Grocery store hopes to eliminate food desert in south Minneapolis

Good Grocer started as a church food shelf three years ago has morphed into what looks like an upscale supermarket. The only difference is there are two prices on each price tag; one for walk in customers and one for the volunteers who work at the store a couple of hours a month in exchange for a 25 percent discount.

“The affordability comes in because we have 350 volunteers we don't have to hire a bunch of people and raise prices so high. So we can actually cut our labor costs through volunteering and therefore offer food at less expensive prices,” Kurt Vickman, the founder of Good Grocer, said. 

Good Grocer is located at 122 E Lake Street in Minneapolis. The goal is to bring fresh produce, organic foods and other healthy options to people who ordinarily would not be able to find or afford them.

In other words, Good Grocer hopes to become an oasis in one of south Minneapolis' food deserts.

“Often in certain parts of town people feel like they walk in and it’s not as clean or nice,” Vickman said. “We wanted to make sure this place has just as good a quality as a Kowalski’s or a Lunds [& Byerlys].”

On the back wall there's a number one to remind everyone this is the first of what Vickman hopes will be many stores around the metro. But when it comes to helping the community, Good Grocer already seems to have it in the bag.

“It’s a good deal, volunteering and getting the discount,” Vickman said. “[It] helps stretch the money you have to spend on your groceries.”