Yes, it’s air-conditioned.
That’s the first question shoppers may wonder as they make their way to Cub Food’s new temporary supermarket on East Lake Street in Minneapolis.
The tent-like structure opened Wednesday in front of the store at 26th Avenue and Lake Street that was badly damaged on May 28 in riots that followed protests over the police killing of George Floyd.
“I live two blocks away and I’m disabled so this is very important to me,” Darryl LeVells said as he shopped Wednesday morning. “The selection is very good despite the smaller size and prices seem very reasonable. I got eight pieces of fried chicken for $6.99 instead of $8.99.”
For the past several weeks, LeVells said he also been using the free shuttle that takes customers from the Lake Street store to a Cub store at the Quarry in Minneapolis, which was not damaged.
The temporary store includes fresh produce and meat, canned goods, cleaning supplies, frozen foods, dry goods, a pharmacy, wide aisles, and five checkouts.
A service desk sells bus passes and MoneyGrams. Money orders will be available soon. The site also includes a TCF ATM.
“Opening the Cub community market is one of the first steps in bringing the Lake Street community back together,” said Cub’s chief executive Mike Stigers in a statement. “It’s emotional to hear customers share personal stories of what’s happened to them over the past month, and I couldn’t be more proud of the Cub team who worked quickly to put this plan in place, and get us back in the store to take care of the essential needs of this neighborhood.”
The damage from four days of protests that turned violent also encompassed nearby Target and Aldi stores, turning the area around the busy Lake and Minnehaha intersection into a food desert. Several bank branches in the area — TCF, U.S. Bank and Firefly Credit Union — were also closed.
At its temporary store, Cub allows customers to get $50 in cash with a debit card with purchase.
The original Cub structure on Lake Street is expected to reopen by the end of the year. Once the weather cools, the tent will also be heated.
Cub will soon open another temporary store as a subset of its store on W. Broadway in Minneapolis, which also closed because of riot damage.
Both locations are owned by Jerry’s Foods in Edina but are operated by Cub’s parent company, United Natural Foods Inc., and considered Cub corporate stores. Jerry’s is responsible for rebuilding the stores and transferred many of its employees to other Cub locations.
“UNFI is the franchiser of Cub and they control the brand, the division and the model,” said Ben Schultes, vice president of finance for Jerry’s Foods. “The lease is in our name and we control the building and the lot, but it made more sense for them to be the operator.”
The Broadway store’s temporary structure within the existing store will open at some point the week of July 20. The renovation of that location is expected to be finished by October.
“The Broadway store was not destroyed inside like the Lake Street store was,” Schultes said. “The coolers and freezers were not destroyed.”