North Country Co-op, the first collectively run grocery in Minneapolis, recently announced in a statement from the board of directors that they will be closing its doors on November 4th. The co-op is a victim of bad sales brought on by the changing demographic in the neighborhood, and competition in the organic food industry.
Former General Manager Alex Betzenheimer said, “It’s not just Whole Foods now. It’s Lund’s, Byerly’s, Target and Wal-mart. What that means for a small co-op is that we’re not able to draw people from the entire city like we used to.”
North Country was the only co-op left in Minneapolis that had a worker-managed structure that integrated volunteers. Betzenheimer said, “The most tragic part is that the Twin Cities will be losing one of the few touchstones with the co-op movement of the 70’s; some of that focus on worker self-management and some of that direct community participation.”
In this segment, KFAI intern Jon Collins looks at the changing face of the Cedar-Riverside community in Minneapolis.