MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - It was an oasis in a food desert in south Minneapolis that was forced to find a new home. After three years, the Good Grocer is ready to reopen its doors and renew its mission.
With just a couple of days to go until the Good Grocer's grand reopening, founder Kurt Vickman is helping put the finishing touches on Eat Street's newest neighbor.
"I feel relieved," said Vickman. "It's been a long journey to get here. A little nervous about it, but excited."
FOX 9 first reported on the volunteer-powered grocery store three years ago, when it was forced to move from its original location on Lake Street because of the I-35W reconstruction project. Since then, it has built a new home five blocks away at W 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue, where it will still be within walking distance for many of its customers who don't have cars.
"This pocket of Eat Street is void of a full-service grocery store," said Vickman. "We feel this is the perfect location for what we are trying to do to. Provide this community this neighborhood with high quality groceries at a low price."
New additions to the store include a produce department twice the size of the old one and a grab-and-go counter along with a food outlet, where qualified customers facing food insecurity can buy staples for up to 50 percent off.
The store however still needs 300 volunteers, who get 20 percent off their groceries for 2.5 hours a month, to do everything from stock the shelves to work the cash register.
"This model allows people to come in contribute their time and save a ton of money on their groceries in a way that's not just a handout, it’s a hand-up," said Vickman.
The Good Grocer is on the first floor of a new 80-unit apartment building called the Good Dwelling, where the profits subsidize the lower prices at the store in the hopes of making sure everyone in the surrounding neighborhood can feed their appetite for healthier foods.
"My hope and dream for this store is that this will be a force for good in people's lives and allow them to eat more quality natural foods and affordable prices," said Vickman.
The Good Grocer is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 22. If you'd like to volunteer, or qualify for the food outlet, click here for more information.