Female Entrepreneurs Spotlight

Collider is passionate about sharing the stories of local business owners and is excited to partner with Rochester Women Magazine to highlight female entrepreneurs through this column. To read more about these women and their businesses, go to collider.mn/our-stories. 

Jennifer Lester
Bleu Duck Kitchen

Co-owner of one of Rochester’s favorite restaurants, Bleu Duck Kitchen, as well as a vibrant taqueria in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Jennifer Lester’s longtime experience in the restaurant industry prepared her well for the challenge of opening and managing the two dynamite restaurants. Although Jenny had never given much thought to opening her own restaurant, when presented with the opportunity, she was ready for a big change and challenge. Since opening in 2016, Bleu Duck Kitchen has become a beloved Rochester staple, serving up unique fine-dining dishes, a boutique wine list, oysters and one of the best burgers in town. Jenny says, “We have made some very strong, good friendships through the years with people who are in Rochester for medical reasons, so much so that they will come a day or two before their appointments just to see us and dine with us. Those kinds of relationships are so rewarding and special in this industry.”

Kristine Stensland Genograms

Photo contributed by Kristine Stensland.

Kristine Stensland
Genograms

As a mother within a blended family, Kristine Stensland knows firsthand how difficult it can be for parents, kids, therapists and counselors to navigate and understand complicated family relationships. Following a career in health care administration and contracting, Kristine unexpectedly found herself laid off, which opened the door for herself and her husband to turn their focus toward their passion for strengthening families and serving others. Together they developed a digital therapeutic behavioral and mental health assessment tool called Genograms, which helps therapy professionals uncover core issues and family patterns through software that collects family history and maps their system, ultimately getting them from assessment to action much more quickly. Kristine says, “This work is really where my heart is. Knowing that we are creating truly meaningful change in family relationships is incredibly fulfilling.”

 

Kara Fish Bites By Kara

Photo contributed by Kara Fish.

Kara Fish
Bites By Kara

Kara Fish, a Spanish teacher by day, is a self-taught baker and licensed cottage food producer who
provides sweet treats through her custom catering and subscription service, Bites by Kara. Kara has
always loved baking and found that it is a great way to connect with family and friends. Through her custom catering service, Kara provides cookies, brownies, bars, cakes, cheesecakes—and much more! She also has a monthly cookie subscription box available, featuring three cookie varieties in each box. Kara loves putting her twist on classic recipes and says, “I have so much fun thinking about each of my clients and crafting sweet treats for them that I think they’ll love, whether it’s a nostalgic flavor for them or something new and fun.”

 

Angie Severson Miss Angie’s Place

Photo by Corrie Strommen.

Angie Severson
Miss Angie’s Place

Angie Severson is the founder of Miss Angie’s Place, a nonprofit organization that fosters positive relationships through art, nature, community and well-being at a welcoming and inclusive community center. Angie had a career in art and education but during the pandemic was inspired to take a leap of faith and pursue her dream. Miss Angie’s Place is dedicated to nurturing creativity, getting kids outdoors and promoting well-being through engaging classes, uniting people of all ages and walks of life. Angie says, “Every day new people walk through our doors. I don’t know who they’ll be or how we connect, but it brings me so much joy connecting with kids and their families and learning their stories.” ::

About Author

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Corrie is the director of communications at Collider, an assistant floral designer and an independent photographer. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running, hiking and time spent with her friends, husband and dog, Lou.

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