Coronavirus Covid-19 Updates

The Wedge and Linden Hills are committed to remaining a reliable destination in serving our community to provide necessary resources for families, owners and staff. As the safety of our community is our first priority, we want to update and assure you that we are monitoring information regarding coronavirus disease, now called COVID-19. Following along on this page for co-op coronavirus updates as the situation changes and evolves.

More information about COVID-19 is available through the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC.

Update - July 1, 2020

We opened the Wedge Table in 2015 as a place for our community to gather together and enjoy food. With COVID-19, what it means for the community coming together has changed. And with these changing conditions, we have seen increased challenges in running the Table.

TCCP’s leadership and board have decided to close the Wedge Table through 2020. The last day of business will be July 19. Over the next six months we will be working to re-imagine the space and determine how it can best serve our owners and the community. A big thank you to all the staff who have worked there over the years and all the customers who have supported it.

Stay tuned for details on sales and specials as we clear out our inventory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we temporarily closing the Wedge Table?
Since the pandemic started, customer counts and sales have decreased dramatically at the Wedge Table. While we have seen sales increases at the Wedge and Linden Hills, that is not the case at the Wedge Table. The space was intended as a meeting and gathering space for the community – not primarily as a grocery store. The need for community gathering space is not the same for the immediate future. As a small grocery store alone, the business model does not work. And as the lower sales indicate it is not filling as important of a role for our customers.

How can you justify closing during this time of unrest and lack of food resources?
There are ample food alternative resources available in the surrounding Whittier community such as The Wedge within less than one mile away and several others. In fact, there are over 20 places one can buy groceries within one mile of the Wedge Table. We feel confident that we are not cresting a food desert. Since the pandemic started, customer counts and sales have decreased dramatically and the space was intended as a meeting space and gathering space which has changed so for the immediate future, we cannot fulfill this need at this time.

What is going to happen to the staff currently employed at The Table?
We will be offering staff open positions in the organization. Those staff would move to positions at the Wedge or Linden Hills starting after the Table closes.

When is the last day of operation?
We plan to have Sunday July 19 as our last day of operation.

When it is stated as a temporary closure, what does this mean?
We anticipate being closed at least 6 months – through the end of 2020. We will use this time to evaluate changing community needs and determine how to best use the space.

Does this closure include the commissary, catering and bakehouse?
No. We are continuing to operate all back of house functions and will continue to produce much of the food for our own retail locations and external customers in the commissary and bakery spaces.

Will the Community Rooms be available to use?
These spaces will be available for internal staff use only.

Are we able to convert the space to fulfill other community needs at this time?
We’ve reached out to a variety of community partners about utilizing the empty space for food distribution or temporary commercial space, but no one is interested at this time. We are open to exploring how the space can help meet community needs as they arise during this time of closure.

Update - May 20, 2020

Please be advised that as of May 20, 2020, we have been notified that one employee who works in the cheese department of the Wedge on Lyndale Avenue tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We immediately contacted the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following all recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As a response to protect the health and safety of our workforce and our customers, we are notifying our community members.

The employee last worked on May 16 and is recovering at home on paid leave of absence and will not return to work until the appropriate amount of time has lapsed per MDH guidelines. We have notified and requested other employees who were in close proximity (defined as under 6 feet) with the affected person for prolonged periods (defined as 5 minutes or more) to self-quarantine for 14 days with paid leave of absence. All staff onsite were notified of the positive test result. Any concerned employees and anyone at high risk have been able to leave for the day and/or self-quarantine for up to 14 days.

Our primary concern right now is the wellness of the employee, other staff, and our community. The Minnesota Department of Health assures us this positive test result does not make any of the Twin Cities Co-op Partners locations a higher-risk environment than other public spaces. As such, the co-op locations will remain open from 8:00am to 9:00pm daily.

A thorough sanitization has been completed after hours. All service areas in the retail locations undergo a CDC-approved sanitization process. In our food production areas, we clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, dishware, utensils, food preparation and beverage services after use with a sanitizer as required by the Health Department. Increased safety sanitization measures for consumer-facing areas have been underway since mid-March when general concerns were first identified associated with the Minnesota Stay-At-Home order that includes an EPA registered and CDC recommended peroxide-based cleaner to the sanitization process.

