Good Grocer opens cafe

Although a highway project will soon force it to relocate, Good Grocer is moving ahead on plans to open a cafe in its Lake Street store. Photo by Sheila Regan

As construction for the new Interstate 35W ramp on Lake Street looms in the distance, The Good Grocer, whose building will be the only one torn down as part of the project, still hasn’t found a new home. But that’s not stopping them from continuing with their plan to open a new cafe in the store, which will open sometime in February.

Founder Kurt Vickman says the organization, which sells low-cost healthy foods and is partially supported by donations, is working with Hennepin County to find a new home. Moving locations will have an effect on the people the Good Grocer serves, as many walk or take public transportation to get to the store, Vickman said.

He said there’s a tremendous need for low-cost healthy groceries in the area they are currently located.

“People struggle to afford healthy food,” he said.

While they wait to figure out what comes next, the Good Grocer continues to improve their services.

Right now they have 3,500 different everyday healthy essentials for families, Vickman said. They also launched grocery store delivery through Instacart a month ago, and they are partnering with Whittier Clinic to offer a discount punch card for the clinic’s clients.

Through donations, they’ve also raised money to open a cafe, which will serve free coffee.

“We want it to be a place where the community can gather,” Vickman said.

The cafe will have free wifi, as well as a breakfast bar.

“It’ll be a spot where they can be known and connect to folks, and we can connect to the neighborhood,” he said.

He said the store, located at 122 E. Lake St., aims for opening the cafe on Feb. 17, though that might change, depending on when their move date is.

“We don’t want to put our vision on hold to grow the store,” he said.