Best Natural Foods Grocery
Eastside Food Co-op
The Eastside Food Co-op doesn't have a juice bar like the Wedge, or a sprawling prepared foods section like the Seward Co-op. But in its 11 years in northeast Minneapolis, this little co-op that could has grown into a well-stocked neighborhood resource, packing a deceptively large selection into its small space and bringing natural foods to a neighborhood previously lacking. Eastside's aisles look like those of other prime natural foods groceries in town: leafy greens, fresh almond butter, fish from Coastal Seafood, meat and cheese from a roster of familiar local farmers. There's a deli with hot meals, soups, and a salad bar, and at checkout, members will find the same deals offered by other Twin Cities food co-ops. The store also sponsors community events like movie nights and seed swaps. But perhaps most remarkable for a place that started as a group of neighbors' unlikely pipe dream, the Eastside Food Co-op is sparking growth in its neighborhood. In 2011, some of Eastside's members formed the NorthEast Investment Cooperative, and now they've purchased a building up the street from the co-op and are bringing in a bike shop, a bakery, and a co-op brewery. At the same time, Eastside's also growing: This summer, the store plans to expand into all 12,000 square feet of space in its building.