Minne's D ‘pay it forward’ hopes to feed customers, community

From left, Cordell Richardson and Deandra Scot of Minne's D. (Nick Longworth / FOX 9)

A new restaurant in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis is the passion project of a hardworking duo that they hope will positively impact their community through a "pay it forward" program that allows some people to eat for free.

Minne Veli D’s, located at 1825 Glenwood Ave., specializes in sliders and sides such as onion rings and fries.

But the modest storefront now operated by Cordell Richardson and Deandra Scott has an ambitious goal behind it: to help feed as many people through the goodwill of the surrounding community as possible.

On a wall by the kitchen, a "pay it forward" board allows current customers to purchase a meal – or anything of their choosing off the menu – and leave it for the next person. No matter how big or small, someone else can then get a meal from what’s available on the board, no questions asked.

"No matter who you are, you are have to eat. Your race don’t matter, your financial status don’t matter. None of that matters," Richardson said.

An employee brought the idea to him, Richardson says, but a lot of the inspiration dates back to his mother’s kitchen growing up.

"My mom always cooked a lot of food. My mom was the type of person that wouldn’t let anybody go hungry. You could go there right now, and there’s going to be food," he said. "For me, it’s the satisfaction of serving people, and serving really good food – that’s my drug of choice."

Richardson and Scott began business in 2021 as a food truck frequenting events.

"From Rosemount to Hastings – wherever people wanted us to be, we went to feed them," Richardson said. "We wanted to start and build the idea, and go from there."

A grand opening was held on May 4, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey in attendance.

Officially open and serving the public – paying or not – both Richardson and Scott believe they’ve found the perfect spot to open their first location, and maybe help some people in the process.