In 1972, the Seward Community Co-op opened a small bulk goods store in the current Welna Hardware location at 22nd and Franklin Avenue. Since then, the Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli has been a mainstay of the local and sustainable food movement in the Twin Cities. In 2009, Seward Co-op rolled out the red carpet for a community-wide celebration when they moved into their new location on 28th and Franklin Avenue, and they’re doing it again for their 40th anniversary this weekend.
On Saturday, August 4, from noon to 8 p.m., Seward Co-op will be celebrating 40 years as a community cooperative at the East River Flats park. The free event will feature music by bands like the Brass Messengers and Willie Murphy, as well as kids’ activities. Buy a beer from Flat Earth while you peruse the full menu featuring Twin Cities all-stars like Chowgirls’ vegan sloppy joes, those luring mini-donuts from Chef Shack, Seward Co-op sausages, grilled corn with chipotle and queso Cotija from Barrio Taco Truck, and ice cream from Izzy’s.
“This is a celebration of Seward Co-op being in the Seward neighborhood,” said Tom Vogel, marketing and member services manager for Seward Co-op. “The co-op business model is based on community and members, and this is a great big thank you for the support.”
As a member-owned, member-governed business, Seward Co-op operates for the benefit of its members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community. According to Vogel, Seward’s membership has just about doubled in the past three years, from 4,700 to 9,500, and the co-op’s sales topped out at $27 million this past fiscal year—which is a 64% increase over its 2009 sales.
“We’ve done a lot in the past few years, and we’ve grown tremendously, just about doubling our membership,” said Vogel. “We felt that it was a good time to celebrate.”
East River Flats
360 East River Road, Mpls.