Along with the many safety measures already enacted, all TCCP employees are required to wear a mask during shifts.

Any other questions related to specific risk factors should be directed to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920.

Thank you for your support during this public health crisis. We are committed to remain a trusted, reliable resource to our community.

Update - May 6, 2020

Please be advised that as of May 5 , 2020, we have been notified that one employee of Linden Hills Co-op tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID 19). We immediately contacted the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following all recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As a response to protect the health and safety of our workforce and our customers, we are notifying our community members.

The employee has had minimal, if no contact, with customers and is recovering at home on paid leave of absence and will not return to work until the appropriate amount of time has lapsed per MDH guidelines. We have notified and requested other employees who were in close proximity (defined as under 6 feet) with the affected person for prolonged periods (defined as 5 minutes or more) to self-quarantine for 14 days with paid leave of absence and seek a COVID-19 test. Those test results will be sent to Human Resources and evaluated before staff return to work. All staff onsite were notified of the positive test result. Any concerned employees and anyone at high risk have been able to leave for the day and/or self-quarantine for up to 14 days.

Our primary concern right now is the wellness of the employee, other staff, and our community. The Minnesota Department of H ealth assures us this positive test result does not make any of the Twin Cities Co op Partners locations a higher risk environment than other public spaces. As such, the co op
locations will remain open from 8:00am to 9:00pm daily.

A thorough third-party sanitization has been completed after hours. This includes sanitization of all backroom areas, downstairs workspaces, and the front-end workspace. All service areas in the retail locations undergo a CDC-approved sanitization process. In our food production areas, we clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, dishware, utensils, food preparation and beverage services after use with a sanitizer as required by the Health Department. Increased safety sanitization measures for consumer-facing areas have been underway since mid-March when general concerns were first identified associated with the Minnesota Stay-At-Home order that includes an EPA registered and CDC recommended peroxide-based cleaner to the sanitization process.

Starting May 7, 2020, along with the many safety measures already enacted, all TCCP employees are required to wear a mask during shifts. Disposable masks will be made available as well as a $10 reimbursement fee for reusable masks. Proper handling and care instructions will be made available as well.

Any other questions related to specific risk factors should be directed to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID 19 Hotline at 651 201 3920.

Thank you for your support during this public health crisis. We are committed to remain a trusted, reliable resource to our community.

Update - April 30, 2020

On April 29, 2020, we were notified that one employee at Twin Cities Co-op Partners tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We immediately contacted the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following all recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The employee works in the bakery production department during overnight shifts on Nicollet Avenue with no contact to customers and has not worked in the facility since April 18, 2020. This person is recovering at home and will not return to work until the appropriate amount of time has lapsed per MHD guidelines. We have notified other employees who were in close proximity (defined as under 6 feet) with the affected person for prolonged periods (defined as 5 minutes or more) during the shifts on April 18. We are monitoring staff for symptoms and requesting those not feeling well to stay home.

Our primary concern right now is the wellness of this employee, other staff and our community. The Minnesota Department of Health assures us this positive test result does not make any of the Twin Cities Co-op Partners locations a higher-risk environment than other public spaces. As such, the co-op locations will remain open from 8:00am to 9:00pm daily.

All food service areas in the Nicollet facility as well as the retail locations undergo a CDC-approved sanitization process. In our food production areas, we clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, dishware, utensils, food preparation and beverage services after use with a sanitizer as required by the Health Department. Increased safety sanitization measures for consumer-facing areas have been underway since mid-March when general concerns were first identified associated with the Minnesota Stay-At-Home order that includes an EPA registered and CDC recommended peroxide-based cleaner to the sanitization process.

We will share additional updates as soon as we have more information. Any other questions related to specific risk factors should be directed to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920.

Thank you for your support during this public health crisis. We are committed to remain a trusted, reliable resource to our community.

