Minneapolis cracks down on 'members-only' Uptown grocer run out of... this house on Hennepin?


Huh. Google

Good god, are we here for the not-so-subtle burn from Fox 9 in its Thursday story about Uptown Locavore: "A Minneapolis business in Uptown, which prides itself on the quality of its poultry and dairy, has been temporarily shut down by the city's health department."

That's ice cold. That's Nicki Minaj calling out Miley at the VMAs levels of shade-throwing. 

Here's the deal: Uptown Locavore is a "members-only" grocer selling mostly organic fare from small farmers, according to its website. Think Costco, but for shoppers who want grass-fed, free-range beef instead of a year's supply of toilet paper and free samples of Hot Pockets. And much smaller. Like, run out of a basement at 3137 Hennepin Ave. small.

For 50 bucks a year, you get access to hand-rolled butter and raw-milk cheeses, plus local honey, fermented goods—things like that. (Including "raw pet food.")

The problem, health inspectors say, is that is that owner Will Winter can't legally sell those raw dairy products, or unpasteurized milk, or beef that hasn't been inspected. While it's perfectly legal to buy raw milk and other dairy products in Minnesota, you have to buy it straight from the farmer, which Winter is not. So they've shut the shop down, saying Winter doesn't actually have a license to operate a grocery there. Or any food-related business. 

While the website for the decade-old store notes that its members can get "organic and sustainable products year-round directly from producers," it's not directly, in the traditional sense. That Winter runs a store and not a farm means he's still a middleman. 

His take? Uptown Locavore isn't a store, it's a private buyer's club. Which... sounds an awful lot like a store, just with more words. In any case, the rogue grocer tells Fox: “We've done nothing wrong and we don't intend to do anything wrong."

The food in question is being held for investigation while inspectors suss out the situation.