Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

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LakeCharles
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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby LakeCharles » November 3rd, 2014, 9:44 am

You started by saying only the "landed gentry" can afford food there, which isn't true and you know it. I'm not 100% certain why you dislike co-ops so much. This is a food desert, and they were the only ones willing to open a store. There isn't another "cheaper" grocery store within 2 miles of this location. So you can complain all you want about what kind of produce some of us buy, but I don't understand why "Drive to the Uptown Rainbow" needs to be the only way any of us in the neighborhood are allowed to buy food.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby mattaudio » November 3rd, 2014, 10:09 am

Just a reminder, we do have a Grocery Stores thread for things about co-ops in general, or food deserts, or whatever. https://forum.streets.mn/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2564&p=66846

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby Elliot Altbaum » November 3rd, 2014, 10:17 am

FISHMANPET wrote: Also you can get real food at any grocery store, unless you can only ear farm produce picked by menstruating laborers or something.
Your disdain for coops and their procurement choices raises a important point that hasn't been brought up yet. Food coops in Minneapolis, and most of them around the US, are consumer coops. Their specific intent is to allow the self defined community to operationalize their politics in purchases. The politics that started many of the coops was a politics of rebellion against the industrialized food system. They created the original organics movement. However, there is nothing inherent in food cooperatives that necessitates organic food. They simply need to embody the politics of the community.

As Lake Charles says there are many in that neighborhood who value the ability to buy food from a store in their neighborhood instead of "Drive to the Uptown Rainbow". This coop can be about a community exercising its collective desire to create a grocery store in a neighborhood that has been under served. the fact that this is a second location of an existing coop makes this local possibility more complicated. It will be interesting to see what gets stocked.

It is also why the community benefits agreement has come up. I think the best way for the seward coop to address the concerns of the CBA is to provide logistic and organizational assistance in creating housing cooperatives in the neighborhood.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby exiled_antipodean » November 4th, 2014, 12:17 pm

This is a fascinating story, testament to the enduring power of perceptions of race and class in American life. I think the co-op has been caught a little surprised by the community opposition.

But in any case, as a Seward member and regular shopper there it's been interesting to observe what seems like a growing proportion of the local Somali community in the staff and customers at the Franklin Ave location.

As for prices, packaged food is expensive and organic packaged food is even more expensive. I suspect the mix at the new store will be towards bulk ingredients and slightly less prepared food.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 4th, 2014, 12:34 pm

The outcome of the coop wars is that coops are places to buy organic product and the like, not "normal" products at a lower price. And that effect, I believe, the entire co-op supply chain has been geared towards the organic outcome, not the low cost outcome. A coop could come in and forklift a low cost infrastructure, but it would be very difficult at this point. And Seward, being an expansion of an organic coop, is very unlikely to want to change their model for this location.

I think it's disingenuous to say that a Twin Cities Coop is a good way to bring affordable food to an undeserved area, when that's very explicitly NOT their core mission. Yes there is value to having a local grocery store. But, especially if people already have cars, it may still be cheaper for them to drive to a nearby grocery store than to spend more money at the local store. And so nobody should be surprised that people that aren't privileged enough to be able to spend extra money on "organic" produce are hoping for something a little bit affordable, and are smart enough to see that a coop ain't it.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby alleycat » November 4th, 2014, 12:51 pm

I understand where Fishmanpet is coming from, but you're somewhat removed from reality. If you shop the bulk section and produce you will get affordable groceries that happen to be organic. If you eat a meat and processed food heavy diet it won't be so cheap.

Seward has a very generous 10% needs based discount on top of accepting WIC and EBT. Additionally they mark the cheapest item of every item they stock. It is very easy to shop here on a budget and I don't expect that to change with the new store. This is coming from somebody who has shopped here on a tight budget and is a member. I shopped Cub and Rainbow before switching. I am not spending more on my grocery bill.