Update - April 10, 2020

Since early March, we have been working hard to make our stores as safe and enjoyable as possible for our staff and shoppers, as well as very well-stocked. We thought we’d update our previous posts from March with most of our tips in one listing here to reinforce a safe and positive shopping experience

  • Remember to give fellow shoppers 6 feet of space, as well as staff. If you have a question or want to chat with one our awesome staff members, do so at a distance. We have signs throughout our store as a reminder too
  • Try your best to touch only what you plan on buying.
  • We are cleaning and sanitizing our carts, baskets, utensils and door handles on a regular basis, but it’s always a good idea to wash your hands or sanitize before and after you shop.
  • Wait your turn for the cashier to wipe down the conveyor belt and keypad before placing your items on the belt.
  • Please communicate with your co-op cashier in front of the plexiglass shield (you may have to talk a little louder than usual!)
  • If you have brought your own reusable bag, please plan to bag your own groceries.
  • Please consider shopping in our stores when it is convenient for you of course, but perhaps at times that may be less crowded and if possible, consider making less visits and buy more at one time.
  • Although face masks are not mandatory to wear in public, we encourage our staff and customers to wear one while shopping in our stores

We are all in this together and thank you.

Update - April 7, 2020

Based on recent updates from the CDC on protective masks, we are providing the following recommendation for all staff and customers:

  • Recommended Guidance: Wearing a mask at work at all TCCP locations is recommended, but not required. Recently the CDC began recommending wearing a mask in all public places as detailed here.
  • Directions: Sourced from the state of Pennsylvania website, these seem to be the most concise and easy to follow:
    • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
    • The mask should fit snugly around the mouth and nose;
    • If the mask has a metal wire it should be fitted snuggly to the bridge of the nose;
    • Avoid touching the mask while using it, if you do wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub;
    • Discard or wash after every use;
    • Should not be worn damp or when wet from spit or mucus;
    • To remove the mask: remove it from behind, do not touch the front of mask;
    • The wearer should immediately wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after removing the mask.
  • MN Department of Health link as another state guidelines reference.
  • CDC link for your reference

Update - March 23, 2020

To better serve you and our community during this time of constant change across the country, we have implemented the following changes until further notice at the Wedge, Wedge Table, and Linden Hills Co-op:

Shopping Experience

  • 75 shopper maximum at a time in our stores
  • Consistent wiping down grocery cart and basket handles with sanitizing wipes or disinfectant products
  • Repeatedly sanitizing bulk utensils and tongs for produce areas.
  • 6 feet distance reminders at checkout lanes
  • Sanitizing conveyor belt after each customer transaction
Employee Support
  • Plexiglass shields installed at all check out lanes
  • Providing gloves for every employee
  • Allowing employees to wear masks as each individual is comfortable to do so
  • An increase for our hourly employees from 3/16/20-5/10/20

Update - March 19, 2020

The team at TCCP recognizes there are multiple messages and perspectives in our community during this unprecedented time. Thank you for supporting our impact and want to acknowledge that we are doing our best to support all members in our family. We reiterate and reassure that our entire staff is one of our most valuable assets and we have been working behind the scenes over the past week to finalize the following enhancements.

Employee Support
  • An increase for our hourly employees from 3/16/20-5/10/20
  • Installing plexiglass shields at all checkout locations.
  • If an employee requires time off, should employees exhaust all paid sick and vacation time, employees can choose to go into a negative sick balance to cover any absences related to COVID-19.  This will allow people to continue receiving a full paycheck while not working. A negative balance will slowly become positive when people can return to work and begin earning sick time again. This is an option, and employees do not need to choose to do this.
  • Full-time employees are provided with short-term-disability insurance. If employees are unable to work for health reasons, this will continue a portion of pay for the duration of the incapacitation. Should anyone test positive for COVID-19 and needs to go out on short-term disability, TCCP will pay full salary during the one-week disability waiting period.
  • TCCP will be providing the option for a more efficient communication process for employees to sign up for texts with personal cell phones.
  • Effective Wednesday, March 18th, all retail locations are limiting the number of shoppers in each store to a maximum of 75 people. If a store reaches this maximum capacity, an employee will be located at the front door monitoring those leaving to allow new customers to enter and shop in an efficient and efficient manner.

