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Gita Sitaramiah

Consumer reporter | Consumer reporter
Recent content from Gita Sitaramiah
Reena Maheshwari, right, helped Parul Patel pick out wedding decor at the Kahani Events showroom in St. Paul.

Here are ways Minnesota couples can save on weddings in the craziest YOLO year ever

Manage the big ticket items or opt for a micro wedding.
Sun Country Airlines posted a $3.6 million profit in the first quarter of 2022, down from $12.4 million a year ago.

Sun Country first-quarter earnings fall despite rising demand

Revenue hit a record level at the Twin Cities airline, but higher fuel costs eroded profits.
Delta next month will begin flying the A321neo, shown in this rendering by Airbus, with one-third of its seats in premium classes.

Delta's bet on 'premium' seats and prices is paying off

An airline that once counted on business travelers found a way to make leisure passengers pay more.
Lunds & Byerlys staff will continue to shop and fulfill all orders placed through its website, but the delivery of each order will be handled by Targe

Lunds & Byerlys groceries to be delivered by Target-owned Shipt

The partnership between grocery competitors will boost Lunds & Byerlys' delivery order capacity.
Patrick Andersen, new chief executive of CWT

CWT lifts Andersen from president to chief executive

He has been an executive at the firm formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit since 2008.
Delta Air Lines pilots, who are negotiating a new contract with the airline, demonstrated at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Thursday sayin

Delta Air Lines pilots picket at MSP for improved schedules

The airport is the sixth Delta hub where pilots have picketed as contract talks are underway.
Jon Charles Pfau

Jon Charles Pfau, hairdresser known for his 'Blow Dry Bootcamps,' dies at 57

Jon Charles, whose eponymous salons had closed, was behind Marty's Barbershop in the North Loop's MartinPatrick3 boutique.
Modern furniture retailer CB2 will close its Uptown Minneapolis store after April 24 to make way for a $150 million addition to the Seven Points shopp

CB2 to close in Uptown Minneapolis to make way for apartments

The modern furniture retailer's closing comes as the owner of the Seven Points shopping center plans a grocery-anchored apartment development.
Ildi Sundheim and Sharon Brown posed for a photo in front of a Big Ben mural put up by Delta Air Lines as it restarted direct flights between Minneapo

Delta resumes daily nonstop service to London from MSP

Airlines are expanding flights to other European destinations in time for summer.
Mechanic Adam Schommer works on a car at Brausen Auto in Roseville. Auto repair shops are seeing business boom as car owners opt to fix them versus ma

Business surges at auto repair shops as Minnesotans try to make vehicles last longer

As new and used car prices rise, some vehicle owners are turning to making the best of their current vehicles.
Troy Bader, chief executive of Dairy Queen, at the company’s Bloomington headquarters.

After hitting record sales in pandemic, Dairy Queen updates its burger lineup

"Loaded A.1." and other new "Stackburgers" hit menu as DQ tries to maintain momentum.
About one-third of the state’s restaurants and hotels say they don’t expect to get back to pre-pandemic levels until later this year or next. File

Minnesota hotels and restaurants slowly recover from pandemic

About 37% said it will be next year before they are operating at pre-pandemic revenue levels.
Lorraine Love, owner of La Noire Bridal, holds a sample dress at her store in St. Paul. Love designed her store to offer wedding dresses for all size

As weddings boom, diverse Twin Cities vendors connect to reach multicultural couples

The new Colorful Weddings collective is hosting its first event Sunday.
Drivers lined up at Costco in Burnsville on Wednesday to get some of the cheapest gas in the region, $3.65 per gallon for Costco members.

Where Twin Cities area drivers are finding the best deals on gasoline

The highest price in the region this week appeared at a station in New Hope. The lowest was in Burnsville.
Famous Dave’s parent company has changed its name to Famous Hospitality Inc. The company reported a profitable fourth quarter.

Famous Dave's owner changes its name again, buys Mexican restaurant chain in Phoenix

The Minnetonka-based company now known as Famous Hospitality announced a profitable fourth quarter.
Zach Vraa hands out pints of Gotham Crunch to a line of ice cream lottery winners who were able to purchase the treat at A to Z Creamery, in Hopkins.

