The Wedge started in a backyard meeting just a few blocks from the current location of our Lyndale store. In 1974, a small group of community members decided it was time to have access to affordable, organic, whole foods without having to drive or take a bus for miles out of the Whittier neighborhood. And from the day we opened our doors in the tiny space of a garden apartment at 715 Franklin Ave, the Wedge Co-op community has been growing (and outgrowing) our spaces. Back then, buckets of fresh produce spilled out onto the sidewalks to make room for the lines in the small storefront. Since then, we’ve moved two times and expanded three, started an organic distribution business, and built a café and community gathering space.
But through all the years and all the changes one thing has remained a constant: our commitment to the long-term health of our local community. Through partnerships and grants we’ve built community gardens, supported farmer’s markets, gotten local produce into public schools and supported to food justice organizations in the Twin Cities. The Wedge is more than just a cooperative business, we’re a family.
Linden Hills Co-op began with a desire to bring a food co-op to the Linden Hills area and build community. In July of 1975, about 20 people congregated in Linden Hills Park in response to an ad that Carol Vaubel placed in the Linden Hills Line. Interest grew in the community as dedicated members canvassed Linden Hills businesses and neighborhoods talking about the benefits of a food co-op. Volunteers finished the floors, built the shelves, installed the refrigerators and readied the store for opening. On March 1st, 21 days before the co-op opened, Linden Hills Co-op had 160 members. Through its over 40 year history, Linden Hills Co-op has moved four times, growing in size, staff and owners each time. The co-op remains committed to building community and providing healthful choices for its members and shoppers.
“Community involvement is essential for food stores and organizations. It establishes you as an integral part of your neighborhood or town and underscores your efforts to enhance the quality of life in your area.”
–May-June Issue of Rolling Oats Journal, 1985.
In 2016, after two years of study, evaluation, and several months of discussion with members, the board of directors of Wedge Community Co-op and Linden Hills Community Cooperative proposed a consolidation of these two business entities into one single cooperative. The consolidation was put in the election ballot and voted upon by the owners of Wedge and Linden Hills that October. Owners at both co-ops voted overwhelmingly in favor (80%+) of the consolidation. On July 1, 2017 the consolidation of Wedge and Linden Hills Co-op became official. We have continually worked together on the journey of creating a new organization- with the goal of maintaining the individuality of each store while creating a greater whole for the organization.