Growing Minneapolis October: News and Information from the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing Mpls 2

October 2018

Business Profile: Mama D's

photo of Mama D's Kitchen
Owner of Mama D's, Destiny Brooks (right) and employee Shamya Williams (left) pose in front of Mama D's restaurant located in the Midtown Global Market. (Source: The City of Minneapolis)

Destiny Brooks, the Owner and Chef of Mama D’s, says she has two loves in her life: cooking authentic southern food and making people happy. As a little girl, Destiny cooked with her grandma and immediately developed a passion for southern cooking. Destiny was known as “the church lady” within her church because she cooked for all events and special occasions. Continuing her love of cooking and bringing joy to others, Destiny started a family-owned catering business in 1996. In 2017, Mama D’s opened a restaurant in the Midtown Global Market (MGM), operating as a full-service catering business and restaurant. The first Sunday of every month, Mama D’s has an all you can eat buffet from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The City’s Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) partner, Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), assisted Destiny with the move to MGM, providing a loan and lease support. The NDC helped with Mama D’s marketing plan, branding, website and social media development.

Destiny notes that although Mama D’s is a family-owned business, she focuses on offering jobs to youth in her community to help them learn how to cook—mirroring how she developed her passion at such a young age. Destiny will be hosting a Thanksgiving Eve dinner on Wednesday, November 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Mama D's in MGM, 920 East Lake Street. All are welcomed. 

B-TAP Wins International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Award

photo of the B-TAP award

The City’s Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) received a Gold Award Excellence in Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). B-TAP is in the Economic Equity and Inclusion Category of the IEDC Award. The IEDC Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders.

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Monday, October 1 during the IEDC Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins accepted the award. B-TAP Manager Daniel Bonilla said, “we celebrate the award in honor of the many entrepreneurs who are changing the face of Minneapolis.”

B-TAP has served over 1,300 business owners from diverse backgrounds, as over 80% of clients are people of color, women, or low-income individuals. B-TAP’s focus on serving specific niches and outcome-oriented structure is an innovative model that supports small business and equity goals.

Currently, the City is expanding B-TAP services to include support for the implementation of energy cost-savings practices with the new E-TAP program. Consultants from local non-profit organizations are hired to work with business owners who may traditionally face barriers to navigating utility programs.

photo: Council Member, Andrea Jenkins (second on the right) and B-TAP Manager, Daniel Bonilla (center) at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Awards, accepting the Gold Award Excellence in Economic Development for B-TAP.

City Leases Ten Units of Housing for Emergency Stabilization Pilot Program (ESPP)

photo of the ESPP program

This City successfully acquired and leased ten units of housing for the Emergency Stabilization Pilot Program (ESPP) within a 60-day period. ESPP is a five-year program with the goal to stabilize City of Minneapolis households that faced imminent displacement due to the revocation of the landlord’s rental license or condition of the property. At the time of the program’s inception in August 2018 there were at least 20 households in need. A rental property management company is on contract to manage day-to-day operations for the units and tenants.

The design and implementation of ESPP required collaboration with multiple City departments and other organizations, including:

Stabilization efforts are continuing for the remaining households in need; strategies include tenants purchasing homes and identification of new rental options.

photo: Home from the Emergency Stabilization Program (ESPP). (Source: Northstar MLS)

Two Native American Public Art Installations Underway

This fall the City is returning Tableau, an important work by Anishinaabe artist George Morrison, to Nicollet Mall and installing a new public work on Bde Maka Ska honoring the former Dakota village, Heyata Otunwe. 

photo of the Tableau

Tableau, which is being installed on the Mall between 12th & 13th Streets at the entrance of the Loring Greenway, has had two other homes on the Mall since it was created in 1992. This rare outdoor granite mosaic consisting of nearly 200 individual pieces in 14 colors of granite, includes animal, bird, weather, and plant imagery.

