Prairie Roots Food Co-op to open downtown Fargo grocery store

This morning at 1 Million Cups Fargo, Prairie Roots Food Co-Op announced that they are opening a location in Kilbourne Group‘s recently purchased building at 1213 NP Ave., the corner of NP Ave and University.

The building, formerly Mathison’s Printing, will house a full selection of locally sourced food as well as a community space to eat. The co-op is slotted to open in late 2016.


A rendering of the Prairie Roots building.

“You can expect the same full service and full department like any grocery store,” said Cheryl Biller, Site Selection Committee for Prairie Roots. “We’ll have a full selection of dairy, a meat selection with a butcher, a community space, and locally sourced and sustainable food products.”

Although it is seasonally sourced, Prairie Roots plans to offer a fully stocked selection year round through collaboration with farmers locally and nationally.

“Many of our members are local farmers, who will extend their growing season” said Tim Mathern, Prairie Roots President. “We will also become a member of the National Grocer’s Association, to source other products from farmers across the country. People will be able to have product all year.”

The Prairie Roots board announces the big news at 1 Million Cups.

The Prairie Roots board announces the big news at 1 Million Cups.

Biller also announced that the Burgum family recently invested in the Co-Op, with a commitment to give $100,000 matching grant challenge for all donations until De. 31. Already, they have $200K in member loans and grants, and have a capital campaign goal to raise $1M, she said.

Doug Burgum, who took the stage after Biller, spoke about his vision for creating vibrant, healthy downtowns via the work of Kilbourne Group. The purchase and revitalization of the Mathisons’ building is another step in fulfilling that mission.

“Today’s job seekers are picking the city first and the job second,” Burgum said. “Everyone I talk to is using downtown as the differentiator to attract people to our city.”

He encouraged the audience to get engaged with the development of downtown; from doing Christmas shopping downtown, to advocating for more walkability.

“There’s decisions being made every day with your tax dollars that in my opinion or uneconomic,” he said. “We need to get smart about what we’re doing with our city.”

Burgum encouraged everyone to read this editorial by Fargo’s City Commissioner Mike Williams in the Fargo Forum.

Bringing Fresh Food Downtown

Prairie Roots hopes to increase the vibrancy of downtown by offering a market for local farmers and ranchers. It will take up the entire first floor of the building, and is being designed by Kilbourne Group.

As they begin the development process, their greatest need is to attract members, Biller said. There is a $300 one time fee to become a member, which can be paid at once or in $25 per-month increments. Once the co-op is open, members will receive special discounts.

Currently there are 830 members, and the goal is to have at least 1500 by their opening date in Fall 2016. Members are a crucial part of making the co-op work, according to Kaye Kirsch, Prairie Roots’ Membership and Development Director.

“If you want that downtown Fargo grocery store, we’ve done a lot of the work but we need your help to make it happen,” Kirsch said.

For more information, check out Prairie Roots’ website.

Marisa Jackels

Marisa Jackels

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