“It’s great to be with folks who are facing similar challenges and want to make our community better.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware


2015 Business Honor Roll Recipients

Each year the SCCA Board of Directors selects two businesses from the Seward Neighborhood to honor with the SCCA Business Honor Roll Award. The 2015 awards were announced at the Annual Celebration in December and went to Suzanne Weinstein of Coastal Seafoods and Bethany Lutheran Church for the Soup for You program.

Honor Roll Award Suzanne Weinstein Coastal Seafoods

(Photo: SCCA President Joe Buck with Suzanne Weinstein)

Suzanne Weinstein of Coastal Seafood’s accomplishments include:

  • For 30 years your business has provided a wonderful selection of fish to the Midwest through two retail locations and a thriving wholesale business supplying over 200 restaurants and co-op grocery stores.
  • The numerous classes Coastal Seafoods sponsors have educated hundreds of folks on the pleasures of preparing and eating great fish from around the world.
  • You have successfully mentored employees who have gone on to establish their own businesses based on the knowledge and passion you have shared.
  • You serve on a number of boards including the Seward Civic and Commerce Association, Metro IBA and Redesign.
  • You have been active in helping to shape the wonderful transformation of the Seward Commons area into a planned transit oriented development.
  • The purchase of the property on Snelling Avenue and your plan to transform it into a world-class wellness center is a wonderful addition to the community.
  • You support urban farming by sharing your available land.
  • You host and donate the food for the annual fall SCCA social and numerous other events.
  • You quietly give when you see the need as evidenced by your continuous generosity to the Community Meal Program at Bethany Lutheran Church.

Honor Roll Award Mike Matson Bethany Lutheran

(Photo: Mike Matson of Bethany Lutheran)


Pastor Mike Matson accepted the award on behalf of Bethany Lutheran Church and the Soup for You program:

  • SCCA recognizes Bethany Lutheran Church for the establishment of the community meal that is provided here in the Seward Community.
  • In your first year, over 10,000 healthy nutritional meals have been served. Monday through Friday a racially, ethnically, economically and religiously diverse group of people sit down to share wonderful soup and conversation. A dedicated core of volunteers serves this meal.
  • We want to acknowledge the leadership provided by John Karason, Church Council President. John is committed to Bethany being a vital and active part of the Seward neighborhood.
  • We extend a special thanks to Judah Nataf, the Soup Master and creator of Soup for You, who had a vision to provide healthy meals to everyone in our community regardless of their economic means. His passion and talent to create a wide range of delicious soups every day attracts a following from throughout the Twin Cities.
  • Pastor Mike, you have a fantastic ability to make things happen when others would find a reason not to move forward. We are thankful for your work and the continued presence of Bethany Lutheran Church in the Seward neighborhood.


Congratulations to the 2014 SCCA Business Honor Roll recipients!

Soup for You Café Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Soup for You singers 1st Anniversary

Pastor Mike and Judah with 1st Anniversary Cake pic by Jim Welna

2015 Business Honor Roll recipient, Soup for You Café at Bethany Lutheran Church, celebrated its first anniversary on February 2, 2016 with singing, cake, prizes and a community celebration. They set a new record for attendees that day, serving 104 members of the community five different kinds of soup. They also passed a major milestone, serving the 10,000th bowl of soup during the anniversary meal, marked by ringing a bell. There were special activities, guests and desserts that entire week to mark the anniversary.

Soup for You Café serves lunch (homemade soup and bread) Monday – Friday from 11 am – 1 pm in the basement of Bethany Lutheran Church. Diners pay whatever they feel is a fair price, or whatever amount they are able to pay. Soup Master Judah Nataf says the café “builds community one bowl at a time”. If you haven’t visited yet, be sure to drop by for some soup and community!


February Business Buzz

Business Advisory Meeting: Plastic Bag Ban and Working Families Agenda

February 19, 2016: 2:00–3:30 P.M. Calhoun Square: Former Republic Space #2200 2nd Floor / NW Corner | 3001 W. Lake Street

Does your business use plastic bags? Join us at this Business Advisory Meeting to learn from Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon on how the proposed ban would affect your businesses. Plus provide feedback about how the proposed ban would affect your businesses.

