30 Dished: A Brief History Of ESABA

14 Apr 2021


Paris Dunning is the current director of the organization and has been involved for nearly 5 years. With the growing ability for connections throughout communities, this organization is poised as a catalyst for an East Side St.Paul revival post pandemic. In order to grasp what type of impact can be made, we have to understand what has already been done including the evolving resources. Welcome to a summary of the History of the ESABA organization.

Early on in the ESABA establishment there were 5 main corridors on the East Side of St.Paul, MN. In the midst of these corridors of development sprouted a 6th commercial corridor striving to compliment the others and be manufacturing driven. It should be noted that 3 corporate giants (3M’s Headquarters, Whirlpool and Hams Brewery) were all present in this area at one point. The picture accompanying this blog is an aerial of the Whilpool plant at Arcade. We're looking for the photo credit.) By 1990, these big 3 East Side titans had left, creating ripe soil for new establishments to emerge. Enter the Phalen corridor development. But once this was established, funding for ESABA stopped and the brainstorming began. This is where entrepreneurial endeavors were formed. Both for and non profit. A major obvious indicator that this was catered for the underdogs is that the nation's biggest minority groups were sought after to level the playing field. East and West Africans, Hmong, African Americans, Latino etc. communities are only the surface of the diversity inclusion. Ethnicity, business size, and representation are all mixed in involvement for the East Side’s shift from historical places they’ve served towards more regular people starting new things. 

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