LYNDALE REMODEL 2015+2016
This is the first of many project updates as our exciting remodel of the Lyndale store takes shape. We spent the month of July getting feedback from our owners, shoppers and staff. We heard from over 600 owner/shoppers through an online and in-store survey. The top three requests for improvement were;
We are confident in addressing the first two issues – we are working in a seating area and changing the customer flow inside the store to eliminate the bottlenecks. However parking remains a challenge. The architect team is exploring ideas to improve the flow of the parking lot and possibly add a few spots, but we are limited in the space we have to work with.
We asked how to best meet our customers' needs during the construction and the overwhelming response was communication. We will have weekly updates on our website, on social media, and in our bimonthly e-newsletter.
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During July we also solicited feedback from our staff. We had several brainstorming sessions that gave staff an opportunity to be engaged in the process as well as envision the Wedge's future. In early August we met with each department and documented their needs from all perspectives such as equipment, setup, flow, space, etc. These meetings proved to be tremendously helpful in the design process.
We are still in the schematic design phase, which means we are tweaking the floor plans every day. We are conducting a series of design meetings with our management and staff to continue to solicit feedback and suggestions. When we finalize the floor plan we will share it with our owners and shoppers – likely to be early October.
The project will be completed in phases and the store will remain open. The first phase will be some exterior work this fall. We are a few weeks away from knowing the details of what the exterior work will entail. There will be no construction during November and December, as we don't want to disrupt the holiday season. The interior construction will begin right after New Years and will be completed in 6-7 phases, with the goal of completion at the end of June. We will notify you well in advance and have signs prominently posted in the store announcing each phase and what area will be affected. We hope to lessen the pain as much as we can, and if you bear with us, we're certain you will love the result.
Please feel free to reach out to us via email to email@example.com with any questions, comments, or concerns.
We are counting down the days to the projected opening of the Wedge Table on January 26. So much has changed at the property over the past couple months as we get the business ready to open the doors.
All the commissary kitchen equipment was installed in November, and our deli and bakehouse teams moved into the new production space the last week of December. The amount of room they now have to work with is incredible, especially compared to the tiny Lyndale kitchens in which they've been accustomed to working.
December was a big month for our IT team at the Wedge Table. They put in a ton of long hours doing all the little behind the scenes things it takes to run a business. The big puzzles were figuring out how to get our systems to communicate between our two locations and creating more usable interfaces for catering and deli ordering. Phone lines, modems, register lanes and lots of other technical items were also installed, turned on, tested and given the green light of approval.
In early January, the cafe and market really started to come alive. With tiling and equipment installations completed, our Table staff could begin training on coffee and espresso drink creations with our partners at Kickapoo Roastery. Tastings also got into full swing to select our beer, wine and cocktail menu. We're really excited about what we're going to be able to offer our customers in terms of tasty, affordable, and local beverage options.
In the market area, shelving and refrigerated units have now been installed and product is starting to flow in. It won't be long before the market is fully stocked and ready to provide you with healthy grocery items, fresh eggs and dairy, and a small but stellar selection of fresh produce!
The Table on Nicollet will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. We'll be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a wide variety of grab and go options for days when you're busy and on the run. There will also be a community room available to rent and a new classroom for our Wedge Classes Programming. For more information please visit our Table page on the Wedge website,.
The Nicollet project is progressing nicely, and fortunately the nice fall weather has more than accommodated all the outdoor work. Our front patio is complete, and will be ready for outdoor seating next spring. The new steps are poured and the fresh blue paint on the railings really compliments the charcoal color of the building. Now that the exterior painting is finished, the building is hardly recognizable from its former look. We received a grant from the City of Minneapolis toward the cost of our bike rack, which was installed out front last week. There is some remaining work to be done on the roof and adding downspouts, and that should wrap up in the next week or so.
Inside, the building is completely transformed and you are now able to envision the different areas that make up the Wedge Table. Openings are prepped between the Community Room and Classroom for large garage doors that open up and create a wonderful open space. Or the doors can be down for three distinct areas with the ability to have meetings, classes, or just sit and enjoy a sandwich. Accent areas around the cafe are being tiled, walls and ceilings painted, flooring prepared, and the areas with food preparation are receiving their special features – washable walls, ceiling tiles, epoxy flooring.
