When last we spoke with vegan visionary Colin Anderson about what he had planned for his Aldine Street eatery, the question was really more: What doesn't he have planned?
A cafe. A pizzeria. A delivery service. A bodega. An Airbnb. All of it vegan, and all set to be part of Eureka Compass 2.0 once he brought the restaurant back to life in August.
He was going hog wild... or whatever the meatless version of hog wild is.
“We're only completely reimagining how impactful a vegan business can be," he told us then, "not just to the vegan community, but to a whole residential neighborhood."
There was no timeline in place for these additions to Eureka, but according to a Wednesday press release, the promised bodega is officially up and running. It's one of the first of its kind in the country, along with New York's just-opened Bonberi Bodega (which recently got a write-up in Vogue) and New Deli in California.
"Most convenience stores primarily deal in soda, cigarettes, and lottery tickets," says Anderson's partner Ryan Strandjord, who joined the Eureka team earlier this year. "If we can inspire residents to walk over to our bodega to seek healthier options, we see that as a big win."
Anderson is still whipping up vegan cookies and muffins and "magic tacos" in the kitchen. But now, you can also pick up a frozen pizza, or a bottle of kombucha, or toothpaste. You'll find a lot of locals stocked on shelves, too, from Rawr Organics' plant-based protein bars to Baker's Field Flour to Coconut Whisk baking mix to Double Take Salsa.
That's kind of the idea: Anderson's a longtime Hamline/Midway resident, and Eureka's meant to support that neighborhood.
"The community around us is quite vocal and engaged and we like being a spot for people to meet up and discuss issues," adds Anderson. "You're going to talk with the person sitting next to you. That's just how it is around here."
Of course, if out-of-towners want to drop in for a scone or a jackfruit taco, that's encouraged too.
Especially if they come bearing compliments.
"We knew we were getting it right when someone from NYC randomly dropped in while passing by and said, 'This is chill guys, it's like a real bodega here,'" Anderson says. "That was great to hear, because it tells us we have a vibe that people pick up on right away."
Eureka Compass bodega hours are Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. They're closed Monday and Thursday.