From an urbanism lens co-ops and other small grocers better fit into a less car dependent way of life. Cub Foods on the other hand lend themselves to urban monstrosities like the Cub and soon to be closed Rainbow at Lake and Hiawatha. Urbanism is not just about population density. It is about the varied businesses that develop around good urban form. If you're going to taught the benefits of urban living maybe you should look deeper at decisions you make as a consumer that make for a healthier, more vibrant urban realm.
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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby mattaudio » November 4th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Even though I think cooking meals from co-op procured bulk food and produce is cheaper than fishmanpet implies, it's obviously still more than an Aldi or something. But putting that issue aside, why exactly is it the job of the Seward Coop to fix the problems of food accessibility and food affordability in the Bryant/Central/Powderhorn neighborhoods? Sure, maybe an Aldi or a Cub would serve more people, but it's not like a coop is going to make things worse. And it's investment in the neighborhood.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby LakeCharles » November 4th, 2014, 1:05 pm

Agreed alleycat, it can be cheap. But even if it isn't, it is still a new grocery store going in to an area that no one else is willing to open one. In fact, the nearest one (Supervalu at Lake/Nicollet) just closed. So I understand that Fishmanpet wants only the cheapest ingredients available to the people in this area, but since no one else is opening a store here, and the Uptown Rainbow will still be an option for anyone willing to trek there, what exactly is the problem with this store opening besides your aversion to organic produce?

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 4th, 2014, 1:20 pm

I don't want the perfect to be the enemy of the good, and something is better than nothing. I think my angst about coops is twofold, one that many people have the idea (not necessarily anyone here, I'm not going to try and put words into anyone's mouth) that coops are the solution to all our problems, when clearly they're not. I also think it leads to a bit of "green theater" where people feel like they're doing the right thing but not really.

I was pretty miffed when Seward Coop moved down the street, off a fairly frequent bus line and not awful distance from the Light Rail, to a place further down Franklin with less housing density, poor direct access to transit, but easy access to I94 (the last bit they even advertise on TV). I also don't like the number of Priuses (Prii? omg I googled it and it actually is Prii) I see in the parking lot, especially compared to the normal distribution of Prii in the world, since the Prius is essentially another form of Green Theater. I don't like that the Wedge Coop has a huge parking lot and numerous curb cuts, bring lots of traffic into an area that doesn't need it, especially when there are plenty of customers within walking distance.

Honestly coops just give me a bad vibe all around, like I'm less of a person for eating gluten and hamburger helper etc etc. Probably not the best way to get a community to welcome you by making them feel like they're being judged for how they live their life.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby mattaudio » November 4th, 2014, 1:23 pm

Hamburger helper? Dude, have you looked at the ingredients on one of those!??!? I know I am fitting your stereotype right now. But come on man it's your body!

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 4th, 2014, 1:28 pm

What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger etc etc.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby LakeCharles » November 4th, 2014, 1:34 pm

FISHMANPET wrote: I also think it leads to a bit of "green theater" where people feel like they're doing the right thing but not really.
What do you mean by this? You don't think organic ingredients are any healthier for people? You don't think antibiotics in meat pose any risk? And I know you oppose most local/free-range stuff, but sustainable seafood has proven it's merit as a cause.
FISHMANPET wrote:I was pretty miffed when Seward Coop moved down the street, off a fairly frequent bus line and not awful distance from the Light Rail, to a place further down Franklin with less housing density, poor direct access to transit, but easy access to I94 (the last bit they even advertise on TV).


I can agree with this, although the new store will be on two bus lines.
FISHMANPET wrote:I don't like that the Wedge Coop has a huge parking lot and numerous curb cuts, bring lots of traffic into an area that doesn't need it, especially when there are plenty of customers within walking distance.
I agree I don't like the Wedge parking/driving situation.
FISHMANPET wrote:Honestly coops just give me a bad vibe all around, like I'm less of a person for eating gluten and hamburger helper etc etc. Probably not the best way to get a community to welcome you by making them feel like they're being judged for how they live their life.
You're saying you don't like co-ops because you feel like people might be judging you, so then you go on a multi-paragraph rant judging people for where they buy groceries and what cars they drive? Hypocrite much?

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 4th, 2014, 2:14 pm

LakeCharles wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote: I also think it leads to a bit of "green theater" where people feel like they're doing the right thing but not really.
What do you mean by this? You don't think organic ingredients are any healthier for people? You don't think antibiotics in meat pose any risk? And I know you oppose most local/free-range stuff, but sustainable seafood has proven it's merit as a cause.
I have zero thoughts on the greenness of organic of antibiotic free foods. I do however think that raw distance from point of production isn't a useful metric to determine the environmental impact of your food choices. The Criticisms section of the Wikipedia article lays out my problems with the concept of food miles pretty well, but mainly it comes down to different modes and quanities of transport being vastly more efficient than others (it's takes the same amount of energy to move 5kg of meat on a truck full of meat 60,000 miles as it does one consumer 30-40 miles to pickup that meat), and also that the energy in producing a crop localy can outweigh the energy cost to transport it from a distant location (the example being given that it takes less energy to grow tomatoes in Spain and ship them to the UK than it does to grow them in the UK in greenhouses). I suspect we have a lot of that with our Northern climate and places like California.

