The maker movement has come to Nicollet Mall. Shop Minneapolis, which is part of Minneapolis Visitor Information, is a new store featuring Minnesota brands—from small start-ups such as Isadore Nut Company and Steller handcrafted mittens, to some of the Twin Cities’ most recognizable hometown companies including Illume candles and Thymes bath and body products.
Located at the corner of Nicollet and 5th Street in the lobby of the CenterPoint Energy building, Shop Minneapolis is a new effort from Meet Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association to connect with residents and visitors in a physical space where they can gather information and get a taste of what the city has to offer. "Shop. Move. Find." is their tagline. Meet Minneapolis partnered with St. Croix Retail, which has plenty of experience with local brands at their Uptown Minnesota stores at the airport, and, for the holiday season, at Ridgedale Center. There’s definitely overlap with the Uptown Minnesota stores, but plenty of new finds ( I’m crazy about Adam Turman’s graphic illustrations of Minnesota on glassware) as well as a broader approach to showcasing “Minnesota made,” including bike gear displayed beside a book on the best Twin Cities bike routes, plenty of gourmet gifts from chocolates to popcorn, a standout assortment of Minnesota-themed cards from local letterpress companies, and team gear from the Minnesota Vikings and University of Minnesota Gophers.
Walking through the old Gaviidae Common to get to Shop Minneapolis was a stark reminder of how starved downtown is for lively boutiques. Shop Minneapolis makes a great gift destination, whether you’re downtown every day or just visiting. Now, the trick will be getting people to the store, which can't be accessed by skyway. The lightrail does go right past the store for exposure, and, and the floor-to-ceiling windows have been well-utilized to make the space look inviting, day or night. St. Croix plans to host events and trunk shows for many of its makers at the store. Hours are 10 a.m .to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 505 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.