Last summer, Hampden Park Co-op put out a call to action to its members to increase sales at the Raymond Avenue food cooperative. General manager Greg Junge says that call appears to have been heeded.
The ground has been broken.
The Seward Café, which turns 40 years old some time this year, is a study in contradictions. Although it’s known for its longevity, laying claim to being both the oldest collectively-managed business in the Twin Cities and the oldest collectively-managed restaurant/-café in the U.S., its actual collectives seem to turn over completely about every seven years. Although the café has never been totally vegetarian (the principle is even enshrined in its charter), it has always remained a favorite among vegans and vegetarians. This is probably due to its great range of vegan baked goods and its adherence to an ethos of care with its veg customers by assuring careful separation in the kitchen and full disclosure of ingredients. And further, although it looks small and scruffy and like anything but a gourmet haven, some of its food items are nearly legendary in their greatness. And its amazing survival attests to its success with the public.
Cooperative business leaders and community development activists will study the almost invisible but 230-year history of African American experiences with co-ops, including credit unions and mutual insurances, at a series of major events this month in the Twin Cities.
At a creative farm south of St. Paul near the town of Coates, two things about fruit, vegetable and horticultural growing are immediately clear. You cannot plant and raise perennial crops when renting land on a year-to-year lease. You cannot even think about having an orchard unless you own the land.
Minnesota is home to a large Hmong community of which many farm. One complication is that many do not have access to land that is affordable and near their homes. One group has committed to making a difference. The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) was awarded a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant which will allow the nonprofit organization to explore organizing a land cooperative.
I don’t consider myself much of a political or activist person. I’m used to listening more than speaking. I write about what other people are doing to make the world a better place rather than taking initiatives on my own. So lately I’ve found myself in a strange, unfamiliar place taking on a cause. It has to do with my local co-op and their decision to continue to carry Eden Foods, the Hobby Lobby of Soy products. After the Hobby Lobby Supreme court victory, allowing them to be exempted from providing health care for four types of birth control, Eden Foods revived their own case, which would allow them to be exempted from covering any type of birth control whatsoever.
On May 25th, 1934, Minnesota’s charismatic Farmer-Labor governor, Floyd Olson delivered a fiery speech to the delegates assembled at the Farmer-Labor Party’s state convention in St. Paul. Olson had reason to be fiery. After signs of recovery in 1933, the cold grip of the Depression tightened once again. Olson concluded his speech with fighting words that delighted his audience. “I am what I want to be… I am a radical.” Continue Reading
If you could provide more customer parking and keep delivery trucks off the streets, wouldn’t it be worth a few hundred thousand more dollars (of a $2 million increase) in funding an expansion? With plans to buy the former Love Lines site to the south of its store, that’s what the Eastside Food Cooperative (EFC) plans to ask members at a meeting April 17.