St. Paul: Cooper’s Foods to close final location on June 27

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Cooper’s Foods will close out more than a century of service when its last remaining St. Paul grocery store shutters on June 27, according to store proprietor Gary Cooper. The location at 633 Seventh St. W., a few blocks from the Smith Avenue High Bridge, has served the West Seventh community since the 1990s.

Cooper, in a brief interview, declined to speculate on the location’s fate, though customers and employees appeared convinced on Wednesday that the shop would reopen as a grocery geared toward the Asian community.

“Somebody bought the building and it’s up to them what they want to do with it,” he said.

Built in 1950 and spanning 18,000 square feet, the single-story structure adjoins a 47-stall parking lot. A certificate of real estate value listing the buyer and seller’s information, which must be filed when major property is sold or transferred, was not immediately available Wednesday from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Five generations of Coopers have worked the store shelves at two locations along West Seventh Street.

The grocery’s departure from the West Seventh location, at St. Clair Avenue, leaves the neighborhood with relatively limited options for fresh produce, at least within walking distance. The downtown Lunds & Byerlys, the Mississippi Market co-op farther down West Seventh and Trader Joe’s on Randolph Avenue are all about 1.5 miles away. Cooper’s also kept late-night hours.

The Cooper’s Foods’ Highland Park location in the Sibley Plaza strip mall closed in 2017, though an Aldi supermarket has since opened in its place. The Coopers closed their 107-year-old Chaska store in early March, citing competition from big box stores.

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