George Morrison was a notable Native American artist – one of Minnesota’s most important Twentieth Century artists – and his works are in museum collections worldwide.

photo: Tableau in its former location in front of Central Library. (Source: Jerry Mathiason) 

photo of the Bde Maka Ska Railing

The installation of a 170’ decorative railing at Bde Maka Ska is almost complete. The railing depicting crops, animals and Dakota symbols is one of three artworks planned for the gathering site on the lake. Pavement stamps with plant and animal images and their Dakota words were installed in 2017, and a website and mobile device application featuring the personal stories of descendants of the village, Heyata Otunwe, will launch later this fall. The City partnered with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on this project to honor and celebrate Mahpiya Wicasta (Cloud Man) and the thriving village he led and farmed at Bde Maka Ska in the 1830s. Artists for this project include Angela Two Stars, Mona Smith and Sandy Spieler. 

photo: Bde Maka Ska Railing. (Source: Ann Godfrey) 

Northside Community Job and Resource Fair is a Success

photo of people shaking hands at the Northside Job Fair
More than 300 people gathered at 800 West Broadway to network with over 50 Minneapolis companies. (Source: The City of Minneapolis)

On Tuesday, September 18 attendance topped 300 at the fifth annual Northside Community Job and Resource Fair at 800 West Broadway in Minneapolis. Candidates connected to career opportunities at more than 50 Minneapolis companies. Many applicants reported receiving on-the-spot job offers, completing online applications or scheduling second-round interviews.

Minneapolis employers exhibiting at this event included Unison Comfort Technologies, H&B Elevators, Augustana Elim Care, Hennepin County, UPS, University of Minnesota, and many more. 

Fair Chance Hiring Event: What's Fair is What's Right

photo of the Minnesota Employer's Fair Chance Hiring Guide

Employment for Minneapolis residents with past criminal justice histories yields benefits far beyond a paycheck. “Second Chance” workforce opportunities build self-worth, reunite families, open access to housing and health care, and bolster local economy.

“Second Chance” hiring was the focus during the September 11 event, where over 100 candidates pursued opportunities at EJ Ajax Inc., UPS, Target Corporation, Metro Transit, Hyatt Hotels and more. Karin McCabe, Outreach Director with McGough Construction, urgently conveyed the need for Second Chance hiring forums from her industry’s perspective: “with 73% percent of our nation’s construction firms calling out the workforce shortage as their main concern, McGough Construction recognizes the need to be innovative and resourceful in our recruitment efforts. The many eager and determined men and women we met with, reinforce our belief that there is an untapped talent pipeline here – and we plan on staying actively involved.”  

Hosted at 800 West Broadway, the event was the most recent in the 2018 Second Chance employer engagement series, a partnership between City of Minneapolis Employment and Training and Twin Cities Rise. In the words of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, “What’s fair is what’s right! Let’s hire employees for their strengths and work ethic and build talent for our future prosperity and well-being.” 

Minneapolis Music History Project

photo of Mill City Farmers Market

The City wrapped up public outreach related to its Minneapolis Music History Project on Tuesday, September 18 at the Mill City Farmers Market located on the Commons. Along with live music and cookies, City staff had a booth set up to share their findings on the musical history of Minneapolis. The project reflects the musical roots of Minneapolis, a major component of our city’s magic. The project was made possible by a grant from the National Park Service.

Online Survey for Upper Harbor Terminal Closing Soon

The online survey for the Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) draft closes Friday, October 19 by 4:30 p.m. Almost 200 people have provided input through the online survey so far. If you have not weighed in yet, fill out the online survey today. Do not miss the opportunity to let your voice be heard!

Council Member Jeremiah Ellison will host a table discussion to hear the community's thoughts about the UHT draft and what it means for North Minneapolis. This will take place at Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) on Saturday, October 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. JXTA will lead the creation of a visual wall that reflects the dialogue. Coffee, pastries and a children's table with activities will be provided.

Learn more about UHT.