Shopping Experience

  • Colored tape is being placed on the floor at each register to encourage social distancing.
  • We are asking customers to please consider allowing those at high risk to shop earlier hours between 8:00-9:00 am each day.

Update - March 17, 2020

Twin Cities Co-op Partners is committed to remaining a trusted destination in serving our community that provides necessary resources for families, owners and staff. To better serve you and our community during this time of constant change across the country, we’ve made these enhancements below to the Wedge, Wedge Table, and Linden Hills Co-op:

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

  • Out of concern for individual’s shopping experience and well-being, we are limiting the number of shoppers in each store to a maximum of 75 people at a time. If we reach this maximum capacity, we will have an employee at the front door monitoring those leaving to allow new customers to enter and shop in an efficient manner.
  • To be respectful of social distancing, our checkout lines will provide increased physical spacing between customers. Shoppers will be asked to wait behind a mark until it is their turn.
  • Our current hours will remain the same as usual. Although other retailers have recently limited store hours. It is our intention to avoid overcrowding in our stores and maintain social distancing across more hours.
  • We request that people please consider allowing those who are high risk to shop earlier hours between 8:00am to 9:00am each day.

OUR SERVICES

  • We are maintaining strict cleaning and sanitizing protocols. Each store has a defined routine for sanitizing shopping baskets, shopping carts, bulk equipment and utensils with our employees and customers. Frequent hand washing is also encouraged for all staff.
  • The Wedge Table, our market café on Nicollet and 24th, is open to sell groceries, made to order food for takeout and for family meal catering options. We know the Minneapolis declaration of a state of emergency is ordering the closing of restaurants for dine in – and we will be in compliance with that, but also want to make sure we are providing prepared meals for people in the community. The seating area and gathering spaces are closed.
  • Our juice bar (at Lyndale) and made-to-order (at Lyndale and Linden Hills) will remain open.
  • Our self-serve kombucha is now closed, but we carry an abundance of packaged kombucha.
  • We are only using disposable dishes and cups.

OUR PRODUCTS

  • We are working hard to replenish out-of-stock items through our growers, manufacturers and producers.
  • At Wedge Lyndale and Linden Hills, the hot bar, salad bar and soup bar are transforming to pre-packaged meals located both in the hot bar area and grab & go coolers for your convenience.
  • Artisan bread and baked goods are now pre-packaged. We may need to limit variety of certain prepared foods and bakery items depending on demand and production capacity.

We want to recognize the hard work of our staff at the crucial time. Our stores have been busier than ever the past week, and we appreciate the hard work our staff has put to make the experience as normal as possible. We’re all in this together, so thank you for your understanding!

Update - March 8, 2020

TCCP is committed to remaining a reliable destination in serving our community to provide necessary resources for families, owners and staff. As the safety of our community is our first priority, TCCP wants to update and assure you that we are monitoring information regarding coronavirus disease, now called COVID-19. TCCP is following information, as available, from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and FMI: The Food Industry Association. TCCP has an Emergency Response Plan and a set of guidelines to follow with a phased approach depending on the status of coronavirus. We are in the cold and flu season and COVID-19 symptoms resemble these more common infections. It is believed that it is far more likely that anyone in Minnesota with respiratory symptoms is suffering from a cold or flu.

According to CDC, patients with confirmed COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

What We Are Doing 

  • Monitoring and following guidelines for the food industry as established by the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC.
  • Actively encouraging employees to stay home if they have fever or any other symptoms.
  • Instructing employees to wash hands more frequently.
  • More frequent disinfecting of common surfaces, door handles, grocery carts, shared work equipment, etc. at all TCCP locations.
  • Updating our emergency response plan so we are well prepared for the potential impacts of the virus.
  • Working with our vendors and suppliers to maintain a consistent level of service and product deliveries for our community.