“I’ve been an active member of the SCCA because I like to be involved and know what’s going on with neighborhood businesses.”
SCCA Member: Rick Siewert, Siewert Cabinets


Small Business Saturday – November 26th

Submit your events and promotions to SCCA!
Saturday, November 26, 2016 is Small Business Saturday® – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for our communities. Is your small business planning an event or special promotion? Send details to Hillary at info@sewardbusiness.org and SCCA will send out a special edition of the newsletter and post on our website. Looking for ideas? Click here. Please join the SCCA and organizations across the country in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business.

Franklin Open Streets Returns August 21!

Open Streets returns to Franklin for the third year on Sunday, August 21st from 11 am – 5 pm. The deadline to register is July 22nd so don’t delay. Register here.

This year, thanks to Great Streets funding, SCCA is offering mini grants to help Seward businesses participate in and enhance their presence during Franklin Open Streets. This event attracts 4,00 – 5,000 people to Franklin Avenue, and is a great opportunity to promote your business.

Priority for funding goes to East African businesses. Remaining funds will be given to Seward businesses and organizations who haven’t participated in Open Streets before, or who want to expand their event programming.
Mini-Grant Amounts: $50 – $250
Deadline to apply: Friday, July 8th, however, grant funds are limited. Apply ASAP!

Download application here.

Submit to info@sewardbusiness.org.

Questions? Contact Deb Ervin – c: 651-214-9354 or deborah@articulture.org

Join our new Facebook group!

In partnership with the Longfellow Business Association, we have launched a new Facebook group for local businesses: Seward+Longfellow Business Community. This is a private group for business owners and community leaders to share information and ideas and support each other. We hope you will join the group and use it as a resource. Members can post links to events, sales, job postings, etc. at your business or organization. Have exciting news to share? The Facebook group allows you to communicate directly with other businesses. Currently we have almost 50 members with more joining daily. Check it out and then invite other Seward and Longfellow based business owners to join as well. Thank you! https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewardLongfellowBusinesses/

Welcome New Board Members

The SCCA 2015 Annual Celebration was a great success as over 30 members gathered at Joan of Art Gallery on East Franklin Avenue to elect Board Members and socialize. Surrounded by the creative works of Kimber Fiebiger, owner of Joan of Art, we were treated to delicious food, including appetizers and desserts from the Seward Co-op, Enchiladas and hot cider from Chef Shack, salmon from Coastal Seafoods, and macaroons and cookies from Birchwood Café. Members enjoyed wine and other beverages from Zipps.

Mekbib and Jenny 2015 Annual meeting

Photo: Outgoing Board member Jenny Larson with new board member Mekbib Dersoligne.

The membership unanimously voted to elect Mekbib Dersoligne of Wells Fargo Bank, and Pastor Mike Matson of Bethany Lutheran Church, as new Board members. Current Board Members Kerry Cashman of Seward Neighborhood Group, Rick Siewert of Siewert Cabinet, and Renee Spillum of Seward Redesign, were re-elected. We extend our thanks to outgoing board member Jenny Larson, owner of Jennifer Larson Communications Design, and outgoing Treasurer Jennifer Shoenzeit, owner of Zipp’s Liquors, for their service to the board. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the Board members, new and old, who volunteer their time and energy month after month to help make the business community of Seward strong and vibrant!

Mekbib Dersoligne – Wells Fargo Bank

Mekbib is a Business Banking Specialist at the Wells Fargo branch at 26th & East Franklin.. He specializes in managing customers’ portfolios and service relationships, and provides a broad base of financial and credit services for Wells Fargo clients. He has been involved in the finance industry since 1994. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Math from the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia in 1992, and holds a BSC in Accounting from Metro State University in Minneapolis. He moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2002 and started at Wells Fargo as a teller in 2003. He sits on a loan committee for the African Development Center, and looks forward to connecting more with the Seward business community.

Mike Matson – Bethany Lutheran Church

Pastor Mike Matson began serving Bethany in 2014. He serves there half time while continuing his half-time ministry as Chaplain to Student Athletes at Augsburg College. He serves in other roles at Augsburg College as Football Assistant Coach and Volunteer Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is also in the Navy Reserves. Pastor Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from Augsburg in 2007, and graduated in 2011 from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Ill. He received his ordination from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in September 2012. Pastor Mike and his wife Helen have four children.

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.