Fans drive from across the Twin Cities metro to get this $13 pint of ice cream

From a storefront in Hopkins, Zach Vraa offers pints of ice cream, an adventure and a story to tell. All for $13.
The Galaxy Drive-in in St. Louis Park will become the first pizza concept by the founders of Famous Dave’s and Rainforest Cafe.

Famous Dave's and Rainforest Cafe founders take on pizza

Veteran restaurateurs to turn former St. Louis Park drive-in into first location of planned franchise.
Sarah Colvin, a personal shopper at Arc Value Village in Richfield, searched for accessories for a client last week.

6 ways to dress for less as prices rise and workers return to the office

Beware of splurging on a new wardrobe for an office culture that's new or changed.
Sun Country jets on the tarmac at Minneapolis St Paul International Airport at the airline’s maintenance facility.

Sun Country sees travel demand surge as omicron recedes

The airline's financial chief said Sun Country is now seeing bookings surpass pre-pandemic levels.
Wells Fargo warns customers to protect their login information on digital payment apps like Zelle, CashApp and Venmo.

Edina businesswoman describes digital payments scam that cost her $2,000

Wells Fargo, other banks warn customers to be alert against imitators who seek digital access codes.
With food and other prices soaring the most in four decades, Shirley Hatfield says she’s watching her spending more than she ever did before the pan

As pandemic wanes, inflation changes lives of Minnesotans

The jump in consumer goods prices is forcing people to make huge adjustments — two years after the onset of the pandemic did: "We've had two years of uncertainty, loss, anxiety and fear and now inflation, too."
Delta Air Lines next month will resume hot food service on flights 900 miles or longer.

Another sign of travel rebound: Delta to resume first-class hot meals on flights

Delta will again offer first-class hot meal service on flights longer than 900 miles.
Midwest Mountaineering founder and owner Rod Johnson, in front of his favorite hiking items at the store in Minneapolis.

Founder's dilemma: Who can take over Midwest Mountaineering?

Rod Johnson wants to find a general manager who may someday want to own the iconic outdoor goods store.
Pet masseuse Heidi Hesse worked with Dee Kauffman’s dog, Libby.

Twin Cities businesses benefit as pet owners spend like parents

It's not just the pope who has noticed that people are spending more on their pets.
Mary Loeffelholz, the vice president – MSP airport customer service for Delta Air Lines, expects a full recovery of Twin Cities air travel by next y

Delta Air Lines to resume daily transatlantic service from MSP this year

The Twin Cities dominant carrier expects to recover to pre-pandemic levels next year in this market
Sun Country Airlines Photo: Sun Country Airline

Sun Country shares rise as executives see full planes, solid fares this spring

With the fading of the omicron variant, demand for air travel is rising quickly, Sun Country executives told analysts Tuesday.
Sun Country Airlines will remain by far the dominant discount carrier at MSP, even if Spirit and Frontier combine.

Even as Spirit, Frontier combine, the low-fare game at MSP is still shaped by Sun Country

Spirit and Frontier accounted for less than 3% of business at Minneapolis-St. Paul International last year.
Lynette Muonio of Howard Lake asked her son to pick some Lunchables at Coborn’s in Delano last week while her newborn waited in the cart. Prices hav

Inflation hits smaller cities, rural areas harder than Twin Cities

Less-populated areas of the Midwest are seeing prices rise faster than urban areas and the coasts.
Nearly two years into the pandemic, the face mask remains an object of division.

For Minnesota businesses, here's how a confusing week over COVID-19 rules ended up

The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul went one direction, while Minnesota health officials and the U.S. Supreme Court went another.
Cub Foods, led by CEO Mike Stigers, remains the dominant grocer in the Twin Cities after being on the sale block, facing a major challenger and then t

New owner of Cub Foods put it on sale, then decided to keep it

Here's how the top grocery chain in the Twin Cities won over its new owner by steering through competitive threats, the pandemic and riot damage.
At-home COVID-19 rapid tests were available Wednesday at the Cub Foods in New Hope.