How do you take care of your sick employees? Deputy City Coordinator, Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde will be present to answer questions and listen to feedback about upcoming mandatory sick time policies for Minneapolis businesses. These policies may significantly affect your business and we want to make sure your are informed and your voice is heard.

For more information visit the Lake Street Council website.


6th Annual Sweethearts & Spirits Fundraiser

Zipp’s Liquors presents the Sixth Annual Sweethearts and Spirits: Beer, Liquor and Wine tasting fundraiser on Friday, February 26th from 6:30-9:00pm at the Minneapolis Eagles Club (2507 E 25th St).

Enjoy samples of beer, wine and liquor. Eat delightful treats from local businesses and partake in Zipp’s now famous silent auction.  Stay for the after party where a keg of Summit will be tapped in the Eagle’s bar.

All proceeds benefit Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership, a program that works with the community and young offenders to repair harm by involving the victim, offender, and community in solutions that promote healing, accountability, and reconciliation.

Tickets available at Zipp’s or at the door for $20.

Sponsored by Zipp’s, Eagles Club, Summit Brewing, Thrivent Financial and Seward Co-op with support from Birchwood Café, Welna II, Wood from the Hood, Fun City Dogs, Common Harvest Farm, Northern Clay Center, Just Photos for Humans, K’ul Chocolate, Soberfish, Gandhi Mahal, Mon Petit Cheri, Coastal Seafoods, and Prohibition Kombucha.


January Meeting Recap: City Council Meet & Greet

SCCA Jan 2016 meeting at Chef Shack

The January SCCA meeting featured Council Member Cam Gordon and Marcela Sotela, aide to CM Abdi Warsame, taking questions from members about a wide range of city issues. CM Warsame was unable to attend due to the birth of his new daughter, but will come of the February meeting instead. Topics of discussion included the Working Families Agenda sick leave policies, the proposed Bring-Your-Own-Bag ordinance, new streamlined licensing for food trucks to attend special events, a new ordinance to support micro food processors, and concerns about graffiti and the damage it does to our communities. Marcela and Cam both highlighted what a diverse community Seward is with deeply engaged members. Chef Shack owners Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summers gave a short overview of their business, which includes a fleet of food trucks and a second restaurant in Bay City, WI. They work with many local farmers and providers to source ingredients for their menu. They served up a delicious lunch of tacos, enchiladas and salad for the 17 members present. The conversation was engaging enough that nearly everyone stayed a full half hour past the official end time of the meeting. Thank you to everyone who came!


January Business Buzz

January Business Buzz

Paid Sick Leave Public Meetings

The paid sick leave workgroup has officially set dates for their public meetings to get feedback as they work to develop a policy recommendation. This group is composed of 15 members, just more than half of whom are business owners or representatives of business associations.

Remaining meetings include:

January 17th – for Hospitality and Service Industry
7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Aster Café, River Room, 125 SE Main Street.

January 28th – for Public Health and Health Care
2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Allina Commons, Pettingill Hall (lower level,) 2925 Chicago Ave S.

For more info see: http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-group-studying-sick-leave-sets-public-meetings/364132291/

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your City Council member.


Cedar/Franklin/Minnehaha Intersection Reconfiguration – Public Meetings

Hennepin County is preparing for the repaving of Franklin Avenue (County Road 5) between South 16th and South 21st avenues in 2016. This includes the high volume intersection of Franklin and Cedar, which is immediately adjacent to the intersection of Franklin and Minnehaha avenues.

The paving project could also provide improvement opportunities for vehicular traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. Information regarding the most recent concept and details regarding the scope and timing is available at:


The County is still finalizing these improvements, and holding informational meetings to discuss the proposal:

Tuesday, January 26th
General Public Open House Meeting
3-4 pm – Discussion of future use for vacated Minnehaha Avenue
4-5 pm – General Open House meeting to discuss concept improvements
SPOKES Offices (1915 E. 22nd Street – near 22nd Street / Minnehaha Ave.)

