Biz buzz

50TH & XERXES

After seven years in business, The Baby Collection will close its doors this month.

The store, located at 5006 Xerxes Ave S., sold specialty baby gifts that could be personalized on site.

Although business has been up and down in the past few years, owner Kathy McLeod said she was closing up shop for personal reasons.

“It was the right decision. There’s a time for everything and I have other things in mind,” McLeod said. “I may be doing an online business with my daughter with the best things out of here.”

Currently everything in the store, except special orders, is 30 percent off, McLeod said. Tables are at 50 percent off and 75 percent off, she added.

McLeod said that in her years in business, the store’s main goal was to provide good service to her customers.

“That was a good thing,” she said.

43RD & BRYANT

Fabrizio Ciccone, owner of restaurant Aura in Calhoun Square, is starting another venture called Café Agri at 3400 Bryant Ave. S., in the former My-T-Fine Bakery & Cafe space.

The 28-seat restaurant will serve healthy, sustainable, organic food, Ciccone said. He has also applied for a beer and wine license, but said his selection would include only six sustainable wines and four organic beers. Alcohol would not be served without food orders, he said.

The restaurant’s menu includes entrees such as hazelnut asparagus and seared maple tofu, spicy yam hash, and gluten-free ravioli with Portobello.

Ciccone said his mission with Café Agri is to “make us feel active in the change for a better world and provide a service to the community, giving it great tasting healthy food.”

Ciccone said he is also working on leasing a solar panel for the restaurant’s roof to make it more energy efficient.

He has met with the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA) about his plans and is working with the group to set up a date for a public hearing about the wine and beer license. The meeting was tentatively planned for early June, but Ciccone hoped to be open and serving food before then.

Hours for Café Agri will be 4 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Friday and 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Ciccone said he would eventually like to serve breakfast and lunch daily.

EAST HARRIET, CARAG, LYNNHURST AND KINGFIELD

The Minneapolis City Council recently approved awarding the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (NEHBA) a $50,000 grant as part of the Great Streets Business Façade Improvement Program.

NEHBA was among 13 applicants citywide chosen to administer the program, which will provide matching grant money to city-designated commercial nodes for façade improvements. NEHBA will administer funds for the following nodes: 36th Street & Bryant Avenue, 46th Street & Bryant Avenue, 38th Street & Nicollet Avenue, 43rd Street & Nicollet Avenue, and 46th Street & Nicollet Avenue.

NEHBA partnered with the Minneapolis Police Department and numerous neighborhood and cultural organizations that will participate in the program.

Matt Perry, president of NEHBA, said the coalition of participants is unprecedented.

“The fabric of what makes people want to live and work in this city is the close proximity and interdependence between businesses, residents and many other stakeholders,” Perry said in a prepared statement. “The relationships between the organizations representing those respective groups should reflect that same interplay. This is a fantastic opportunity to show how it can be done.”

The two-year façade improvement program will begin this summer.

46TH & NICOLLET

The Snyder Drug Store at 4626 Nicollet Ave. S. will move early next month to a smaller space on the north end of the mall it has been in for decades.

The existing store, open since the mid 1970s, is larger than most other Snyder Drug Stores and had to be overfilled for years, said store manager Jason Hardy.

To fit in the new space, the store will have to significantly reduce its inventory, Hardy said. Some items will no longer be carried, he said, but he couldn’t get specific.

The new store will be open as soon as the existing one closes, Hardy said. The store’s phone number will stay the same: 823-2000.