Aldi in north Minneapolis to close, leaving fewer grocery options for neighborhood residents

In just about any thriving community, a grocery store is an essential element.

But soon there will be one less option for fresh food in North Minneapolis.

"I feel really bad about it because when it opened, I was so excited. It's a big deal because it's a discount store for one and it's across the street number two, so I'm able to get to it. It's real easy for me," said Jodi Clausen, who lives across the street and uses a wheelchair to get to the store three times a week.

A spokesperson for Aldi says its store near Lowry and Penn avenue will close for good on Sunday because its lease is up, and they can't renovate the store to accommodate its larger product range.

The closure will leave just a couple of traditional grocery stores to serve the roughly 70,000 people who live in North Minneapolis.

"I shop here every day. This is the only grocery store in my neighborhood that I can get to by foot so it's going to be pretty tough," said customer Maurice Jones.

"It's the closest thing. Fresh food. A variety of stuff. It's on the bus line. Other than that, Walmart. You gotta go outside of the area. You are not guaranteed to get what you want because stuff goes quick," said customer Curtis Mayfield.

Pillsbury United Communities opened North Market in North Minneapolis five years ago to combat what they say was one of the largest food deserts in the country.

They say public, private, and nonprofit entities need to work together and be creative to overcome underinvestment on the Northside. 

"Simply said the closure means that there's less options for healthy food in the area. You know, some of our community members will have to travel further to get their groceries and the issue is, you know, we have a pretty significant population that do not have easy access to transportation," said Vanan Murugesan, Head of Transformation for Pillsbury United Communities.

Customers we talked to say they'll be sad to say goodbye to such a vital part of their community.

"We're going to miss Aldi. It's a neighborhood institution and staple. I wish they would change their mind and stick around," said Jones.