In November 1974, a determined group of neighbors opened Wedge Community Foods after months of meeting and planning. The first store was in a basement apartment on Franklin Avenue. It sold unrefined bulk foods, fresh produce and limited dairy products, frozen vegetables and fish.
Many members were interested in health, the environment, sustainable agriculture and social justice; the cooperative business model ensured that the fledgling store would reflect the membership commitment to these concerns as it grew.
Those concerns remain integral to the Wedge Co-op today.
In the early days, members worked in the store in exchange for a discount on purchases while a small paid staff coordinated their efforts. Sales rapidly outgrew capacity at the Franklin location. In 1979 the co-op moved to a small convenience store on Lyndale Avenue. Management and membership structures evolved as interest in natural and organic food grew beyond all expectations in the 80s and 90s.
A growing membership and product line needed more room, so in 1992 the Wedge built a new store next to the old site. Store space was doubled and a teaching kitchen added in 1997. A bakery was built on the south side of the store in 2001.
In 2005, the co-op tripled the size of its produce wholesale department, Co-op Partners Warehouse, to better serve local producers and to make their products available throughout the region. This move deepened relationships with local farmers and producers, and reflects the concerns of our membership for a vibrant local food economy.
In 2007, the co-op leased Gardens of Eagan, one of the oldest local Certified Organic produce farms in the Twin City area. The co-op has the option to purchase the farm after five years, and has been running the operation since summer 2008.
As the membership changes, so does the co-op. Member needs determine the kinds of products we carry and the direction our business will take.
We remain rooted in our founding values while addressing emerging developments such as fair trade, local purchasing and a variety of sustainability questions.