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First Halal butchery in Minnesota, North America

A meat butchery catering for the Somali-American population is set up in Shakopee, a southwestern suburb’s historic downtown which marks the city’s first venture into halal meats, which are butchered in a way that’s consistent with Muslim beliefs.

For years, Shakopee’s growing Somali-American population has had to go elsewhere to shop and worship. That began to change this spring.

“I used to drive to Eden Prairie every time I needed meat,” said Matan, 30, a local resident as she filled up her minivan at the Payless station. “Everything we eat is here.”

Sensing a smart business opportunity, 27-year-old Abdiaziz Farah opened the international marketplace in March to cater to the town’s changing demographics.

The market has become a gathering place for Shakopee’s escalating Somali-American population, which has nearly quadrupled to an estimated 800 residents since 2010. A mixture of affordable housing, quality schools and blue-collar factory work at Amazon, Shutterfly and MyPillow have drawn more than 250 families to the city in less than a decade.

“We want it to be a one-stop shop,” said Farah, a Savage resident himself. The men recently signed a seven-year contract with Shell and will soon begin rebranding the station.

Abdiaziz Farah who is a graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business administration co-owns and operates the Payless Gas Station with Mohamed Ismail, expect the business soon to become a Shell station, which he has converted into an international neighborhood market and gathering place.

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