Author: Mollee Francisco

It may be hard to imagine today’s bustling Eden Prairie as a quiet little hamlet of just a couple thousand residents, but for longtime residents like Barb Eigen, Bill Holte, Roger Dressen and Jack Kortz, it was once just that. “Saw it go from a quiet little idyllic place to the Eden Prairie that is now,” said Kortz. “I remember Eden Prairie being … it was an Eden to live there; it was just so beautiful.” Kortz is the latest interview to be posted as part of an oral history project that aims to gather and share stories about the…

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At 43, Adam Bartley is carving out a nice space for himself in the world of character actors in Hollywood. The Eden Prairie native and 1997 Eden Prairie High School grad’s most recent role is in the captivating new sci-fi/drama series “Night Sky,” now streaming Season 1 on Amazon Prime. “Night Sky” follows retired couple Franklin and Irene York (played by J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek) as they unravel the secrets surrounding a mysterious chamber buried in their backyard. Bartley plays Byron Albemarle, a nosy neighbor who has noticed strange things happening at the York residence and won’t rest until…

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Pickleball may seem like a silly name for a sport, but it’s no laughing matter to the millions of players across the country. Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, including in Minnesota. And Eden Prairie has been leading the charge in the southwest metro to provide ample opportunity for enthusiasts to get their fill of the racket sport. The city currently has nearly two dozen courts with the hope for more as demand for the sport surges. Staring Lake Park has eight outdoor pickleball courts. Photo by Gillian Holte Invented on a whim in 1965…

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After a two-year hiatus, travel is back on the menu for many. With COVID-19 restrictions easing and positive cases relatively low in the Twin Cities, comfort levels have risen and locals have begun to quench their thirst for travel. “The industry is reporting a rebound to travel since the pandemic began two years ago,” said Melissa Rosdahl, an Eden Prairie-based travel advisor for Ciao Bambino. “I am seeing a pent-up demand for leisure travel, especially for families, who want to experience the joy of exploring destinations and creating memories, both domestic and internationally.” Hot spots Stateside, Rosdahl said that outdoor-centric…

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There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but a free chair – that’s entirely possible, thanks to the efforts of people like Kristy Hymans. Hymans is the moderator for a Facebook group called Freecycle – Eden Prairie, MN. The private group allows members to offer items free of charge or to solicit free items from others. Hymans started the group in August 2018 after noting a plethora of Facebook Marketplace listings for free items. “I had the idea that having a smaller group of Eden Prairie residents who wanted to share free items would be useful to…

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Crumbl Cookies’ employees mix up fresh cookie dough at the new Eden Prairie location. Photos by Mollee Francisco Those iconic pink boxes laden with soft, sugary treats have made their way to Eden Prairie. Crumbl Cookies is located at Fountain Place on Castlemoor Drive near Home Goods. Crumbl Cookies celebrated the grand opening of its latest Twin Cities location on March 11. The Eden Prairie franchise can be found at 12575 Castlemoor Drive in Fountain Place — the same commercial complex that houses Home Goods and Sierra Trading Post. Crumbl Cookies is the brainchild of cousins Jason McGowan and Sawyer…

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An Eden Prairie company is doing its part to help Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. Stratasys, which manufactures 3D printers and production systems, partnered with USA Luge to help create the sleds the athletes use in competition. Pat Carey, senior VP of strategic growth at Stratasys Pat Carey, senior vice president of strategic growth for Stratasys, said he met representatives from USA Luge at a manufacturing trade show back in 2017 and struck up a partnership to create the sled molds for luge. That partnership was first on global display at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where the…

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Angie Nelson’s son Liam was just six months old when he was diagnosed with food allergies. It was jarring news for the Maple Grove family that loved to cook together in the kitchen. “We felt overwhelmed and alienated,” said Nelson. “It was very difficult to find safe ingredients.” Nelson dutifully scoured items at the grocery store to make sure that they wouldn’t make her son sick, but as the world went into lockdown and she started ordering her groceries online, the task grew exponentially harder. Angie Nelson started Safer Plate meal kit service to help families like hers navigate the…

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It has been four years since Matt Connolly passed away, but his legacy lives on at a new eatery in Eden Prairie. Late last year, Wingman Matt quietly opened its doors in the Anderson Lakes Center at the northwest corner of Anderson Lakes Parkway and Flying Cloud Drive. It is now in full swing, with a take-out menu of broasted chicken wings, chicken fingers and a selection of sub sandwiches, as well as a mission to give back to families facing mounting medical bills due to cancer. John Connolly (Matt’s dad) and Bill Evanoff are the co-owners of Wingman Matt.…

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When you need a break from heartwarming Christmas movies, Committee Films has just the thing to cleanse your palate this holiday season. The Eden Prairie-based production company premiered its newest television series – “The Killer Next Door” – on Fox Nation in mid-October. The five-episode series is a true crime anthology centered on some of the most notorious serial killers in modern history, along with the work of retired FBI profiler John Douglas. He pioneered the agency’s Criminal Profiling Program in the late 1970s, and personally interviewed the serial killers featured in the show. “It was a great opportunity to…

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