Tuesday, February 9th
Seward Neighborhood Community Development Committee
7:00 pm – Final consent to move ahead to design tasks
Matthews Community Center


Boneshaker Books celebrate 5th Anniversary 1/15

Friday (today) marks exactly 5 years since Boneshaker Books first opened in Seward. Asa Debolt says, “We opened in a challenging environment. The fact that we are thriving 5 years later is a testament to the value our community places on good literature, progressive ideas and the independent book stores that make space for them. Thank you!” Come celebrate with Boneshaker tonight! Starting at 8pm, there will be snacks, drinks and a 20% discount on books. You can see more information at: www.boneshakerbooks.com/anniversaryparty

Boneshaker Books is a radical & progressive bookstore located in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. Boneshaker, staffed solely by volunteers, first opened in January of 2011. They specialize in progressive/radical literature, children’s books, and a curated fiction section.


Better Futures Minnesota Grand Opening Open House – Feb 4th
Thursday, February 4
4:00 – 6:30 pm
2620 Minnehaha Ave S

The event will include tours of the new facility, examples of innovative materials reuse, refreshments, and an opportunity to learn more about the nonprofit’s profound impact on individuals and the community.

Better Futures Minnesota, the pioneering nonprofit organization that helps guide men who have faced a variety of personal challenge to a positive, productive path through its transformative program, is on the move. The organization’s headquarters and popular reuse materials warehouse have been located at two different sites along Olson Memorial Highway. The relocation to 2620 Minnehaha Avenue South in Minneapolis consolidates its administrative services, training, and retail center to one primary location, allowing the organization to expand its programs, services, and clientele.

For more information about Better Futures Minnesota, and event details visit BetterFuturesEnterprises.com.


Entrepreneurship Class Offered by Corcoran Neighborhood & NDC

Are you interested in pursuing additional training to help expand or start a small business? The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization has partnered with the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) to provide the “Plan IT” entrepreneurship training program for area small businesses and residents.  “Plan It” is a good fit for small businesses who hope to expand/stabilize as well as individuals who may want to start a business.

This 12-week course, taught by an experienced instructor, covers the fundamentals of managing and growing a small business. In addition to leaving with a sound businesses plan, course graduates will receive 10 hours of free one-on-one consulting and access to a host of services through NDC.  These benefits include access to low-cost accounting, marketing and real estate services as well as eligibility to apply for small business financing programs.

Visit http://www.corcoranneighborhood.org/planit for more information.  We’ve extended the application to next Friday (1/15).

When: One evening per week (day TBD) late January through March.
Where: CNO’s office (3154 Cedar Ave. S)
Cost: Businesses typically pay $100 to $600. (Most pay $100) Scholarships are available.

How to apply: Complete and return this application by January 15th. (Applications can be returned via mail or e-mail to: Heidi Johnson McAllister 3451 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407 | heidi@corcoranneighborhood.org)


Café Racer offer Sunday night events and Date Nights

In December Café Racer began offering Sunday Fundays 6- 9 pm.

The calendar for the month of January is:
-Sun Jan 17th: Hot in the Kitchen Cooking Class: Brunch Basics. $30/person covers a cooking class.
-Sun Jan 24th: Karaoke. Join in for a night out of the house and out of the cold!
-Sun Jan 31st: Forum Night. Come and hear from local people from the Twin Cities about a wide range of topics. Want to share about a project or hobby you’re interested in? Let the Café know.

Each Sunday Funday features drink and tapas specials. The Café would love to hear from you if there is a theme night you would like to see. Local artisan and craft shows, game nights, movie nights — send your ideas! They want Seward to have lots of options for winter, no matter what the weather.

The Café also started Date Night at Cafe Racer Kitchen on Tuesday-Thursday nights from 5pm-8pm. $40 per couple gives one alcoholic beverage per person, two appetizers, two entrees, and one shared dessert. Plus, bottles of wine will be available for sale during these times. Watch for Valentine’s Day specials, too!

