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Expanding your Organization
While nonprofits will always provide base social services, PUC that North Market will show that organizations can ideate and innovate solutions to other problems. PUC believes that while many organizations often start out by thinking that they don't have the time or resources to innovate. President and CEO of Pillsbury United communities, Adair Mosley encourages other nonprofits to shift that mentality and think more about the people they serve and use that as a driving force to push new solutions.
As an organization, PUC knew that they could look internally for solutions to the problems the community was facing. As funding for nonprofits becomes less available and need for services and solutions remains constant, organizations will need too look to new ways to create change like social entrepreneurship opportunities. Keeping community members at the heart of the process and being constantly reminded that the end result would be creating a place that would dramatically change the lives of people in North Minneapolis drove the PUC team to continue to innovate and find solutions.
Partnerships with Purpose
Understanding what the strengths of their organization were and then looking externally to fill gaps was one of the biggest lessons learned in building North Market. Mosley, credits much of their success to finding partners that aligned with the project. He even noted that there were partners who along the way, stopped being a fit into the vision of what North Market would become and would have to be let go. The team and partners that PUC had along the way created an almost snowball effect. Starting with the core team of Supervalu and North Memorial, coupled with design that make North Market look like a real and viable idea, one partnership lead to another partnership lead to another. The more people behind the idea, the easier it was to bring people along. In the capital campaign phase of the project, PUC raised $7 million dollars through government funding and corporate donors.
An Emotional Connection
In the end, building North Market was deeply powerful to the PUC team as a project of this magnitude was above and beyond what they ever imagined accomplishing as an organization. They know the legacy and the impact this store will have the community for years to come, and seeing that as they engaged with partners and community members made that feeling even more real. This projected has become a benchmark for PUC that as an organization they were capable of lifting up the voice of the community and doing it in an extraordinary way.
North Market Today
From the day North Market opened on December 13, 2017 to Mid-February of 2018, the store has served nearly 14,000 guests.
The wellness center has had 142 people attend classes for a total of 436 visits - showing that many people are returning to more than one class. Almost 40 people participated in nutrition education store tours offered by community health workers.
The wellness center has also created a space for North Market to create new partnerships. Northside businesses and nonprofits around Minneapolis have joined forces with PUC to provide the rich variety of classes.
Class offerings are robust: Exercise classes five times a week, 2 yoga classes a month, a once a month meal prep class, a mindfulness class plus other cooking classes and store tours.