By Jill Holter, Wedge Community Co-Ops
After six years of operating our retail business with two distinct brand names – the Wedge and Linden Hills Co-ops– we have unified our brand name as one. We reintroduce ourselves as Wedge Community Co-ops.
We recognize the importance of Linden Hills in our name. Even with a different name on the front door, long-time owners said it will always be the “co-op in Linden Hills to them.” To keep the neighborhood connections, the signs on the front of the store will reflect those values and will read Wedge – Linden Hills and Wedge – Lyndale.
In developing a unified brand for both stores, we wanted to celebrate our long heritage and built-up trust from the community and recognize the importance of our neighborhoods and the vital role our co-ops play in the community. We would be nothing without our more than 20,000 owners who have chosen to invest in and support our work as a leading retail co-op grocery store. These are friends, neighbors, coworkers, farmers, and food makers.
While our logo and the name on the front of the Linden Hills store may look different, the fundamental reasons why you shop at the co-op are unchanged. We are still 100% committed to building community by developing a strong local food system – through support of local farms and producers, prioritizing organic and sustainably produced items, and investment in our neighborhoods. Thanks to your feedback, we are increasing our investment in neighborhood events as people are looking to re-engage with their community after the pandemic.
Wedge Community Co-Ops are the same co-ops that first brought brands like Union Hmong Kitchen, Baba’s Hummus, and Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop to retail co-op shelves. We will always champion small organic family farms, new and exciting food brands, and a wide variety of non-profit partners we support through our work. These are important parts of what it means to be a cooperative business, and what sets us apart from other retailers. We love knowing our farmers and producers, seeing them in our stores, and seeing (and tasting) all the delicious things they make and grow. It’s probably the best part of our days!
Over the next few months we will be rolling out the new brand logo at each store. We are confident it will add to greater similarity for our customers, vendor partners, and the community. The result puts our co-ops into a strong position as a continued leader in the national food co-op movement for the foreseeable future.
To close, I'd like to share a story from a longtime member and board president Sarita Parikh. The impact co-ops make on people is really something to celebrate.
“Back in 2002, as a brand-new Minneapolis resident, new to the Linden Hills neighborhood and a transplant from San Francisco, I worried where I’d find the delicious, fresh, and local food I’d enjoyed in California. The years I’d spent out west introduced me to the joys of small farm-raised heritage tomatoes and berries. I relished the wedges of cheese made close by and fresh bread delivered when it was still warm. I feared going back to the bland, mass-produced food of my youth.
When I shared my worry, everyone I knew from Minnesota gave me the same guidance: “You have to try the co-op.” When I tried the Linden Hills Co-Op, I found a place that had incredible (and beautiful) produce alongside vast assortments of local cheeses, meats, and baked goods. Every trip to the co-op was a delight. 'Look how fluffy this cilantro is! This housemade sausage is calling my name! Don’t even get me started on the key lime pie!' I’d found a place to feed my body in a delicious, healthy, and sustainable way.
What I didn’t realize was that the Linden Hills Co-Op would not just nourish my body, but it would also nourish my soul. I got to know the employees. I’d run into neighbors and people I volunteered with. When pregnant with each of my children, part of my “nesting” instinct included a daily stop into the co-op. Linden Hills Co-Op wasn’t just my neighborhood store, it was part of my community.
Then, a couple of years after moving to Minneapolis, I had my first Wedge Co-Op experience. Holy smokes! The Wedge was happening. It had the same incredible selection of food, but the vibe felt like . . . the neighborhood! Immediately, I recognized I was among people who shared a love of food and a love of the place we lived. Shopping at both stores gives a real sense of community and camaraderie.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Come visit us for your first time, or your 101st time. Say hello, introduce yourself, and we’ll all be glad to show you our favorites at Wedge Community Co-ops.