Good Grocer Seeks Volunteers for New Store and Food Outlet
Good Grocer, a volunteer-powered, full-service Minneapolis grocery store, is set to reopen Jan. 22 in a mixed-use development at 27th and Nicollet—a stretch best known as Eat Street. The opening comes two years after the market was forced to close its Lake Street location due to the I-35W expansion project.
The setback allowed Good Grocer founder and CEO Kurt Vickman to reimagine his unique concept: a for-profit business that keeps prices down by relying on volunteer staff.
“Because volunteers drastically reduce our operational costs, we’re able to pass those incredible savings on—not only to volunteers but to all shoppers who walk through the doors,” Vickman said. “This model of being a volunteer-powered grocery store really allows us to provide fresh, natural food at affordable prices.”
Profits from the store will fund a new concept within the space called Food Outlet, which will offer high quality goods at up to 50 percent off for pre-qualified shoppers who face food shortages. It comes at a time when food insecurity nationwide is skyrocketing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Good Grocer is partnering with local nonprofits and social workers to create a referral system.
“Good Grocer solves a need at a perfect time where people are feeling the pinch of a tightened budget and ever-rising food prices,” Vickman said. “It’s not just for the person that’s got a deep need; it’s for the person who’s just been laid off or the person who’s struggling to afford enough quality food. I don’t think the timing for Good Grocer’s opening could be any better.”
At 8,500-square-feet, the new grocery store located under the Good Dwelling apartments at 2650 Nicollet Ave. is more than twice the size of its original location. It will feature an expanded selection of organic produce, fresh cheese, meat, and seafood along with conventional groceries—more than 10,000 products in all, with a focus on natural goods. Curbside pickup and delivery will be available.
The Good Eatery, a full-service coffee shop that transforms into a made-to-order café in the afternoon and evening, is scheduled to open in April.
Good Grocer had initially planned a December opening but pushed it back to recruit another 300 needed volunteers. Vickman’s goal is to have a team of 600 volunteers by opening day. Volunteers receive a 20 percent store discount. Duties range from cashiering/bagging to kitchen prep to curbside pickup and delivery. Minimum commitment is 2.5 hours every 4 weeks. Sign up online.