Goodwill Hunting: Members of the dsm sales team shopped at Goodwill of Central Iowa for outfits they will wear at the dsm unveiling party there next week. Holding their selections are Rebecca Zoet and Jordan Croft (both to the left of Goodwill's Rachel Rolfes), then Yolanda Chrystal and Kristi Edwards.


How we love our new-issue unveiling parties! So we're excited to invite you to two (2!) of these events in the next week. On Thursday, Jan. 4, we'll welcome the 2018 edition of the popular—and oh, so useful—Book of Lists. The party is from 5 to 7 p.m. in the atrium of Capital Square. The Business Record's Book of Lists is an essential resource for business professionals in Central Iowa.

The main event on our immediate calendar is the unveiling of dsm's January/February issue. That's happening next Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Goodwill of Central Iowa, 5355 NW 86th St. in Johnston. In honor of our Goodwill hosts, members of the dsm team will be wearing outfits recently purchased there during a staff shopping trip.

From 5 to 7 p.m. (short program at 6 p.m.), you'll be treated to appetizers and sweets from Chef Joe Cross, wine and beer selections, a  pop-up boutique, give-away goodies and more. The party will be in Goodwill's warehouse facility. There's parking space aplenty, to minimize cold walks from the car. Guests are invited to wear their own Goodwill finds (or possibly a future Goodwill donation).

Silent Rivers Photo Essay: Our Most Popular 2017 Project and Stories!
We’re kicking off the New Year by featuring YOUR most-loved Silent Rivers Design+Build 2017 projects and stories, based on reader response. Thank you for another great year of ‘the art of building, the building of art’. ... Read more »

Mary Coffin, Connie Wimer and Nora Everett are a trio of "firsts" for Bravo Greater Des Moines.


Here’s breaking news we’re especially eager to share: Our very own company chairman, Connie Wimer, will be this year’s Bravo Award recipient in recognition of her countless contributions to our city’s arts and cultural scene. A co-founder of Bravo Greater Des Moines in 2004, Connie is the first individual woman to receive the award. She’ll be honored for her efforts at the Feb. 3 Bravo Awards Gala, always the year's most highly anticipated party.

“Without Connie’s generous contributions to the arts community and her vision for a stronger, more vibrant quality of life, Central Iowa wouldn’t have the many diverse … arts and culture opportunities we enjoy today,” says Sally Dix, Bravo’s executive director.

We, of course, couldn’t agree more. And we’re also pleased about another “first” for this year’s event: Nora Everett, president of retirement and income solutions at Principal Financial Group, and Mary Coffin, executive vice president at Wells Fargo Home Lending, will be the first female co-chairs of the gala.

The event will be at Hy-Vee Hall; for details, visit Bravo’s website. The popular soiree, which draws about 1,500 people each year, typically sells out, so if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can do so here. Tickets are $300; various sponsorship levels also are available.

The Des Moines Big Band has found a home and an appreciative audience at Noce, the jazz club on Walnut Street.


By Michael Morain

Admit it: Now that the holidays are over, all you really want to do is crawl into a cave and hibernate until April.

But if you can’t, well, the next best thing might be Noce, where you can settle into the dimmed lighting, have a drink and listen to some good music. There are worse ways to wait out the winter.

Since its grand opening on New Year’s Eve at the start of 2016, the jazz club at the west end of Walnut Street has steadily built a solid roster of local musicians and out-of-town guests. So now you can catch a show any night from Wednesday through Sunday.

But “show” isn’t always quite the right word. Noce is a stylish but low-key kind of place, where musicians perform at least as much for each other as for the crowd. On Wednesdays, the Des Moines Big Band sounds so tight sometimesso deep in the zonethat you think you’ve stumbled into a private jam session except they’re wearing suits and ties. Jazz bands from area high schools usually play a short set in the middle to give the older guys a break.

Smaller groups and soloists take turns in the Jazz on the House series on Thursdays (when there’s no cover), and singer Max Wellman often takes the stage on Fridays, leading the weekend mix of late-night jazz, showtune cabarets and salsa dancing.

