Let’s be clear on one thing, the true working poor, the unemployed poor, poor people, do not shop at our local co-op grocery stores.
Seward Co-op can go on and on about their mission to bring healthy food to the inner city, but if you really want to help poor people in South Minneapolis get affordable fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, salsa, seafood, chicken etc., give them a ride to Cub Foods on Lake Street because that is where poor people in South Minneapolis shop.
Seward Co-op is on steroids, just slow down! I remember shopping at Seward in 1992. It was in the little storefront that is now Welna Hardware, on East Franklin. Cute little store.
Now the co-op has hired professional smooth talkers to sell their latest expansion to the public. It’s a bit sad and very concerning. A lot of talk about equality, very little talk of reality.
The Seward and Wedge Co-ops provide a wonderful service to our community, bringing healthy food options, but not for poor people, they are just too expensive! At co-op stores you cannot buy a box of cereal for less than five bucks, four bucks is the price of their cheapest jar of salsa. The co-ops are crazy expensive compared to Cub Foods.
That is the reality. Poor people will not shop at the new Seward Co-op on 38th Street near 35W. Organic, non-organic, it does not matter when you’re poor. Price is what drives the bus.
A new food co-op store will not benefit poor inner-city residents in any way. This new store will though, have a gentrification effect on the area. This is another reality of hipster food co-op stores.
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.