Open Arms of Minnesota- Saint Paul
After successful work on a prior Open Arms venture, Rippe Associates was asked to assist starting with the early phases of this project: finding an ideal spot for their expanding operations, across the river from their Minneapolis location. The business model had shifted over the years, moving from focusing solely on freshly prepared hot meals to producing and sending out a week’s worth of high-quality medically tailored meals.
Several potential sites were finally narrowed down to the “one” that would best fit the reimagined production process, yet a new challenge presented itself: how to convert a two-story office building, with really low ceilings, into a large food production facility. Through a lot of work in the pre-design phase, and going through quite a few different iterations of layouts, developing the best use of space for exhaust hoods and the like wasn’t simple, but not impossible. Ensuring food safety through intentional design was also at the top of mind, as many of the prepared meals would be going to immune-compromised individuals and those with life-threatening illnesses.
With a goal to make this facility one that elevates the volunteer experience, each space, it’s purpose and the people using it, were all taken heavily into consideration through a very collaborative process. Creating a space with connectivity between those volunteering, while allowing for preparation, storage, and packaging all while keeping an open floor space with lots of natural light streaming in truly makes this a unique community building.
Open Arms’ shipping program is slated to double in scope between now and 2025, thanks to the newly dedicated space for packaging and shipping. The kitchen gives them the capacity to increase meal production by 30% in three years, and the refrigeration/freezer capacity has increased their storage by 50% as it contains their largest freezer, which will store more than 60,000 meals. With this expansion, more people than ever before will have access to life-sustaining meals and resources.
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Equipment Cost: $1.7 million
Kitchen Size: 7,800 SF
“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”
Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP
Partner at frk architects + engineers
“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”
Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB
Vice President, Principal at HGA
"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."
David E. Reeves
Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)
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