But in general I think growing food closer rather than farther away is a good thing, as long as you don't lose all efficiency when transporting it (why I don't like Farmer's markets). A single warehouse picking up products form local farms and bringing them to a distribution point where they can then be shipped to multiple grocery stores and put within easy reach of consumers is a good thing, and if that somehow comes out to be drastically more expensive than something shipped halfway across the country or world, we should look to see if there's some regulation we're imposing to artificially raise the cost of local products, or some lack of regulation that lets a grower get away with something and artificially lower the cost of their products.

But really the point is that Green is hard, and there's no silver bullet. And much like driving a Prius (in addition to the total environmental cost being enormous) can make people drive more and result in a net rise in energy consumption (http://freakonomics.com/2012/02/14/the- ... conundrum/), I fear that people shop at a coop to ease their guilty conscious about the environment, causing a two fold problem. One, they're not being as green as they think they are. Two, since they think they're being green by shopping at a coop, they may not take any actions to green other parts of their life, or even worse be less green in other parts of their life since they make up for it by coop shopping.

And that's not to say that everybody that shops at a coop is like that, and certainly not that anybody posting here is like that, but I tend to see the worst in people (yes, it's an awful way to go through life) and so I think about these things a lot.

LakeCharles wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote:Honestly coops just give me a bad vibe all around, like I'm less of a person for eating gluten and hamburger helper etc etc. Probably not the best way to get a community to welcome you by making them feel like they're being judged for how they live their life.
You're saying you don't like co-ops because you feel like people might be judging you, so then you go on a multi-paragraph rant judging people for where they buy groceries and what cars they drive? Hypocrite much?
#notallcoopshoppers

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby twincitizen » November 4th, 2014, 2:29 pm

Can we get back to ripping apart this letter/author? It pisses me off even more now that I read the author's bio. It seems that a good portion of this "resistance", or whatever you want to call it, is completely manufactured.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby FISHMANPET » November 4th, 2014, 2:46 pm

It does seem to have a general tone of "keep our community shitty to prevent gentrification."

I mean, I guess an Aldi wouldn't gentrify anything, would it?

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby LakeCharles » November 4th, 2014, 2:56 pm

I guess I don't shop organic/antibiotic-free to be green but instead because I believe that it is healthier for me and my family. So we're talking about different things. Though I don't fully agree with your take on local/organic foods, I see what you are trying to say now. But I think you overestimate the percent of people who shop there to "be green" and underestimate the group that do it to be healthy for themselves. And, whether in my head or not, it tastes better.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby Realstreets » November 4th, 2014, 4:03 pm

In this instance I think the CBA is a solution looking for a problem. I support the use of CBAs but those worried about the direct effects the Coop store will have on the Bryant and Central neighborhoods need to simply visit the Seward store. I believe the coop has been a good neighbor to the Seward residents; giving to community organizations, accepting WIC, hiring locals. The gentrification concern, while certainly valid, can never be pinned solely on any one development but rather a multitude of factors.

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby kiliff75 » February 18th, 2015, 3:14 pm

Steel structure should be completed next week, opening still scheduled for...October. (thud)

http://seward.coop/posts/friendshipsite/732

Still exciting to see them making progress!

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby aeisenberg » April 8th, 2015, 1:28 pm

Image
Aaron Eisenberg / Realtor, Keller Williams Integrity
612.568.5828 / aaron@agentaaron.com / 1350 Lagoon Ave #900
http://www.agentaaron.com

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Re: Seward Co-op Friendship Store - (38th St & Clinton Ave)

Postby Realstreets » May 11th, 2015, 2:38 pm

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/seward-co- ... -benefits/

"...the idea of seeking to impose a CBA on Seward Co-op runs into some rather obvious problems. Seward is not private, not a developer, and not receiving any public money. The group calling for a CBA, which is called “At the Roots,” has no local government support, is not a coalition (has, as far as I can see, no organizational standing at all), and is not representative of the majority of the communities it claims to speak for. To make its case even more tenuous than it already is, it has made up for its lack of cohesive organization by engaging in bizarre “PR” tactics, such as producing a series of YouTube videos with repulsive, racially-charged libels against Seward Co-op staff members."

Who are these At the Roots people anyway?


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