Great People


In 2015, Co-op Creamery Café prep cook Juan Ruiz came to Seward from Third Bird restaurant. He said that within the first few months of his employment at the Creamery he knew he had made the right decision because Seward cares about their employees. Juan is responsible for preparing all of the meats, vegetables, and sauces for the café.  He enjoys working in an environment where everyone is greeted with a smile and treated with respect.

Juan’s enthusiasm for food began when he was a young age cooking with his family in Mexico City. These treasured times spent with family prepared him for his current role at the Creamery. The passion Juan exhibits in his work is remarkable, and you can taste it in the meats and sauces he prepares. Make sure to stop in and try Juan’s mole sauce, featured in daily specials and our rotating selection of tacos!


We are pleased to introduce Katie Nielson as the new Executive Chef of the Seward Co-op Creamery Café! Seward Co-op is proud to have Katie leading the café team to put a new face on the café as we work together to bring fresh and flavorful food in service of our community.

Katie has worked in some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis, including Union Restaurant, Sea Change and Third Bird prior to coming to Seward last year. “Katie comes to us with a strong leadership background, and she will be a vital part in the relaunch of the café,” says Seward Production Manager Bill Williams.

The opportunity to play a role in shaping the community’s vision of the café is what drew Katie to the project. “I live in this neighborhood, and I have always loved seeing how supportive the neighborhood is of local business,” Katie says. “This is my chance to work collaboratively with the Seward neighborhood to make the Seward Co-op Creamery Café a reflection of what this area of Minnesota truly has to offer.”

At this time, the Seward Co-op Creamery Café menu is still being finalized (visit to view the complete menu in September). For now, Katie tells us the menu will evolve throughout the seasons in order to satisfy the needs of the neighborhood it serves, and she is excited to work directly with the community to grow the café.

The new menu will feature some familiar favorites, as well as several new dishes. The café will offer traditional chilaquiles every morning, and a carrot-focused salad with a ginger vinaigrette is in the works. We are partnering with Sonny’s Ice Cream in Uptown and will offer a variety of their hand-dipped flavors. We also will continue to make our house-made vanilla soft serve and rotating fruit sorbet flavors. Katie says she can’t wait to be a part of the success stories of the many small farmers the co-op has worked with over the years, and she looks forward to meeting the people who create, grow and raise food in Minnesota.

Read an interview with Katie in the November “Food Service News.”


We are pleased to introduce Tim Johnson as the new Seward Co-op Creamery Café Front of House Manager! After a short break from the restaurant world Tim felt compelled to return to it in the cooperative setting. He’s been an owner of Seward Co-op for years and loves what the co-op has done for the neighborhoods it serves.

You may have seen Tim at a number of different restaurants around Minneapolis and St. Paul as line cook to co-owner and anything in between. To name a few, he has spent time at Leaning Tower of Pizza near the University of Minnesota campus, Bulldog NE, the Blue Nile and HauteDish as an owner.

“We are excited to have such a well-rounded individual leading the Front of House at the Seward Co-op Creamery Café,” Seward Co-op Production Manager Bill Williams says. “Tim has extensive experience running front of house and back of house, in addition to retail experience where he gained extensive knowledge of beer and wine.”

Tim is excited to showcase the wonderful products available at the Seward Co-op without pretention — especially delectable locally grown produce and proteins and high-quality local beer. His vision is to create a gathering space where everyone — neighbors, co-op owners and co-workers — can enjoy a meal or beverage together. He hopes folks visit the café for whatever reason suits their lifestyle: coffee and yogurt on the way to work, an afternoon hangout with coworkers, or a meal with neighbors and family.



Meet Tiara, the Co-op Creamery Café’s front-of-house hostess. She greets customers and explains how all staff earn a living wage, which is reflected in the menu prices. She also will tell diners about  our current SEED recipients. Tiara says that prior to working at the Creamery, she was unfamiliar co-ops, but she was drawn in by the welcoming, upbeat environment. Now that she has worked here for a while, she enjoys getting to know her co-workers and learning about natural foods and cooperatives.