Café Racer is located at 2929 E 25th St at the corner of 30th Ave and 25 St E. They offer healthy, modern, Latin-inspired cuisine for brunch through dinner. http://www.caferacermn.com


SCCA Board Elections Held on December 17

It’s that time again – yes, the holiday season, but also the annual SCCA board member elections! At our Annual Celebration & Board Elections on Thursday, December 17, Seward businesses and civic members will cast ballots to elect the 2016 SCCA Board of Directors. For more than 50 years, SCCA has represented Seward’s vibrant business and civic community, and helped to make Seward a great place to work and live in.

The board would like to send a huge THANK YOU! to two outgoing board members, Jennifer Schoenzeit, owner of Zipp’s Liquors; and Jenny Larson, owner of Jennifer Larson Communications Design. Jennifer Schoenzeit has been serving as the SCCA Treasurer, and her enthusiasm, generosity and ability to get things done has been of great service to the organization. Jenny Larson has been a board member since 2008. The board has benefitted from Jenny’s sunny personality, her commitment to the community, and her graphic design and photography skills. She also coordinates the Seward Solopreneurs, a group of home-based businesses and entrepreneurs. Both Jennifers will be greatly missed!

The board seats 11 members, each member serving 3 year terms. There are 3 current board members running for re-election, and 3 additional open seats. Have you ever considered joining the SCCA Board? If you are curious and would like more information, contact us at info@sewardbusiness.org

2016 Board Candidates

Mekbib Dersoligne – Wells Fargo Bank

Mekbib is a Business Banker at the Wells Fargo branch at 26th & East Franklin and is running for the SCCA Board for the first time. He sits on a loan committee for a local East African development group, and looks forward to connecting more with the Seward business community.


Kerry Cashman

Kerry Cashman

Kerry Cashman – Seward Neighborhood Group

Kerry is the Community Coordinator for the Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG), and as such she coordinates events like the Seward Garage Sale weekend, the Garden Tour, King’s Fair and the Seward Winer Frolic. She also fundraises, coordinates volunteers, and is a contributing editor of the Seward Profile publication as part of her work at SNG. Kerry has served one year on the SCCA board, and her perspective and experience have been a great asset.

Rick Siewert

Rick Siewert

Rick Siewert – Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing

Rick has served 2 terms on the SCCA board, and is currently our Vice President. He is the owner of Siewert Cabinet, a full service provider of commercial cabinetry, including millwork, casework, fixtures and furniture. The business was founded in 1965 by Wayne Siewert in his Seward home, has been in the neighborhood ever since, and now employs more than 35 people. Rick has continued the family tradition, and graciously hosts the monthly SCCA board meetings around his hand-crafted conference table.

Renee Spillum

Renee Spillum

Renee Spillum – Seward Redesign

Renee is a Project Manager at Seward Redesign, and a former staff person for SCCA. She was appointed by the SCCA board in 2015 to complete the term of a resigning member. Her work at Redesign is focused on business development, commercial leasing and new development projects. She also works on fundraising, infrastructure planning, and solar energy projects. Renee’s knowledge of SCCA and her enthusiasm for community development are a valued addition to the SCCA board.

All current SCCA members are encouraged to join us to celebrate the year and vote for the 2016 Board candidates on December 17 from 4 – 6 pm at Joan of Art Gallery: click here to RSVP.

December Business Buzz

Better Futures Minnesota Warehouse Liquidation Sale

MOVING LIQUIDATION SALE THIS WEEKEND!! Better Futures Minnesota is in its final weeks at the 6100 Olson Memorial Highway Warehouse. We will be open this weekend: Friday, December 11th, 12 pm to 7 pm and Saturday, December 12th, 9 am to 2 pm. ALL PRODUCTS AND MATERIALS MUST GO!!!!

Better Futures Minnesota recently relocated to Seward at 2620 Minnehaha Ave. www.betterfuturesminnesota.com

Seward Co-op's new Friendship Store

Seward Co-op’s new Friendship Store

Seward Co-op Opens New Friendship Store

Seward Co-op recently opened their new, full-service grocery store at the former site of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, on the corner of 38th Street and 3rd Avenue. This store is named “Friendship” in acknowledgment of the site’s history and the relationships the co-op has built in the Bryant-Central neighborhood. They now accept SNAP (EBT) food and cash benefits.