Over the next two weeks all the back of house equipment (kitchen and bakehouse) is scheduled to be delivered and installed, and once again the space will transform completely. Following that we will install equipment and fixtures for the market/café. Our open date is slated for January 19th, which is almost one year exactly to the date we closed on the purchase of the building. It's truly rewarding to see it all come together. We are all very excited to open the Wedge Table, and begin this next phase of the Wedge Co-op. Thank you again to all our loyal owners and supporters.
BIG NEWS. On Aug. 19, the city of Minneapolis approved our Class E liquor license at a public hearing, which will allow the Wedge Table to serve local beer and wine as part of our beverage menu. We intend to have a few signature cocktails on offer as well. We presented at neighborhood group meetings of the Whittier Community Issues and Whittier Business Association, and we are pleased to have their full support. Look for our first beer and wine events in our new space when the Wedge Table opens later this year. And cheers!
The interior of the building is starting to take form with wall frames going up and duct work in place. The old roof has been removed and a new roof is currently being installed. Unfortunately the rains have slowed that work down and due to all the existing holes in the roof, the inside gets very wet! Hopefully with this last turn of weather we can complete the roof installation and will have a dry interior to work in. Some of you may have noticed on the south wall we installed a photograph on the building. This was in partnership with 3M. We think it's beautiful and it certainly is drawing interest from passerbys - a lot of people ask "what is this going to be?" It's a great opportunity to talk about the Wedge Table.
With our building permit officially in hand, construction on the Wedge Table has begun in earnest. The floors are in the process of being trenched and the duct work is starting to go up. More to come soon!
It feels like nothing and everything is happening at the same time! Two months have flown by since the last update, and though we don't have much to show yet in the way of pictures, a ton of work has actually been accomplished. Today, June 9th, the Nicollet location begins Demolition Phase Two, which includes more excavation, backfill, and shoring in preparation for pouring the concrete foundations and installing the steel beams and columns. Meetings with the neighborhood alliances and city departments are taking place as the building plans and equipment decisions undergo the last bit of fine-tuning. We recently approved the final construction drawings and sent those to the General Contractors -- after so much planning that definitely felt like a milestone! This enabled the General Contractor to start the process of acquiring subcontractor bids with the hopes of starting construction the beginning of July. We're amazed every day by how incredible everyone involved in our project is – from the architects and engineers, to the construction firm and kitchen consultant. We're looking forward to a very busy summer.
Interior demolition at our Nicollet location has begun! The contractors are making good progress on the building, and we hope to make plans for the commissary available to the public very soon.
C-Shares are almost all there! We now have 300 members and staff who have invested over $1.7 million. Thanks again to our customers and members for your continued encouragement and support of the Wedge. We're so close to hitting our goal and investment opportunities are still available. Will you be the one to close the final gap?
Our Nicollet project is moving ahead. In February we hired Cuningham Group as our Architect and Watson Forsberg as our General Contractor. We are moving at a fast pace and are working on concepts, equipment, and preliminary design for the food commissary, market/café and community room. Next week we start the demolition process inside the building. Our goal over the next few weeks is to have conceptual drawings to share with our members. Construction will begin this summer with an anticipated opening date of October 1st.
We are excited to announce that the real estate closing for the building at 2412 Nicollet went smoothly, and we are now the proud owners of the location for our future commissary kitchen/café/bodega on Eat Street. With the passing over of the keys for the commissary building, the expansion project is starting to really come together. Later this month we will be selecting an architect for the project and things will keep moving forward. As always, stop by customer service with any questions!
We are happy to announce our Wedge C Share campaign has been extended through March 31, or until we reach our goal of $2 million - whichever comes first. The Wedge membership has been truly inspiring. To date 308 members have invested nearly $1.6 million, including 73 staff members who invested $120,000. Our expansion projects are moving forward, with the real estate closing of the Nicollet location this week and the selection of an architect by the end of the month. Thanks again to our customers and members for their continued encouragement and support of the Wedge.
News of the new location for our market/café and commissary has been very well received by our members and shoppers. The real estate closing for the building at 2412 Nicollet will be next week. We look forward to all the preparation and plans ahead. The Wedge C share campaign is going strong – to date we have raised over $1.5 million with our goal of $2 million in our sights. As always, stop by customer service with any questions. Stay warm!
Our shopping cart is filling up thanks to our members who have invested in Wedge C shares. We have over 250 investors totaling $1,400,000. Our campaign remains open and anyone interested in investing in C shares is welcome to stop by customer service and ask for more details. We are very excited to put this money to work as our expansion projects start to take shape. We have completed the due diligence work on our commissary building and will be finalizing the real estate transaction in mid-January. Look for an announcement in the beginning of the New Year on the exact location.
