Hampden Park Co-op’s new general manager, Greg Junge, wants to capitalize on the opening of the Green Line on University Avenue and the two new breweries—Urban Growler and Bang—just blocks away on Endicott Street by expanding the 40-year-old food cooperative’s offerings.
In August, the co-oop added an outdoor dining area and Junge plans to add more items to the deli menu to include a line of evening desserts that may attract some Urban Growler after-dinner traffic to the co-op, which is located at the corner of Hampden and Raymond avenues.
More community outreach (which includes letting the public know they can shop to live music on Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.), new menu items and fresh paint are on the list for Junge, who started his position in July, after a six-month search by the co-op’s board of directors.
Junge (pronounced “young”) brings 15 years of management experience, working for various food service and food retail organizations such as Walmart and Sodexo and startup Northeast Minneapolis restaurant SNAP! Hampden Park Co-op is a member-owned full-line grocery store with more than 3,500 members. Junge wants to see the membership increase.
It’s a big part of the community, and the store did a great job of sticking to its mission during the recent economic recession, Junge says. That mission is to serve its member-owners and the community by promoting wholesome, healthful and ecologically sound food consumption with the involvement of its members in food selection and the operation of the co-op. Many of the co-op’s members volunteer in the store in exchange for discounts on their groceries.
Prior to joining the co-op, Junge was the assistant store manager of the grocery section at the Cottage Grove Walmart, which has a full line of natural and organic foods. He previously was general manager for Sodexo at General Mills, where he created lunchtime offerings with rotating menus prepared by high-profile local chefs. His background also includes serving as the general manager of SNAP!, a pizza and ice cream restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis that was open for several years.