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'Hateful' bomb threat called in to Seward Friendship Co-Op in south Minneapolis

Police searched the co-op grocery on Saturday night and found no explosives.

Police searched the co-op grocery on Saturday night and found no explosives. Google Earth

The Seward Community Co-Op Friendship Store in south Minneapolis was targeted with a bomb threat over the weekend, with the man behind it apparently upset at the store's racially inclusive philosophy.

The co-op revealed the threat in a message to its customers and co-owners on Tuesday morning. Minneapolis Police confirm the incident occurred, and as of Tuesday evening, no arrests have been made or suspects named.

According to a police report, the threatening call came in to the store on Saturday night. Employees cleared and closed the store, and police searched the premises when they arrived. No explosives were found; the store remained closed the rest of the night.

In his statement to Facebook followers, Sean Doyle -- general manager of the three-location Seward Co-Op chain -- said the caller "made hateful statements to staff members regarding our diverse and inclusive community." 

When the Friendship Store opened in late 2015, some in the neighborhood -- which contains a mix of black, Latino, and East African residents -- worried the co-op was the a sign of a wave of gentrification to come. In response, the store worked with community activists to craft policies that would result in a more diverse staff and customer clientele at the co-op.

Doyle thanked staff for the presence of mind to quickly get everyone out, and shut the Friendship Store's doors, and thanked customers for their understanding. Doyle said the co-op will "treat all threats as credible and will respond appropriately," and said employee and customer safety "must come first."

Wrote Doyle: "We are stronger than one ugly voice. We condemn all hate crimes and encourage our community to support organizations that stand up to individuals who commit hate crimes."

The incident has been turned over to the Minneapolis Police Department's bomb unit investigators, and was described Tuesday as an "open/active" investigation.