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Nelson's Owner Talks Meat Market's Half Century History

Rick Nelson talks about menu changes at the St. Louis Park location and the history of Nelson's.

Rick Nelson started working at his father's meat market as a 10-year-old dishwasher the day it opened in the mid-1960s. 

He kept at it through high school and college. Once he graduated from the University of Minnesota, he decided to put his journalism degree on ice and head into the family business. 

When his father died in 1979, Nelson found himself the owner at just 24 years old.

For more than three decades he ran Nelson's out of its original Hopkins location until a reconstruction project on Shady Oak Road forced him to move earlier this fall. 

"We were a neighborhood business for 48 years in Hopkins," he says, "and that's what we're hoping to be in St. Louis Park."

The meat market, bakery and deli opened its doors at 6318 Minnetonka Boulevard last Friday. 

Nelson said the new location will offer a salad bar and ready-to-eat options such as Arizona chicken breasts and garlic Greek flank rolls. But the smaller size of the St. Louis Park store meant that he had to cut donuts and fried rolls from the menu, 

"I've been getting lots of sad faces from customers," Nelson said. "I have three grownup sons who are not happy with me either."
Linda Hammersten November 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM
I am wondering if Nelson's buys meat that is humanely raised and raised without antibiotics and so many of the unhealthy practices being used on large corporate owned farms. I've been considering not buying supermarket meat any more in an attempt to be more humane (and healthy) with my meat buying since I can't seem to bring myself to be a vegetarian. Mr. Nelson or any staff or customers, can you comment? Thanks in advance, and all best wishes to your business whatever kind of meat you stock. Small businesses are a vital part of our community. Welcome to St. Louis Park!
Mike B. November 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Corporate agriculture is indeed a menace. Cargill and Monsanto are two of the biggest dangers to our food supply. The Democrat U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak, is an embarrassment, as he protects corporate agriculture at all costs. And Democrat Representative Colin Peterson of Minnesota couldn't care less about our food supply either.
DobermanLady November 17, 2013 at 06:47 PM
And how about those Republicans, Mike? They want to cut food stamps out of the farm bill while they themselves get millions in farm subsidies. They are as much to blame as any Democrat might be. Oh, and this is a problem that originated under a Republican administration. Were you complaining about it then?

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