Please visit the Friendship store at 317 E. 38th St. Minneapolis, MN 55409. Phone: 612.230.5595

Fun City Dogs Sunday Playtime

Fun City Dogs is open for Sunday playtime with your dog from 12-4pm.  Drop in to play with your dog at their indoor dog park.  $10 per family.

Fun City Dogs – 2213 Snelling Ave 612-722-3647

Mon Petit Cheri to open for Dinner & Wine/Beer

Message from owner Emily Rheingans: Hello everyone! I’d just like to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of you who have introduced yourselves and made us feel welcome since we opened in February. We’ve had a fabulous year so far and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. I’d just like to take a minute to let you all know of our upcoming plans with the bakery. In February, we are planning on adding bottled beer and wine to our menu as well as starting dinner service Thursday-Sunday evenings. We take the addition of wine and beer service as well as extended hours very seriously, and we intend to help keep our neighborhood clean, safe, quiet, and even more delicious now with more local made from scratch food. If you have any questions, please direct any e-mails to me, Emily, at mpcbakery@gmail.com. Here’s to hoping everyone has a successful December, and a great new year!

Mon Petit Cheri is located at 2401 E Franklin Ave. www.mpcbakery.com


Blue Nile Restaurant

Blue Nile Restaurant

Blue Nile closes – Site purchased by Indian Health Board

The Blue Nile Restaurant & Lounge, a long term restaurant at the gateway to Seward on Franklin Avenue, closed for business earlier this winter and this month has closed on a sale of its property. The property had been held by the Katabay family since 1996, and the Blue Nile had a good run with dynamic live music offerings and hearty Ethiopian food.

As of December 2015, the property running along Franklin from Minnehaha to 21st Avenue South has been sold to the Indian Health Board, which Redesign has been told has plans to redevelop the site.

SCCA Member Profile: Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, the owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print, greets everyone with a big smile and warm hello. Her motto and goal is to be “Your Neighborhood Print Shop” and she loves helping customers make their dreams come true. Ivy Arts Copy & Print is an independently owned shop run by theater artists with a focus on printing for the arts and the neighborhood community. As Vicki describes it, “No bells, whistles or million dollar machines. Just friendly personal service and low prices from people who care!”

Vicki opened the print shop in September 2013 after spending 13 years running the Augsburg College copy center. Her job was eliminated earlier that year when the college decided to cut costs and outsource those services. An actress with many connections to the theater community, Vicki’s friend Rick Coleman was running a copy shop in New Richmond, WI. Rick also operates two theaters with Kathy Welch through their business Green T Productions. He didn’t have time to run the copy shop full time, so Vicki suggested they move it to the Twin Cities where she could run it. She visited the Ivy Building and got on the waiting list for space, as she was impressed by the building and the vibrant community of artists. When a ground floor space with its own entrance became available she and Rick knew this was the place. The location also serves Vicki well as she lives on the West Bank and doesn’t own a car, so the #7 bus line is her convenient route to work. Her business partner Rick manages the finances from New Richmond.

A full service copy and print shop, Ivy Arts Copy & Print can help you with brochures, postcards, buttons, business cards, booklets, binding, laminating, and more. The shop does a lot of posters, programs and other printing for local theaters such as Open Eye, Bedlam and Frank Theater, so stopping at the front counter is a great way to see what shows are running. An actress herself, Vicki is also known as Vicki Joan the Rainbow Lady in her work as a storyteller. Right now the print shop is producing a lot of calendars for local artists, as well as chapbooks and zines. Currently Vicki is the primary employee, with one assistant who is there a few afternoons a week. She would like to add staff and offer more services like large format printing. She also hopes to upgrade the equipment as they grow. A new member of SCCA in 2015, Vicki enjoys connecting with other businesses and artists in the neighborhood.

