The New Linden Hills Co-op Opens its Doors

I'd like to get something out of the way right from the start: I'm a member at Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis (and they are Simple, Good, and Tasty partners). For the past couple of years, I've watched as other area co-ops have redesigned, refurbished, and rebuilt their own spaces beautifully, offering their customers more products, more selection, and more space to shop. I've been both jealous and -- at times, yes -- unfaithful to my own co-op. I've talked about the "quaintness" of Linden Hills Co-op's old space, telling my friends I prefer its cramped neighborhoody-ness to other co-ops' vast open aisles.

I was lying.

 Signs welcoming guests to the new co-opSigns welcoming guests to the new co-opThe new Linden Hills Co-op, located at 3815 Sunnyside in Minneapolis, near the intersection of West 44th Street and France Avenue South (less than a mile from the Co-op’s old location), is gorgeous. And at 17,500 square feet built to LEED standards for existing buildings, the new location is a full 50 percent bigger than the old space.

Which I love.

The new space allows Linden Hills Co-op to bring in lots of new foods and vendors, including fish from Coastal Seafoods, organic beef from Rebel Ridge Family Farm, bakery items from Truffles and Tortes, and candies and chocolates from Groveland Confections. The meat, seafood, bulk, and bakery sections of the store have been expanded considerably, and the newly expanded deli includes a hot bar and house-made soups.

The new space also includes a community space/classroom located right near the entrance (in the old location, the classrooms were in the basement, and not-so-pretty), and combines the Co-op and Linden Hills Natural Home, which had been across the street at the 43rd street location, under one roof.

According to Allie Mentzer, Linden Hills Co-op's Marketing & Member Services Manager, "the old space was small and people were focused on getting in and out. The new space will foster community -- having more room will help."

Allie Mentzer, Linden Hills Co-op Marketing & Member Services ManagerAllie Mentzer, Linden Hills Co-op Marketing & Member Services ManagerGorski Design, the designers of the new space, obviously took LEED compliance seriously, incorporating all sorts of nice touches and innovations. For example:

  • There's lots of LED and natural light (even in the basement, through the use of solar tubing).
  • Signs are made from reclaimed wood (from Minneapolis-based Wood from the Hood).
  • A white roof has replaced the old one, made of dark tar.
  • There's a garden featuring native plants, where a sidewalk once was.
  • The bike racks in front of the store can hold 36 bikes.
  • Even the freezer lights are on motion sensors, so they'll turn off when there's nobody around.

Walking through the store before opening made me feel a little bit giddy. I know the first few visits will take a little bit longer than usual as I make my way around the aisles searching for products whose locations I used to have memorized. I know that my kids will find new places to roam, and that they'll be taking full advantage of the new, wide aisles. I know that more isn't always better, and that change is hard.

But boy am I excited.

Linden Hills Co-op's official Grand Opening celebration will be held on Saturday, October 23.


Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter.