Co-op Tours

Our Host Committee has put together some phenomenal tours guaranteed to inspire, educate and delight attendees! We are pleased to offer five bus tours, one bike tour and some self-guided walking tours. 

Tours will leave the Radisson at 1 pm and return around 5:00 p.m. so that everyone can attend the Howard Bower's Fund Welcome Reception at 6 p.m. ***Please note that Tour 4 From Table to Farm leaves at 12:00PM***

Bus Tours

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Tour 1: Cooperate to innovate


Over the past 10 years North and Northeast Minneapolis have undergone a revitalization using the power of cooperation to innovate change. The tour will start in North Minneapolis where participants will visit Wirth Cooperative Grocery, Minneapolis’ newest co-op, which will officially open this summer. Then they will experience Appetite for Change, a local non-profit that uses food as a tool building health, wealth, and social change. Next, we will visit Northeast Minneapolis and stop at The Food Building, a food production hub that seeks to change the food production system. Finally, the group will visit the Central Avenue corridor and see the new renovated Eastside Food Co-op, one of the fastest growing co-ops in the country. While on the premises, the tour will learn about NorthEast Investment Cooperative, who has creating a model to allow people to collectively buy, renovate, and manage commercial and residential property. Lastly, the group will walk across the street and tour Fair State Brewery Cooperative, Minnesota’s first cooperative brewery.  


Tour 2: A NOrth Star of Cooperation

South Minneapolis is the center of the some of the most successful cooperative businesses in the Twin Cities. Home to the two oldest and largest co-op stores—Seward and Wedge, the area boasts a vibrant co-op community with virtually every type of co-op. The tour starts with a visit to Peace Coffee's roasting facility. Peace Coffee is a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, which is comprised of 20 roaster members and is dedicated to importing high-quality, organic green coffee from small-scale farmer organizations to build long-term relationships and foster fair and equitable trading practices.

Next the group will tour the primary location of The Hub Bike Co-op a worker owned cooperative with three locations. Next the group will visit Mercado Central, a vendor cooperative and marketplace that combines restaurants, a tortilleria, service providers and stores to form a community hub for the Spanish speaking population that resides in South Minneapolis. We will wrap up the tour by visiting the latest developments Seward’s Friendship Store which opened in 2015 in the historically African American Bryant Central Neighborhoods. The final destination is The Wedge Table which opened in 2015 and is a production facility, grocer and restaurant is on the popular Eat Street of Nicollet Ave. 


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Tour 3: Building Healthy Communities in St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota’s capital, enjoys the is status of “most liveable city in America”. On this tour we will explore three different organizations working to achieve that goal by building healthy communities though outreach and access to organic food. The tour will start with a visit to Urban Roots, a Saint Paul organization whose mission is to build vibrant and healthy communities through food, conservation and youth development. Urban Root’s facilities include three farms, a produce garden and prep area, a pollinator garden, rain garden and bee hives, as well as a shared commercial kitchen where they do chef-led lunches and small batch preserves.

Next, the group will head over to Mississippi Market’s 3rd location. The 26,000 sq. ft. building features a wide selection of bulk goods, groceries, organic foods, full-service meat counter, cheese island, and pizza bar, along with an office mezzanine for staff and a full commissary kitchen located on the lower level. Lastly, the group will visit Co-op Partners Warehouse which opened in 1999 as an extension of the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis, is a distributor of organic produce, dairy, soy and dry goods servicing retail co-ops, natural food stores and restaurants in the Upper Midwest.  


TOUR 4: From Table To FaRm

On the verge of a remodel and expansion, this tour starts with a visit to Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville. The flagship store is home to a set of community gardens, an education garden, and the biggest variety of locally-made food south of the river. Next the group will get a behind-the-scenes look at Valley Natural Foods’ newest business Valley Natural Meats processing plant. The location processes humanely raised grass-fed, and organic / natural grain fed, locally produced meats for our wholesale market. From there the group will visit Loon Liquors and have an opportunity to purchase grain-to-glass organic spirits. Lastly the tour will visit Open Hands organic farm and CSA. The farm grows over 270 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. 

*** Please note, VNMeats is a slaughterhouse and the environment may be challenging for some to experience.  Attendees are welcome to explore the grounds as an alternate activity.

***This tour leaves from the Radisson Blu at 12:00 pm.

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TOUR 5: MAKER TO MARKET

Participants will tour The Good Acre, a non-profit food hub, that consists of a warehouse, teaching kitchen, classroom and serves as the base of the Good Acre’s farm CSA. Participants will see a demonstration from one of Lakewinds’ Maker to Market participants. The Maker to Market provides commercial kitchen time and technical support to help product makers prepare and enter the retail market. Lakewinds provides technical assistance and shelf space for Market to Market participants. Next the group will head over to Lakeswinds’ newest location in Richfield which boasts a Peace Coffee bar and in house sushi in its 22,000 sq. ft. of space. Lastly, the group will head over to the Wedge Lyndale, where the cooperative has spent over 40 years providing the freshest ingredients and best local products to their members. The location recently completed a major renovation to update building systems, increase energy efficiency and improve the customer experience.


Bike Tour

TOUR 6: Tour D'Co-op

Explore Minneapolis cooperatives on two-wheels in one of the nation’s most bike friendly cities. The tour will kick off with a leisurely ride along the mighty Mississippi with views of the historic Stone Arch Bridge and Mill City Museum. The group will then head south to tour Seward Community Co-op's Franklin Store. Here the group will hear about the Principle Six (P6) Cooperative Trade Movement and how it highlights local, cooperative or non-profit and small-scale farmers/producers. Next the tour will visit the Hub Bike Co-op, a worker cooperative, and tour their recent expansion. From there it is a short ride to Peace Coffee to learn about global small farmer co-ops and their participation in Cooperative Coffees. Lastly the group will head to Seward Creamery Café to enjoy a pint from Fair State Brewery Cooperative or other local micro beer. 

*All riders must be over 18 (over 21 to drink beer) and will sign a liability waiver before the ride to participate. The ride will take place rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. The tour includes bike rental and a helmet that participants get to keep. Limit 25 guests.

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Self-Guided Walking Tours


Prince's Minneapolis

Minneapolis helped shape Prince into the man and the artist he became, and in return, Prince forever left his mark on Minneapolis. Even as Prince’s success swept the globe, he always remained close to his roots in Minneapolis. His journey started here and throughout his whole career, he embraced his hometown. He put Minneapolis on the map with his music and his distinct style. See the tour.

St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail

The St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail is a 1.8-mile loop along the Minneapolis riverfront within the St. Anthony Falls National Register Historic District. The signature feature of this trail is the Stone Arch Bridge, which is the only one of its kind over the Mississippi River. Built in 1883 by the Great Northern Railway tycoon James J. Hill, it facilitated the movement of people and goods across the river by rail until 1978. The short riverfront loop takes trail users across the bridge, providing a spectacular vantage point to view St. Anthony Falls immediately upriver from the span or downriver toward the University of Minnesota campus and the Dinkytown Greenway bridge, the next walk/bike bridge that crosses the river a short way downstream. See the tour