COVID-19 rapid tests in high demand as omicron takes hold in Minn.

Tests are a hot item for Christmas this year, but availability is spotty as families seek reassurance before holiday gatherings.
Last-minute Christmas shoppers packed the Patina store Wednesday in Golden Valley.

Last-minute rush is on, but shoppers and retailers are happy

Even the emergence of a new coronavirus variant didn't stop crowds of shoppers from packing into stores in the final days before the holiday.
Sun Country Airlines pilots approve new contract

Sun Country Airlines pilots approve new contract

Pilots accepted a contract that will provide raises of 35% to 45% in 2022.
Delta’s basic economy fares will no longer qualify for frequent flier miles.

Delta Air Lines to strip SkyMiles rewards on basic economy tickets

Beginning next year, the airline will no longer allow basic economy fares to earn points, but it is giving customers a more flexible way to cancel those tickets.
Andrew McCaughan, Shake Shack’s chief development officer, drives through the restaurant’s chain first drive-through to officially open it.

Nation's first Shake Shack drive-through restaurant finds success on opening day in Maple Grove

The chain is running two kitchens in the new location to serve customers.
Sun Country jets on the tarmac at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June 2021.

Sun Country Airlines, pilots agree on contract terms to boost pay

If approved, airline will have some of the highest-paid Boeing 737 pilots in the country.
Janelle Flay, sales and events manager of Gatherings at Station 10 in St. Paul, moved chairs into place for a retirement party earlier this week.

It's holiday party season, but Minnesota's events scene is coming back in scattershot style

Many people are hosting smaller gatherings, but the region's biggest events are yet to come
Seven Points, the shopping center at Lake and Hennepin, is adding a restaurant with a mini-golf theme.

New mini-golf restaurant Arts & Rec will open at Uptown's Seven Points

A new restaurant with mini golf, a rooftop sculpture garden and a performance space is in the works at the Uptown shopping center.
Shake Shack enters the drive-thru business with a two-lane design, shown in a rendering, at a new location opening next week in Maple Grove.

Shake Shack opens its first drive-thru in Maple Grove next week

The company is experimenting with ways to shave time off its made-to-order process, which causes customers at its walk-up restaurants to wait.
A Frattallone’s Ace Hardware in Burnsville. There are 22 Frattallone’s stores in the Twin Cities.

Frattallone's Ace Hardware stores sells its 22 locations

The family-owned hardware store has sold all of its Twin Cities stores to a Tennessee company.
The line outside Kitchen Window, a fixture of the retail scene in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood for 35 years that will soon close, was long all d

The steadiest long line on Black Friday in Minneapolis was at a store that's about to close

Hundreds lined up all day at Kitchen Window, a fixture on the Uptown retail scene for 35 years.
Santa and his elves greet Black Friday shoppers at the Mall of America’s North entrance Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Bloomington.

Black Friday brings out deal-seeking Minnesotans

Shoppers found deals, and even crowds in some places, as they tackled their holiday lists. The action yielded insights on how Minnesotans feel about the economy and the pandemic.
Famous Dave’s founder Dave Anderson has been inducted into the National Native American Hall of Fame.

Famous Dave's BBQ founder inducted into National Native American Hall of Fame

Dave Anderson launched Jimmie's Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in recent years.
Katie Bergeland, right, a sales associate at the Slumberland Furniture store in Woodbury, helped Dave Thomas of Prescott, Wisc, as he shopped during t

Shoppers fill Minnesota stores as a pivotal moment in the retail recovery arrives

The mood is mixed as more potential buyers head into stores than last year. But a leading survey showed holiday spending won't change much.
Paul Horan of Gear Running Store helped Laurel Hoch pick out a pair of sneakers. He said his business is on track to beat 2019 numbers.

Twin Cities clothing stores get a boost from neighborhood shoppers

After getting creative with deliveries and online offerings, Twin Cities retailers see return of local customers.
Artist Colleen O’Connor, shown with a paint swatch in her St. Paul studio, broadened her offerings of at-home projects.

