Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.
The recent tornado wasn't the only big gust of wind that came through NoMi in the month of May. A short time earlier one could hear a collective sigh of relief from McKinley that the Northside Food Market, which has been a problem for years, is FINALLY closed. The Northside Food Market is run by Supton LLC, and the contact people for the rental license at this address are Ahmed J Alnosawi and Hussain Zahid, 612-522-5962. If you believe the handwritten sign, they're just closed for construction. Oh, the closure has nothing to do with the condemnation notice from the city of Minneapolis. On related notes, John Edwards stepped aside from politics to spend more time with his family, and Manny Ramirez retired from baseball due to "health reasons."
Local residents now use the famous word "quiet" to describe their street corner at 36th and Lyndale. We hear this so often in NoMi. A place is problematic for months or sometimes years and it just drives the neighborhood nuts. Then when it finally gets shut down, people stop and listen to the sounds of silence. I love hearing folks using "quiet" as a catch-all for "Thank GOD those drug-dealing thugs are off my block!"
Shutting down inconvenience stores is no small feat and we're definitely grateful for the work our elected officials and city employees put into accomplishing this task. But in talking to some of the people most directly affected, the common sentiment is that this process took far too long.
But if the Northside Food Market is "closed for construction," then it begs the question...
...what kind of construction might they do?
|Is this a loading dock or a trap door over a pit of spikes?|
|Here's the entryway to the expansive 466-square-foot apartment.|
How about constructing a corner store where the owners and employees actually do something about the near-constant loitering and drug dealing that went on when the place was open for "business"? One could also construct a lease for the apartment that included a crime-free addendum. That is, of course, if the apartment is reconstructed after the "lack of maintenance" (read: rented out to drug dealers who drove it into the ground) which led to its condemnation. Obviously the loading dock needs to be constructed so that deliveries can safely be made, and if that ever happens, neighbors could use better products than $5 tin foil.
I hate to say "I told you so," but (actually, I don't really mind saying "I told you so.") but last fall when the city of Minneapolis rolled out their "healthy corner stores" press piece, I scoffed at the inclusion of the Northside Food Market on that list. I said, "this list just seemed like a way to allow inconvenience stores to temporarily endear themselves to the neighborhood or the powers that be."
The healthy corner store initiative assists stores with the following:
- Assistance with product display and store layout design ( e.g., use of tiered display baskets at the counter where healthy “grab and go” foods could be featured such as apples, bananas, pre-cut produce, celery with peanut butter; use of baskets in coolers to make produce stand out from other goods).
- Signage to draw customers’ attention to healthy food options.
- System to track sales of fresh produce.
- Training on proper produce handling to maximize shelf life, e.g., determining which produce should be refrigerated or not.
- Stipend to use toward their first order from produce/healthy food wholesaler.
- Promotion and coordination of kick-off events to introduce residents to the store improvements
I wish I could believe that the Northside Food Market's participation in this program were part of an honest attempt to turn their poor community track record around. Instead, it may have prolonged the harm this business inflicted on the neighborhood around it. Good riddance.