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Inside Track

A look at what’s behind today's Minnesota business headlines.

The Food Group absorbs Minnesota Food Association

The Food Group, the nonprofit independent food bank that supplies hundreds of Twin Cities food shelves with low-cost, nutritious staples and more, is increasingly an entrepreneurial organization that has gotten into nutrition education, the local-foods movement and community gardens as part of its health-oriented mission.

Earlier this month, Food Group, which also has vegetable gardens at its New Hope offices and warehouse, absorbed Big River Farms in Marine on St. Croix.

Big River was owned by nonprofit Minnesota Food Association (MFA). It functions as an incubator for immigrant and minority farmers and their vegetable plots.

MFA wanted to focus on growing food versus administration. It has a budget of about $600,000 compared to Food Group, with revenue of about $10 million.

“We’re excited to open the door to the many new possibilities this partnership will present,” said CEO Lori Kratchmer of Food Group. “Our organization is committed to equity and this allows us to work more deeply on this as well as nutrition issues.”

Food Group plans create expanded growing-and-revenue opportunities for micro-farmers at the same time that it increases its own access to locally grown fresh food.

“This opportunity presents innovative ways for us to work together to become stronger in supporting local farmers and alleviating hunger in our community,” said Dan Tilsen, board chiar of MFA.

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BDO will move its office to Minneapolis loop this month

BDO, the Chicago-based national accounting firm, will move its 75-person Minneapolis practice from Edina to Downtown at the end of May.

Allen Kaufmann, the assurance practice managing partner for the Minneapolis office, said the said the firm is positioned as a “national and global alternative to the Big Four firms.

“The Minneapolis business community will now have more direct access to BDO’s full array of services which include assurance, tax, risk advisory….business restructuring, litigation and fraud investigation services,” Kaufmann said.  “The downtown financial district is an ideal location for BDO USA.“

The firm said it was attracted to downtown because of the central location and transit options.

Michael Metz, tax managing partner for the Minneapolis office, said the space available at the new location will “allow us to double our current staff level in the future.”

BDO, which has doubled in size since 2012 to $1.29 billion in 2016 revenue, has more than 60 offices around the country and can “leverage the resources of more than 1,400-member firm offices in over 150 countries around the world.”