May 19 Why We Chose Northeast Minneapolis for Our Growing Business
As I speak to residents of Northeast Minneapolis, that word keeps bubbling to the surface. They talk about diversity of thought, industry, and even food. It’s obvious that Northeast—Nordeast to locals—takes pride in its differences.
So when it was time to find a new office, our team agreed that Northeast Minneapolis was a perfect fit. Our non-profit organization, Rêve Academy, serves a student base that’s 90% ethnically diverse, and Rêve Consulting is a woman-owned business with a wide range of clients.
But we think Northeast offers a rich working environment for any business, even if diversity isn’t your bread and butter. In the words of local business owners, here are a few reasons why you’ll love Northeast.
If you prefer your office buildings with a side of history, come to Northeast. For decades, the towering brick building at 807 Broadway St. NE housed a General Electric lightbulb factory. Later, it became the headquarters for Minneapolis Public Schools. And now we’re proud to say it’s home to Rêve Academy (Suite 150) and Rêve Consulting (Suite 160). To say we’re inspired by this building’s character and history would be an understatement.
Our neighbors at Sport Ngin (Suite 300) feel similarly. Co-founder Carson Kipfer explained, “The fact that the Highlight Center was home to lightbulb manufacturing isn’t lost on us. It’s such an important technology that has revolutionized the way people live. Being surrounded by the historic craftsmanship of those who were here before inspires us to create work that’s just as revolutionary.”
Don’t worry—because of the revitalization efforts of various groups, Northeast businesses aren’t working in dilapidated buildings. Ours was remodeled by Hillcrest Development and now has modern features like energy efficient windows, a composting site, and reclaimed hardwood floors.
Booming tech scene
The aforementioned Sport Ngin specialize in sports-centric software, and there are several other tech firms who’ve made their home in Northeast, including big names like Buzzfeed. According to Carson, what sets Northeast Minneapolis apart is its tight-knit community.
“Minneapolis, especially Northeast Minneapolis, is home,” he said. “It will be for a long time. We’ve had so many offers to move into shiny new buildings in really ‘hot’ areas. But we’ve become a part of this community. Over the past seven years we’ve made friends with so many coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, merchants, bars, and other local businesses. So we’re ecstatic to continue the Sport Ngin journey from Nordeast.”
Food & drink done differently
When you hear Casey Holley talk about locally sourced small grains, you realize that his approach is distinctly Northeast. And his business, Able Seedhouse & Brewery, is becoming a community staple thanks to its farm-to-table philosophy and urban brewhouse sensibility.
Casey said, “We looked at a lot of other places before we settled on this location. It just ticked the boxes in so many cool ways.” When pressed for details, he explained, “Northeast is full of diversity, and that started with the immigrants who settled here. As the neighborhood has grown, so has the food movement. People are excited about local food, farming, how it impacts the community—and we’re excited about it too. My hope is that Able becomes a local gathering spot where folks can grab a beer and share these ideas. We always want to be part of the community in that way.”
For many people, the Northeast experience is typified by Art-A-Whirl: the country’s largest open tour of artists’ studios. The tour draws around 30,000 visitors each year and features art of every kind. It’s not uncommon to see stunning pottery, jewelry, blown glass, paintings, and more—all in the same day.
Art-A-Whirl is a testament to the neighborhood’s vibrant art community. But even local makers are in the process of discovering what it has to offer. Furniture maker Keith Wyman of Concrete Pig admits that his first Art-A-Whirl experience was last year.
He explained, “I’ve only been here for a little over three years, with my shop space on the outskirts of Northeast. So I wasn’t really aware of all it had to offer before moving in. But even though I’m still getting used to my surroundings, it feels like I’ve been here all along. You can’t beat this city’s support for the arts—Northeast in particular. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
I have to agree with Keith. Despite this neighborhood’s chilly name, the vibe is warm, neighborly, and progressive. It’s a little different from downtown—but we like it that way.
So consider this your formal invitation to visit Northeast, whether you’re enjoying avant garde art, farm-fresh brews, or innovative software. As for Rêve Consulting, we’ll be doing what we do best: helping everyone from small non-profits to Fortune 500 companies dream with direction.
Title photo credit: FlyOver Films via Vimeo.