New Seward Co-op is a natural shopper's nirvana
The new Seward co-op opened yesterday, in a brand new, $10 million building eight blocks east of its former location, a bright green beacon (really, this pic doesn't do it justice) at the intersection of Franklin and Riverside.
When I stopped by, late yesterday afternoon, the parking lot was full and only three shopping carts remained in the entryway. The space has a bit of an industrial, warehouse feel, probably due to the flooring and exposed mechanicals. It was built to comply with LEED environmental standards, so the building itself fits in with the co-op's mission of sustainability and health.
It's also more than twice the size of its former home, so it feels more like shopping in, say, the Whole Foods on Excelsior Blvd. than the Linden Hills co-op. (Someone from Seward may want to take the signage off the old building as I saw many confused drivers pull into the empty parking lot, looking baffled.)
The "wellness" department seems to be a co-op cash cow, based on the footprint the new Seward devotes to lip balm and hair dye. The deli area is enormous, as well, reflecting the growth in the prepared foods market, and includes both a large hot bar and salad bar.
The meat and seafood department has its promised homemade sausages, meatballs, and Scotch eggs (I'm very curious to find out who buys the latter...) and its employees are sure to inspire as many customer service crushes as the guys at the Wedge.
Seward Co-op is at 2823 E. Franklin Avenue and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily--and you don't have to be a member to shop.