If you’re looking for a specific excuse to get out of the house, check out Tina Haase Findlay with Gary Jackson and Sam Salomone (Jan. 6), the popular NOLA Jazz Band (Jan. 13) or the Parranderos Latin Combo (Jan. 26), which can make your frozen toes tap enough to restore proper circulation.

See, then? Maybe the next few months won’t be so bleak. It’s a wonder jazz wasn’t born in Fargo or Duluth.

By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —
Almond-crusted salmon, with sambal-chile glaze and crusted in toasted almonds, is served with honey-roasted carrots and steamed green beans.


By Wini Moranville

What luck to finally discover Fresh Fit Meals just as many of us are resolving to eat more healthfully in the new year. And even better luck to find that—from what I've tasted so far—the food is seriously good.

It helps that a seasoned chef is cooking up the recipes. Jason Kapella, whom locals might recall from his stints at Louie's Wine Dive and RoCA, is the executive/corporate chef and in charge of the menu design. The company began in Texas and has been in Iowa for just over a year.

While you can make an appointment with an in-store nutrition coach to come up with a personal eating plan, you can also simply pop in and grab a few packaged-up ready-to-reheat meals from the extensive selection in the refrigerator cases. When I stopped in, choices numbered over two dozen, and included baked coconut shrimp, salmon stir-fry, Mediterranean bison burger, chicken Parmesan, turkey chili and much more. Each dish is freshnever frozenand clearly marked with nutrition analyses.  

"We make food that comes in a little rectangular plastic box, but doesn't taste like it comes in a little rectangular plastic box," Kapella told me, adding that smart ingredients, including citrus juices and zest, vinegars and a judicious use of spices, help set the flavor bar high.

Kapella explained that to keep the fresh tastes intact, all of the food comes into his kitchen fresh and minimally processed. The staff makes everything from scratch, including sauces, sausages and baked goods. He also says that the food is additive- and preservative-free, and only lean meats and "healthy fats" (mainly, Omega-3s) are used. In addition, he says that many dishes are suitable for diabetics.

What matters above all, of course, is the taste. I'm happy to report that both dishes I triedthe shrimp and sausage jambalaya and the Charlie's chicken enchiladaswere highly satisfying, rife with bold flavors and an unmistakably fresh appeal.

I'll be back in the hope of starting the new year on a healthful and tasty note.

Fresh Fit Meals has locations in Urbandale, Ankeny and West Des Moines. Find them at

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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Cindy Grill will sing for the Jan. 21 installment of Botanical Blues, a winterlong Sunday series at the Botanical Garden.


The 12th annual Botanical Blues concert series begins Sunday at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Performances follow every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. through March 25. Concerts feature local and regional blues artists playing inside the tropical conservatory, with food and beverages available from Trellis Cafe.

“Botanical Blues is a hallmark of our institution, and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back for a 12th year,” says President and CEO Stephanie Jutila. “What better way to spend a cold winter afternoon than listening to music in the tropics?”

The lineup this month: Jan. 7, Bob Pace; Jan. 14, Scott Davis and John Mattingly; Jan. 21, Cindy Grill and Alan Smith; and Jan. 28, J.D. Flanagan and Pat Hemann. For more information, including future artists, click here.


Do you make New Year's resolutions? About two-thirds of Americans do, according to research reported by the personal finance website WalletHub. We don't want to burst your Champagne bubble, but fewer than 1 in 10 people succeed in adhering to their goals. The most common resolutions involve weight loss, followed by financial goals, education and changing our nasty habits.

To misquote the Beatles: "You say you want a resolution, well you know. ..." People have been making and breaking resolutions since about 4,000 years ago, when the Babylonians came up with the idea, although their "new year" began in March (timed to the spring planting of crops). The enduring beauty of resolutions: You can make or break them anytime.

Pop star Lorde visits Des Moines in March to perform at Wells Fargo Arena in the Iowa Events Center.


Oh, Lorde! She's coming to the Iowa Events Center March 25. Tickets are on sale here. Explore the future of other arts and cultural events with a pair of easy-to-use online calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. Looking for even more categories? Check Catch Des Moines.

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