Mural celebrates North Minneapolis grocery store's 5th anniversary

It's been nearly five years since a full-service grocery store opened its doors in north Minneapolis but, in that time, the North Market has become a go-to destination for many residents in the community. 

A new mural has gone up to commemorate the milestone, as neighborhood leaders look to the future.

In north Minneapolis' Camden neighborhood, North Market is one of only a few full-service grocery stores on the northside. 

"Every time a shopper comes and supports this store, when they buy something from the store… they’re directly supporting the community," says Vanan Murugesan with Pillsbury United Communities, the non-profit that owns and operates North Market. He says, "We continue to find different ways to serve the community."

It's been an extraordinarily tough few years for the market, as it's had to endure the pandemic and aftermath of George Floyd's killing.

"When we opened, we knew it was hard. Grocery is a tough business to operate under, but the fact that we have been able to survive for five years during the pandemic is a big testament. North Market is marking the milestone with a mural. How the mural came about with community input was very much similar to how the store came life," says Murugesan.

Melodee Strong is the artist behind the mural. 

"It means a lot to me especially because I live here. I actually shop here too. So just to be a part of anything that contributes to beautifying or connecting the neighborhood is always important to me," says Strong.

Her work here began a few days ago in a neighborhood in the midst of revitalization.  The theme she says is food justice prosperity and community. 

"I think with COVID-19 and everything that we’ve been through the last couple of years and I think just celebrating community and that we’ve been here for five years, we’ve been here for you and I think that’s a great way to commemorate it," she said. 

The mural is just the start of the celebration. A fifth-anniversary event is planned for later this year. Organizers say to help make healthy food more accessible there are also ongoing discount days at North Market that include 50% off fresh produce every Wednesday.