Thanks again to all of our shoppers and members. Happy Holidays to everyone.
We'd like to extend a huge Thank You to all the members who have invested in The Wedge through the purchase of C-Shares. As of today 204 members have invested over $1,000,000! We are truly humbled by the exuberant response we've had from our members. And we feel very fortunate to have such a committed staff--65 of our employees have invested $112,500 toward The Wedge's future.
Our goal is to raise $2,000,000 by the end of November. We invite you to encourage your friends who are members to consider investing, and those who aren't members to consider joining and investing.
It's a very exciting time to be an owner of The Wedge! We couldn't do this without you, and your support is sincerely appreciated.
Happy Halloween! The due diligence process on the commissary property continues and should wrap up in mid-December. The environmental reports are being prepared, engineers are checking the soundness of the building, and the title clearance is proceeding. These are important steps in assuring the property we are purchasing is sound and in good shape. Our C share campaign has raised over $550,000 as of today. Please stop at customer service or contact Emily Larson if you are interested in investing in the future of the Wedge. EmilyL@wedge.coop or 763-438-7233.
We are grateful for all the positive and encouraging comments from our members and shoppers as we move forward into our expansion projects. Without you, we wouldn't do what we do!
We have signed a purchase agreement on a property for the commissary! Unfortunately we cannot disclose the exact location until after closing, which will be early January. After our due diligence period with the property we will begin the design and construction phases. We are very excited about the commissary project becoming a reality.
On October 1st we began our capital campaign to raise funds for our first two expansion projects, the commissary and store remodel. The offering of Wedge Class C shares to members as an investment has been extremely well received. To date we have collected over $200,000 and have commitments of nearly $200,000. This is a great opportunity for members – for more information contact EmilyL@wedge.coop.
Our capital campaign to raise funds for our commissary and remodel projects has officially kicked off today, October 1st. For the first time we are offering our members an opportunity to invest in the Wedge through the purchase of Class C stock. Our goal is to raise $2,000,000! More information is available on our website or in the store at customer service. Our campaign coordinator, Emily Larson, is also available to answer any questions. She can be reached at EmilyL@wedge.coop or by phone at 763-438-7233. We hope you consider investing in your co-op.
Time flies when you're expanding! We are very (very) close to choosing an architect for our commissary and store remodel projects. Once our choice is announced the work will begin. First up will be starting work on the store remodel - choosing a store planner and incorporating the great feedback we've received from our shoppers. A commissary site is in the works and due diligence will begin on that soon as well. We are looking forward to our annual meeting in October and hoping that we will have much more to share. Thanks again for all your feedback and comments - feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our third member roundtable meeting was held on Friday, August 2 at noon. Thirteen Wedge members were in attendance as well as Wedge management and board members. Again we had a lot of great conversations; some topics were the second store location, sustainability/environmental concerns, cooperation among co-ops, the strategic and financial planning, and the many opportunities that are before us. Having this member feedback is so helpful for us in the planning phases of our expansion projects. We encourage everyone to take our short survey, if you haven't already.
We had our second (of three) member meeting on Tuesday evening. Thanks to everyone who ventured out in the heat.
Some of the topics that were discussed at this "roundtable" were organic education, scholarship funds, access and affordability to good/clean food for lower income shoppers, as well as considerations in the store remodel and layout for the disabled shopper.
There was some discussion around member loans and financing, and Josh Resnik explained we are at the very early stages in the process and don't have any specifics to give members at this time with regard to financing. Although most likely, the Wedge would fund the project by investing some of its cash reserves, along with member loans, C Share investments, and securing outside loans.
The next member meeting will be Friday, August 2nd at 12:00 p.m. in our classroom.
Today we had our first member "coffee roundtable," the first of three scheduled member meetings to get members' feedback and input on the Wedge growth plan.
Josh Resnik (CEO) shared that we are in the early stages of our expansion plans. He spoke of looking at our membership base and their shopping patterns, the density of our membership around the metro area, and the overall demographics of natural food shoppers. These factors will aide us in locating potential sites for our second store. We are also in the process of identifying potential sites for our commissary kitchen.
Topics the members in attendance brought up included accessibility to a new store (transit lines), inclusion of immigrant shoppers, and incentives to use other forms of transportation.
Our next member meeting will be Tuesday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. We hope to see you there.