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Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative plans a $400,000 makeover

The 12-year-old Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative store on Selby Avenue in St. Paul is due for some upgrades, according to company general manager Gail Graham.

It's about the overall maintenance of the place while also keeping pace with customer demands. "All stores need to be freshened up and it's time for that to happen to this one," she says.

As one part of the $400,000 remodeling project, new energy-efficient refrigerators are on the way. "We're improving some coolers. That won't be visible to customers but it'll help us manage the flow of goods more efficiently," she says.  

Further, the checkout stands will be rearranged to "make better use of space," with an additional express lane. Other cosmetic improvements involve a fresh coat of paint, flooring upgrades and new lighting fixtures.

The coop is also introducing a new salad bar and deli. 

Right now, the market is in the process of getting equipment bids and it hopes to begin work on the place in the fall, she says. During that time, the store will stay open. 

Separately, in the future, the coop is hoping to add another dozen parking spots to its existing 66.

Last month the coop acquired a nearby house that had long been vacant. "Our intention is to get the property rezoned to allow for business use, demolish the house and expand our parking," the website reads.

Considering that the store sees 145 employees and nearly 1,000 customers daily, expanding its parking even that much is a big deal, she says.

Graham says the coop is trying to build community support for the idea.

Although she admits that the economy is rough, she says, "That doesn't stop us from continuing to move forward and improving the buildings so we can continue to provide the level of service that customers expect and deserve," she says. 

Source: Gail Graham, general manager, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative
Writer: Anna Pratt

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