Business Training & Resources

Small Developers Training
Saturday, November 3 & Saturday, November 10, 2018 (must attend both sessions)
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Northeast Recreation Center


Saturday, January 19 & Saturday, January 26, 2019 (must attend both sessions)
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: TBD

The City is hosting a Small Developers Training to promote the development of women and minority-owned real estate developers. This introductory course will provide participants with basic tools used to consider a real estate development project. The development project must be located in Minneapolis. Only 35 applicants can be accepted and selection for this program is very competitive. 

Register today!

E-TAP: Energy Technical Assistance Program
The Energy Technical Assistance Program (E-TAP) supports the implementation of energy cost-savings practices into everyday operations in small businesses located in Minneapolis. Businesses interested in receiving services can contact the service provider of their choice directly. 

E-TAP providers include:

For questions, or to be referred to a service provider, please contact the program manager, Daniel Bonilla.

Photo of the program B-TAP
The services are provided by the City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP).


Women Mean Business

Friday, October 12, 2018
11:00 a.m.  3:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave. S 

Each fall, over 1,000 business professionals, community leaders, and other individuals come together to invest in the economic success of women and hear the inspiring stories of Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained award winners. Gather your colleagues and friends and join the 23rd annual luncheon and marketplace.

More Information

Craft Brew Pedaler

Saturday, October 13, 2018
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Join the self-guided tour of breweries and craft beverage procedures located near the Greenway on the Craft Brew Pedaler. Participating spots include: Du Nord Craft Spirits, Eastlake Craft Brewery, The Herkimer Pub & Brewery, LynLake Brewery, moto-i, Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, and Venn Brewing Company.

More Information

Lunch and Learn – Realities of Entrepreneurship

Thursday, October 18, 2018
12:11 p.m.  1:30 p.m.
New Rules
2015 Lowry Ave. N

A panel discussion of some of the most persistent entrepreneurs throughout the Twin Cities. Join the conversation among distinguished creative entrepreneurs throughout the community and learn what it took to create their vision. The conversation is for everyone – neighbors, business owners, freelancers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and anyone with an idea they are looking to monetize. RSVP here.

photo screenshot of the Lunch & Learn event

More Information

East Town Business Partnership Business Forum

Thursday, October 18, 2018
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Open Book
1011 South Washington Avenue 

The forum will explore the contours, threats and opportunities of entrepreneurialism in the City of Minneapolis through the unfolding experience of a premier and growing business in East Town. Jeff Sommers, Co-owner of Izzy’s Ice Cream, will be the feature presenter.

More Information

Lake Street Bash 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
FIVE Center
2917 Bryant Avenue South

Join to support the Lake Street community and the Lake Street Council. The Lake Street Council engages, serves, and advocates for the Lake Street business community in Minneapolis to ensure the vitality and prosperity of the commercial corridor. Network with other corridor stakeholders, bid on silent auction items, and enjoy appetizers and beverages.

More Information

New/Expanding Businesses


photo of the Tenka Ramen Restaurant


photo of the new business, Curiosity


photo of a white backdrop

In the News

Remake of Washington Avenue in Minneapolis enters final phase
Read in StarTribune

Minneapolis neighborhood restaurants fight for the right to serve cocktails
Read in StarTribune

Want to make six figures? Minneapolis is a good place to be
Read in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Minneapolis-based Quinn Violins strikes chord with guitar section
Read in the StarTribune

After Super Bowl, Minneapolis is in big leagues when it comes to big events
Read in Minneapolis/St. Paul Journal

A small business closes, but the progress continues on multicultural Franklin Avenue
Read in the StarTribune

Syngenta will move 200 employees from Minnetonka to WeWork’s Uptown location
Read in Minneapolis/St. Paul Journal

H&B Elevators is a small business on its way up
Read in North News

"Camden Town" is the grassroots rebrand of Webber Camden Neighborhood
Read in North News

About this Newsletter

Growing MPLS is published monthly by the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department. If you have questions, please contact John Louis.

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

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