James J. Hill Center Statement Regarding Current Closure

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She Saw a Rural Need for Natural Food

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter  Kendra Rasmusson. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on February 28th, 2017.

A 2014 poll by Harris Interactive ranked consumers’ preferences in choosing food and beverages to purchase. According to that poll, 30 percent of U.S. adults prefer to buy natural foods, and 17 percent prefer to buy organic food.

For rural consumers, however, local, natural and organic food is more difficult to come by. With limited access to specialty grocery stores, these consumers often do not have the option to purchase natural or organic food. Kendra Rasmussen’s family ran into this issue when they relocated to her hometown of New Prague. Lacking access to any nearby natural food stores, she started her own: Farmhouse Market.

Company profile

Farmhouse Market
Website: www.farmhousemarketnp.com
Business start date: Oct. 31, 2015
Number of employees: 1
Number of customers: Approximately 500 customers; more than 200 members

Entrepreneur profile

Kendra Rasmusson
Age: 33
City you live in: New Prague
City of birth: Born in Shakopee but grew up in New Prague
High school attended: New Prague High School
Colleges attended: B.S. in marketing communications from University of Wisconsin, River Falls; master’s in business communication from the University of St. Thomas


Q. What led to this point?

A. My husband and I lived in Minneapolis after we got married. We had our first child and decided to move back to my hometown of New Prague. Shortly before her second birthday, our daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. We decided to try some alterations to her diet as a means of seizure control. Now living in a more rural environment, we only had one grocery store option and it lacked some of the grocery options we were looking for. The closest natural foods store was at least 20 miles away. So we started looking into opening our open store, but our biggest obstacle was how to staff it to keep it open conveniently but yet keep operating costs low. So, we got creative….

Q. What is your business?

A. Farmhouse Market is a local, natural and organic foods market in New Prague. It is best suited for small, rural communities because of the way it operates. Farmhouse Market is primarily unstaffed yet open 24/7 to its members thanks to technology like a keycard entry system, self-checkout and remote video surveillance. It is open to the public for limited hours, as well…READ FULL ARTICLE


You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.


Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.