Sierra Carter, creator of Minneapolis’ Northside wellness sanctuary the Zen Bin, is now opening a cafe called Heal Mpls. “HEAL” stands for “Herbs, Eats, All Love.” Heal Mpls Cafe is set to open in mid-June on 42nd and Lyndale, offering plant-based eats, herbal medicine, and a smoothie bar. Carter said she’s opening the cafe both to financially support the Zen Bin and to expand its wellness imprint on the community.
Carter said the Zen Bin was created out of a desire to eliminate the racial gap in the Minneapolis wellness scene. Her work prioritizes Black wellness in the “hood” of North Minneapolis, which is lacking in health and wellness resources.
Carter said she attended yoga and meditation classes in other communities, but she felt out of place as a Black, thick-bodied young woman. This experience inspired the creation of the Zen Bin, which offers services such as acupuncture, reiki, fitness classes, yoga and meditation drop-ins - all offered at donation-based rates.
Carter says her goal is to offer her community access to self-healing while eliminating financial barriers for those in need. She says the Zen Bin prides itself on being a transformative space for what Carter calls “the outcasts,” providing a tight-knit community centered in safe self exploration.
Carter is part of a growing ecosystem of BIPOC wellness practitioners and advocates in North Minneapolis who are committed to prioritizing Black liberation, empowerment and joy.