Year as part of the 2021 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“Minnesota has so many amazing retail employees, however Shelby stands out among the most talented,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “Spend just a few minutes talking with Shelby and you will realize she absolutely loves working with customers and Frame Minnesota provides her the perfect opportunity to put her passion for art and skills to work. Shelby is one of those people that make your day a little brighter just by interacting with her. We appreciate the high bar that Shelby sets when it comes to service to customers and are so pleased to name her Minnesota’s Retail Employee of the Year.”

“My favorite thing about working retail is that I get to collaborate with people to enhance and preserve their precious memories and keepsakes,” says Shelby Studanski, designer and head framer at Frame Minnesota. “I work with customers to figure out what they are looking for and thenFrameMinnesota logo make their vision come true. No two days are the same working here. Thanks to the owner, Tami, I’ve learned about all the facets of running a small business. Best of all I get to be an artist while making customers happy. It’s very satisfying when your job involves what you are passionate about.”

 “Shelby has been so invaluable and flexible during Covid. She helped me immensely as we learned and morphed from curbside pick up and virtual designs to a new by-appointment business model which we continue today. She is great at both producing our custom designs and leading the frame shop staff and excellent at helping customers come up with creative solutions to make their art look great,” says Tami Phillippi, owner of Frame Minnesota.

Shelby Studanski with Frame Minnesota is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Retail Employee of the Year award. Eight other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Lifetime Achievement, Social Responsibility, Retail Innovation, Customer Commitment, Best Place to Work, Retail Community of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and Retailer of the Year.

Shelby will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Golden Valley. The event features six 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations strategies and ideas.

Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Mackenthun's Fine Foods Recognized With Social Responsibility Award

2021 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

mackenthuns logoThe Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to award Mackenthun’s Fine Foods the Social Responsibility award as part of the 2021 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“It’s clear Mackenthun’s Fine Foods is a cornerstone in their communities,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “It’s just not common today to find fifth generation owners of a retail business in Minnesota, but it’s clear Mackenthun’s connection and love for their community is what has sustained their business. The Mackenthun’s commitment to buying local and being active, as well as giving back to their community, is an inspiration to other retailers.  We congratulate Mackenthun’s Fine Foods on receiving our Social Responsibility award.”

“We’ve been in the community for over 100 years,” say Mackenthun’s Fine Foods owners Jessa Theis and Jaime Mackenthun. “One of guiding principles is that we are only as strong as the community around us. Community is a big part of what we do, and that includes being active in the Chamber and giving back to area organizations. We truly believe supporting our community, including the food shelf, local farmers, the hospital, and the baseball park, is one of the best things we can do. Local is huge to us, and the community is what has helped us grow.”

“Waconia would not be the same without Mackenthun’s,” says Christine Fenner, president of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce. “Their dedication, support, and involvement to the betterment of our community is truly incredible.”

“The Mackenthun family sets the standard for social responsibility. Their commitment to team members, the communities they serve, and the common good of the entire state have set a high bar. They challenge the status quo, which you feel the minute you walk into their store,” notes Jamie Pfuhl, president of the Minnesota Grocers Association. “Our association has had the great fortune of partnering with all generations of the Mackenthun family and our industry is better for their vision and commitment of being the best community partner possible. We congratulate them on this well-deserved acknowledgement.”

Mackenthun’s Fine Foods was nominated by the Waconia Chamber of Commerce and is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Social Responsibility award. Eight other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Lifetime Achievement, Retailer of the Year, Retail Employee of the Year, Customer Commitment, Best Place to Work, Retail Community of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and Retail Innovation.

A Mackenthun’s Fine Foods representative will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Golden Valley. The event features six 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations strategies and ideas.

Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Get our Monday retail industry newsletter.

Subscribe to MnRA's e-mail lists instantly by texting "MNRETAIL" to 22828 or provide your e-mail address below.

E-mail address:



Live Chat