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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Performer Mayyadda singing at the University of Minnesota Juneteenth Celebration “We Are The Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors” captured on Saturday, June 15.
Best photos of June '24
Published June 23, 2024

Missing North Country Co-Op

We must frequent locally owned businesses or lose them.

It has been over four months since Cedar-Riverside’s North Country Co-op closed its doors because of a lengthy decline in sales. And as the brightly painted windows continue to stay so, flaunting fresh foods like sushi and salads, we are reminded of the co-op’s longtime service to the University community.

The close of the co-op on Nov. 4 seemed to parallel the temporary closure of Hard Times Café and the collapse of the wall and remodeling at the 400 Bar – two businesses that shared Riverside Avenue near Cedar with the co-op. While Hard Times has reopened and the 400 Bar has bandaged its wound with stainless steel siding, the co-op stands vacant.

The myriad of Arts Quarter students and faculty who used to walk across Riverside to grab lunch at the co-op regularly are those who surely continue to miss it. They have had to try to replace their daily soup and bread or homemade pizza slices from the co-op with expensive convenience food from University Dining Services convenience markets or Jimmy John’s Sandwiches.

UDS appears to have tried to capitalize on the grocery store’s closing, adding organic sandwiches and salads to their selection to appeal to the co-op’s health-conscious customers. Yet, these items are significantly overpriced ($6 for a sandwich; $1 for a single piece of fruit.) UDS has also remodeled their market location in Blegen Hall, adding a concessions-like line that sells hot dogs and pretzels. The rest of the expansion has been filled with overpriced convenience foods.

The close of the co-op has definitely left a void in the stomachs of many West Bank frequenters, and although UDS seems to recognize it, it continues to unsuccessfully appeal to it.

We hope that as North Country stands empty, it represents the need for support at all other locally owned businesses. Frequent them, or lose them.

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