The Wedge Co-op

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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I use to try to enjoy this place but my latest shopping visits their felt like they were following black people around, seeing what they like and then raising prices. Not that prices aren't already high enough. Yes they are vegan friendly but not black friendly.

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My favorite place to shop for fun veg foods and they have amazing desserts. Vegan pumpkin cupcakes with maple-pecan frosting, um yeah they're dangerously delicious.

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Good if you need something, terrible parking, people (customers) are often rude. Staff is great, and helpful in comparison. It's become too yuppie and chic to shop there.

Good to find stuff there, but there are more independent coops, where the founders still shop and will talk to you about gardening advice.

They are about the money, they didn't quit carrying Colloidal Silver until very late, look up "argyria."

Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad they are there, but it's such a pain I don't go unless I need something from there. There are more community oriented coops out there, the Wedge is there for those hard to find items or delicious bakery treat(if you can find parking and are in the area).

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The selection of fresh, local products is awesome, especially in the bulk and spice sections! I go there at least once a week and the staff has always been friendly and never disappoint when I have questions. In the deli, the ancho black bean salad is a favorite of my vegan and non-vegan friends alike.

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I unfortunately live too far from The Wedge to be a regular shopper, but occasionally I do stop in for some treats.

They have a great selection of vegan options, including the much hyped Teese vegan Cheese. They are the only place I have seen carrying in the area.

They also have vegan soft-serve, which I think tends to be a secret. Whenever I get it, people always ask "did you get that here?". They used to only have vanilla, but they have added chocolate, so you can get yummy swirl cones now as well.

They have a big deli area, and a lot of fresh baked breads. And of course tons of produce and other nice things.

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The Wedge is great. If the deli were nearer to my work place, I'd likely pick up lunch here every day. They have "design your own" sandwiches and offer great marinated tempeh as a protein. The vegan tollhouse cookies are amazing, and you can get a great vegan burrito by eliminating cheese & sour cream.

Image for conde.kedar

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I love The Wedge. First and foremost it is a community gathering spot and you constantly run into friends there. It represents the liberal, progressive and intelligent nature of the community perfectly. It eliminated plastic bags early in 2008 and most of the customers are conscientious enough to bring their own bags. The staff is consistently cool and helpful and fun to chat with. If you're a member ($80 gets you four shares in the Co-op, along with yearly dividend payments based on your total purchases) you can get good discounts and access to cooking classes and other cool stuff.

The store carries everything you could possibly need, including obscure types of brown sugar and vegan baking ingredients, multiple vegan cheeses, Toffuti cream cheese, three or four brands of tofu and tempeh, six or seven brands of vegan ice creams and non-dairy desserts (soy, rice, oats, coconut, sorbet), multiple brands of vegan deli meats, three brands of soy yogurt and half a dozen different types of non-dairy milks (soy, rice, hemp, almond, etc.). They also carry four or five varieties of veggie burgers.

Their deli/cafe area seems to have gotten much better since I first started going there in October 2007. Today, a year later, they have a vegan burrito, portobella burger and tofu/tempeh sandwich options, in addition to at least two or three hot vegan dishes cooked daily (curries, dals, seitan stews, etc.). I find their sandwiches and deli items to be tasty, fresh and fairly cheap, but their hot cooked items tend to be expensive ($8 per pound) and a bit bland and boring. Make sure to try a sample before ordering anything.

Their baked good section is a rock-solid vegan haven. They always have three or four different types of cakes/pies, in addition to truffle balls, four types of muffins/cupcakes, as well as three types of cookies, and also macaroons and simple things like pumpkin bread or banana bread. Every once in a while they have key lime coconut pie (heavenly), chocolate mousse pie (decadent beyond belief), and cheesecake (crave-inducing). Their cooler section also has wonderful vegan tapioca pudding (made with coconut milk and sugar) and German cake.

I just recently discovered their smoothies and shakes which are unbelievably delicious, though probably calorie-laden. That said, they're cheap at around $4 a pop (in comparison, TAO Cafe on Hennepin charges $7 for the same size soy-banana-chocolate-ice cream smoothie).

I've probably gained 15 pounds because of the continuous, easy access to delicious, varied vegan foods I have there.

My only gripe (and it's not a trivial one): prices are generally higher at The Wedge, though you do get much better quality foods than you would at a mainstream grocery store. But organic produce at The Wedge tends to break the bank---for instance, they'll charge you $2 a pound for green peppers, whereas as Rainbow/Lunds you could get organic for $1.25. Non-organic would be under $1. In other words, produce tends to cost twice as much as elsewhere.

In the end, though, The Wedge is a special place. If I ever leave Minneapolis, it's the first place I'll miss.

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I swung by here when I was in the neighborhood one day to see what vegan options were available in the bakery. They were able to offer some very delicious cupcakes, which was about it. But they were still pretty good.

I asked about any vegan cheesecake options, which they didn't have - the clerk seemed rather annoyed at my question and mentioned that if I gave them 24 hours they would be able to do something. I thought it never hurts to ask.

Image for Cass Danger

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I was super excited to try their vegan soft serve ice cream so I made a special trip there just for that. It was cold, creamy, and sweet, but I think the oat taste was too prominent. I would get it again because I like that it's homemade and it's well priced, but I don't think it's as good as Tofutti, Soy Delicious, or Temptation ice cream.

I didn't purchase anything else from the store, but I admired their selection of vegan products, especially their vegan cheese selection. I've noticed a lot of places only carry Follow Your Heart or Vegan Rella, but Wedge had both, plus some others.