If you need to copy, print, fax, or scan something, stop by Ivy Arts Copy & Print at 2637 27th Ave S, Suite 6 in the Ivy Building. Look for their sandwich board on the sidewalk. Hours: 11 am – 6 pm, Mon-Fri AND by appointment. Vicki says never hesitate to contact her if you need a job done on the weekend. She is happy to open up with advance notice. 612-728-8000 or printer@ivyartscopy.com.


Welcome Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA Staff!

Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA staff person.

Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA staff person.

This month Hillary Oppmann started as the new staff person for SCCA. Current staff person Erin Thomasson won’t be going far; she will be returning to work full time for Redesign. Over the next month Erin will be working with Hillary to hand off the reins, but will still be available to assist when questions arise. Redesign has generously made space available in their office for Hillary to work, so the connection between SCCA and Redesign will remain strong.

Hillary has lived in the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods since moving to Minneapolis in 2000. She previously worked for the Longfellow Community Council and spent several years staffing the Longfellow Business Association. Her children attend Seward Montessori where she is an active parent volunteer for Safe Routes to School and other efforts. A former small business owner herself of a bakery in Vermont, she is excited to assist SCCA in creating a vibrant business community in Seward.

You can reach Hillary at 612-435-0277 or info@sewardbusiness.org.

City Changes Course in Workplace Regulations Debate

See SCCA’s October Post for background on this issue.

Mayor Delays Scheduling Requirements
After weeks of vocal opposition by the Minneapolis business community to the City proposed Working Families Agenda, Mayor Betsy Hodges announced on October 5th that implementation of the controversial ‘Fair Scheduling’ regulations would be dropped from the current push to implement new workplace regulations. The Mayor stated:

“When it comes to fair, predictable scheduling, I have heard from many people, including many business owners, that the issue is complicated and that more time is needed to engage in this important issue….For this reason, I am announcing today that I am moving forward with the agenda to ensure earned sick and safe time and to protect against wage theft, and that for now, fair scheduling policies will not be the focus of the work.”

 Read more about the scheduling issue in this StarTribune article.

SCCA Board Engagement
In response to the City’s Working Families Agenda proposals, on October 14 the SCCA Board of Directors drafted and delivered a letter to city staff and Councilmembers Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame. The letter stated, in part:

“We understand the desire to improve working conditions for all employees in our community. These proposals if adopted will have many unintended consequences that are not good for either the employees or employers. The proposal paints the entire business community with a broad brush to address problems with a few businesses.

The proposals under consideration would insert the city of Minneapolis into the daily operations of thousands of businesses in our community that are not covered by a union contract. The proposals if implemented have a drastic impact on the daily operations of many of our businesses and also add unfunded additional costs.

As we discuss this issue with businesses throughout Seward we have found that many businesses are still not aware of the proposals. In particular many immigrant businesses are unaware of the proposals, as no outreach in languages other than English has been done, to our knowledge. When information regarding the proposals is shared the reaction is strongly negative.

We ask that you help change this discussion from its current direction of creating a new ordinance that forces unworkable operational and cost costs to a positive one that can work for all businesses and their employees and does not involve the city council in the day to day operations of the businesses in Seward.”

The Next Step: Workplace Regulations Partnership
As a result of pushback from many local businesses and business associations, including SCCA, Lake Street Council and Longfellow Business Association, on October 30 the City Council established a 15-member “partnership group to study the impact of policy proposals related to workplace regulations on earned sick time and paid time off.” The Workplace Regulations Partnership will consist of employee, organized labor, business and business group representatives. “The partnership group is directed to engage the community in the development of its recommended policy proposals through focus groups, listening sessions, and similar practices and may consult subject-matter experts in the course of its study.” The group’s final policy proposals on earned sick time and paid time off will be presented to the City Council by February 24, 2016.

All Minneapolis employers are invited to attend the November 17 SCCA Forum on Workplace Regulations to stay informed and learn more about these significant workplace proposals. SCCA members are encouraged to reach out and invite a neighbor business to attend. Presenters at this informational forum include Jim Welna, owner of Welna II Hardware & Paint and current SCCA Board member; and Allison Sharkey, Executive Director of Lake Street Council.