Minnesotans had to get creative to save their small businesses

When the pandemic hit, many small business owners had to create their own opportunities: "They've really been remarkably resilient."
Lunds & Byerly’s offers employees payday flexibility.

Lunds & Byerlys offers same-day pay for workers who want it

The Twin Cities supermarket chain will let employees decide when and how often they want to be paid as a perk to attract more workers.
File photo: Shoppers browse the aisles during a Black Friday sale at a Target store in 2018.

Survey: Minnesotans, how do you plan to shop on Black Friday?

The Star Tribune wants to know how readers plan to shop this holiday season.
Jen Reopelle hung ornaments at her “Made for Love” booth at a Christmas bazaar at Union Depot in St. Paul. Pop-up holiday markets are appearing ac

Holiday pop-up markets are back this year, attracting shoppers around Twin Cities

The concept originated in Germany and is now common around the world, a low-cost way for local artisans and makers to get their wares in front of shoppers.
Cub Foods introduced its own online pickup and delivery service. File photo of Cub’s Oakdale store.

Cub Foods starts its own online orders business, with pickup and deliveries

Cub said it will still allow Instacart, but it is using incentives to attract shoppers directly to its service.
Sun Country Airlines Reported Strong Third Quarter Growth

Holiday air travel prices rise, and Sun Country execs say flights are filling

For the first time in the air travel comeback, Sun Country's quarterly sales outpaced the comparable period of 2019.
Fhima’s chef and owner David Fhima in his Minneapolis restaurant. Restaurateurs are excited to welcome guests, but challenges remain from the workfo

Twin Cities foodies discover that dining out won't snap back to 2019

As restaurant owners grapple with higher costs and worker shortages, diners can expect price increases, shorter hours and more limited menus.
Sun Country Airlines will be the official carrier of MLS teams.

Sun Country Airlines to be official carrier of Major League Soccer

Sun Country's chartered flights for Major League Soccer teams will start next year.
Margot Wanner and her daughter Eliza, 9, checked out toys Thursday to add to a wish list during an afternoon trip to Kiddywampus.

Twin Cities stores ready for influx of early shoppers

"We're not dealing with a normal year."
Dairy Queen is suing a company for using the Blizzard brand name.

Dairy Queen goes to court over Blizzard name

A federal judge will decide whether to stop a Massachusetts company from selling Blizzard spring water.
A TCF Bank branch in Minneapolis. Signs at local branches are being changed over to Huntington Bank this month.

Rollover of TCF customers to Huntington Bank hits some glitches

TCF customers report that debit card purchases were being denied in the switch to Huntington's systems. And some said they couldn't access online banking.
Owner Jim Berg showed off one of the fog machines they sell for home Halloween decor at Twin Cities Magic & Costume in West St. Paul.

Sales soar as Minnesotans shop for 'a grand Halloween weekend'

Shoppers started early and haven't let up at specialty retailers for Halloween, which has become one of the year's big retail events.
Jori Miller Sherer, president of Minnetonka, left, with reconciliation adviser Adrienne Benjamin and David Miller, chief executive.

Minnetonka Moccasin apologizes for not acknowledging its reliance on Native Americans

The Minneapolis footwear maker for several years has been discussing steps to reconcile its use of Native American designs and ideas.
The 2019 Financial Planning Day was the last in- person version of the annual event.

Financial Planning Day resumes in St. Paul this weekend, with virtual sessions also available

How to start an emergency fund and manage student loan debt are some of the key topics at the annual event hosted by Minnesota financial planners.
Pete Deanovic of Buhl Investors is one of the developers that has sparked a fast turnaround of the 50th and France shopping area on the border of Minn

50th and France is quickly moving on from the pandemic

A wave of luxury apartments, shops and restaurants have energized an urban shopping district.
DeeDee, a robot that runs food from the kitchen to tables and dirty plates back to the kitchen, is new on the job at Sawatdee Restaurant, where a labo

Robots now deliver food, bus tables at Sawatdee

The Thai restaurant is using robots to run between the dining room and kitchen at its locations in Minneapolis and Maple Grove.