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Not the best choice, service is poor compared to others, staff is almost to the point of disgusted, if you you are not a member. There is a great selection of cold items; to go; but the hot items always look like slop. The Selections of juices "appears" to be worth mentioning if I had not ever gone to a Coop before. However Seward has a better sele'cion of choice juices and grab and go breakfast items (Muffin's-...). Macro-dieters wont find most of the items needed you'll have to still head to WF or an Asian Market. I'm not completely vegan i make fresh choices and in most cases I still have to run to one of the local Roundy's. Prices are higher on some items to other Coop's however I suspect this is because of the location. The primary reason for the low rating is the service ( cashiers, ...) the majority of the staff seem very angry, which is why I choose to go the extra mile+ for a smile :)

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I don't eat at the hot bar often, but the store has lots of good vegan stuff. They carry a lot of the Tofutti products I love (vegan pizza, cream cheese, cuties, etc.) but they don't have others (Tofutti vegan cheese slices). They do usually have some Follow your Heart vegan cheese, and Hip Whip, and good vegan chocolates and marshmallows and lots of seitan, tempeh, etc. They used to have the Morningstar Tuno (vegan tuna), which was really good, but I haven't seen it lately. The deli case has some super vegan butterscotch pudding, and there's a wonderful vegan soy nog parfait in December, and I've had some very good vegan peanut chocolate desserts from the bakery. It can be hard to find a vegan store-made bread, and they do have an unfortunate lot of meat, but they really have lots of good vegan stuff too.

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While I deplore the fact that The Wedge does not carry Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (or if they do they keep it well hidden), I am always thrilled with the selection of vegan baked goods in the bakery section. I recently tried the vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and it tasted exactly like how I remember the homemade animal-ingredient cookies from my childhood tasting: Crisp around the edges, chewy on the inside, and not too soft. Their baked goods are WAY better than French Meadow's, whose vegan cookies are always a bit too dense, soft, and flavorless for my taste-buds.

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While their baked goods still tend towards the dry side and some of their food is rather bland, the Wedge's deli offerings have improved in past months. The garlic lover's pasta (veggie but not vegan-friendly) is totally addictive. The sandwiches made to order are good, but a bit pricey (the pre-packaged ones can be soggy). I tried some walnut-pecan pate the other day that was good (again veggie, not vegan). Nice to see the food quality improving even if it still has a ways to go.

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Yes, I shop there. It's close, and they do have organic food. Plus, the husband works there, so we get a discount.

However... The place sure doesn't make much of an effort to be vegan friendly. No matter how many comments they seem to get about the deli being crap, they don't change anything. They bang themselves on the back for having vegan options, but their options are awful. The deli was good years ago, with african mock chicken, and all sorts of vegan hot deli items, but they have gone way downhill in recent years, and I don't even bother to look anymore. The baked good are almost always dry, and you can do much better at Whole Foods, or baking for yourself. I think they're generally over priced and underconcerned with catering to their vegan clientele, which is really stupid in my opinion, because word gets 'round in these circles. It's also frustrating when people interested in veganism go to a frickin' health food store thinking they'll be able to try some of that vegan food they've been hearing so much about, only to find that it's unappetizing and freaky.

Then there's the meat and seafood department. I am personally disgusted that an organization that claims to be so concerned about the protection of the environment, and being resposible consumers, and all that warm fuzzy stuff would push the meat thing so hard. It actually makes me angry that they pride themselves on their organic meat counter, and refuse to aknowledge how awful meat is for the environment, not to mention the animals. They like to kid themselves into thinking that they're so great because they have humane meat... okay, I have to stop. It's clear I'm not a fan.

I would like to see a more vegan friendly atmosphere in all the co-ops, including vegan pet food! Vegans are trying to make the wortld a better place; They should have options readily available. These co-ops owe it to the public to have these options available so that society can improve.

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The Wedge's concern for organic issues far surpasses its concern for animals. There is a disgustingly large meat department, yet they refuse to carry some vegan cheeses due to non-organic ingredients. It's not that I don't support their position on organics, but their position on animal products should be just as strong. If they justify the sale of organic meat with the argument that meat-eaters will be exposed to more ethical foods, they should do the same for non-organic vegan products.

It's unfortunate that all of the natural foods shops in the Twin Cities appear to sell meat -- in Britain, for example, few (if any) do.

Still, the Wedge does continue to carry a number of hard-to-find vegan products.

Image for Dave Rolsky

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The Wedge, while still vegan-friendly, has been getting progressively less so over the past couple years. In recent months, this seems to have accelerated. The deli now contains very few items, hot or cold, that are vegan. The few items that are vegan are generally not very good. The bakery too seems to have reduced its number of vegan options. The muffins and scones are still good, but most of the cakes, except the tofu cheesecake, range from mediocre to downright bad.

If the Wedge wants to become a yuppie paradise and ignore it's vegan customers, I see no reason that vegans shouldn't head over to Whole Foods, which only seems to be getting more vegan-friendly while the Wedge becomes less so.

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I assume that pretty much everyone has been to the Wedge and knows of it's wonders, but I thought that I would articulate my love of the Wedge through a list of some of my favorite things. (You can sing the song in your head if you want to.)

1. The muffins. My favorites are the classic blueberry, orange almond and chocolate raspberry.

2. The scones, a bargain at $1.69.

3. Vegan mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy. Food of the gods.

4. Seitan stew over rice. Why can I not make stew this good?

5. The fact that a membership is a super-bargain, and entitles you to some great member specials.

6. Oatscream. Really. I love the strawberry.

7. Dallas and Brandon *both* work there.

And I think that their selection of pretty much everything is hands-down the best of all the co-ops in the area.

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