MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nordeast. It’s a part of Minneapolis known for institutions — Nye’s Polonaise Room, Kramarczuk’s Sausage company.
And Surdyk’s. Since 1934, the Surdyk family has been a part of the community. It started as a grocery store, moved to liquor, then branched out into cheese and cigars and food pairings.READ MORE: Minneapolis North H.S. Principal Will Now Finish School Year
Now, new ventures outside the neighborhood are taking “flight.” That’s what makes the fourth generation of the Surdyk family Minnesotans to Meet.
The corner of East Hennepin and University is home to Surdyk’s, but it wasn’t always there.
“In 1934, my great grandfather opened Surdyk’s and that was down the block,” Taylor Surdyk said.
It started as a grocery store, but when prohibition ended, Joseph Surdyk got the eleventh liquor license in Minneapolis to start selling booze to bring in more business.
“Then in the late 1970s, my grandpa and dad moved to this location and we’ve been rocking it here ever since,” Taylor Surdyk said.
The story doesn’t just end there. The new location brought the addition of a specialty cheese shop.
“I know my grandpa was really skeptical about it. He was old school and he wanted to stay with what we have, and it was my dad who really pushed for it,” Molly Surdyk said.
Jim Surdyk is credited with hiring wine experts, starting a cigar section and keeping the cheese shop moving forward into a food market that can cater events.
“He’s taught us so much and I learn something new every day,” Taylor Surdyk said.
That passion to innovate got passed down to his three kids. Taylor Surdyk runs Surdyk’s Flights Wine Market and Bar at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport terminals 1 and 2.READ MORE: Jif Peanut Butter Recalled Over Salmonella Concerns (CBS News)
“We brought all the best stuff from here and brought it to the airport,” he said.
The liason between all the family concepts, Molly Surdyk, said “my job title is whatever they tell me to do.” But even with expansion, the three 29-year-olds are committed to keeping the intimate family feel.
“We’re more like friends then brothers and sisters,” Taylor Surdyk said.
“My whole family is here, our dogs are here, it’s a whole family affair,” says Molly Surdyk.
The office dogs belong to the two sisters. There’s Cohiba, named after a cigar, and Corzo, who Mellissa Surdyk said is named after a silver tequila. Over the years, other labs — Champs, Cheddar and Corker — have made the store home.
The triplets’ childhood was spent at the store, selling fresh pretzels for St. Joseph’s home for children or brats at the summer wine sales. But none felt like they had to come back to work here.
“We actually went to all three different colleges,” Molly Surdyk said.
The separation didn’t last long. After graduation they ended up back in the Northeast shop, hoping the legacy never fades but keeps getting better.
“I think it’s rare for a family business to stay together this long,” Taylor Surdyk said. “So many generations, and we hope to be innovating and doing more.”
In fact, they already are. This year, Surdyk’s opened up a cafe at Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. They have eight bars spanning four floors of the theater, and they run all the concessions during events.
Catering from their Northeast location and the cheese shop has really taken off — they’ve served former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.MORE NEWS: Buffalo Clinic Shooting: Opening Statements Begin Monday In Gregory Ulrich Trial
Melissa Surdyk said when the store started it had 5 beers, now they more than 1,400. She said, like her dad with wine, she’s really helping to grow the craft beers selection.