10+ Best Small Business Ideas to Start in Minnesota [2023])

Explore 10+ innovative small business ideas to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey in Minnesota in 2023. Turn your dream into reality!

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 07, 2024

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Hey there, future entrepreneur! Are you ready to take the leap into the exciting world of small businesses? There's no better time than now, and there's no better place than Minnesota! With its thriving economy, supportive community, and diverse market, the North Star State offers countless opportunities for aspiring business owners like you. In this article, we'll explore some of the best small business ideas to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey in 2023. So, whether you're a native Minnesotan or just considering the state as your potential business hub, get ready to be inspired and educated. Let's turn your small business dream into a booming reality!

Craft Brewery Or Winery

A craft brewery or winery is a small, independent, and traditional establishment that produces a limited amount of alcoholic beverages, particularly beer or wine. The focus of such establishments is usually on quality, flavor, and brewing technique. They often use locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and follow traditional brewing methods to create unique and flavorful beverages.

  • Quality over quantity: Craft breweries and wineries prioritize the quality of their products over mass production. This results in a more refined and rich taste.
  • Supporting local economy: Most craft breweries and wineries source their ingredients locally, thus supporting local farmers and contributing to the local economy.
  • Environmental sustainability: Smaller production scales mean less waste and pollution. Many craft breweries and wineries also follow sustainable practices such as recycling and using organic ingredients.
  • Innovation: Craft breweries and wineries are known for their innovative and experimental approach. They often produce seasonal and limited-edition beverages, providing consumers with a unique drinking experience.
  • Community engagement: Craft breweries and wineries often foster a sense of community by hosting events, offering brewery or winery tours, and participating in local festivals and events.
image of a Craft Brewery Or Winery

Farm-to-table Restaurant

A Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Minnesota is a fantastic idea for a multitude of reasons. The state's rich agricultural heritage and diverse produce offer a unique opportunity to create a dining experience that is not only delicious but also sustainable and supportive of the local economy. Here are a few key reasons:

  • Abundant Local Produce: Minnesota is home to a wide variety of farms producing everything from grains and vegetables to dairy and meat. This abundance of fresh, local produce can be used to create a diverse and seasonally rotating menu.
  • Supporting Local Economy: By sourcing ingredients from local farmers, a farm-to-table restaurant can help to support the local economy and create a sense of community. This can attract customers who value sustainability and local sourcing.
  • High Quality, Fresh Food: Farm-to-table means the food is fresh, often harvested within a day or two of being served. This can result in higher quality, more nutritious, and tastier meals.
  • Educational Opportunity: A farm-to-table restaurant can also be an educational experience, teaching diners about where their food comes from and the importance of sustainable farming practices.
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Examples of successful businesses:

Minnesota is home to a vibrant small business scene, with numerous success stories that have emerged from the state. Entrepreneurs in Minnesota have capitalized on various industries and niches, showcasing their innovative ideas and determination to build thriving businesses. From technology startups to food and beverage ventures, here are some notable small business ideas that have flourished in Minnesota:

  • Target Corporation: Starting as a small discount store in Roseville, Minnesota in 1962, Target Corporation has grown into one of the largest retail chains in the United States. With its focus on trendy, affordable products, Target has successfully captured the attention of consumers across the country.
  • 3M: Originally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, 3M has become a global leader in innovation. Founded in Two Harbors, Minnesota in 1902, 3M has developed a wide range of products, including adhesive tapes, Post-it Notes, and medical supplies.
  • Caribou Coffee: Founded in Edina, Minnesota in 1992, Caribou Coffee has become a beloved coffeehouse chain known for its high-quality beans and cozy atmosphere. With its commitment to sustainability and community engagement, Caribou Coffee has gained a loyal following.
  • Surly Brewing Company: Surly Brewing Company, established in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota in 2005, has made a significant impact on the craft beer industry. Known for its innovative brews and bold flavors, Surly has expanded its operations and gained recognition both locally and nationally.
  • Code42 Software: Code42 Software, founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2001, offers data backup and recovery solutions for businesses. The company's innovative software has gained popularity, leading to its growth and success in the competitive technology industry.
  • Peace Coffee: Peace Coffee, a Minneapolis-based coffee roaster, has built a successful business by focusing on fair trade and organic coffee. With its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, Peace Coffee has carved a niche in the specialty coffee market.
  • Red Wing Shoes: Red Wing Shoes, established in Red Wing, Minnesota in 1905, has become a renowned manufacturer of work boots

Outdoor Adventure Guide Service

If you are an adventurer at heart and have a passion for exploring the great outdoors, our Outdoor Adventure Guide Service is the perfect choice for you. Our experienced guides are here to ensure that you experience the best of what nature has to offer, while also ensuring your safety and comfort. Here's why choosing our service is a good idea:

  • Expert Guidance: Our guides are experienced outdoor enthusiasts who have extensive knowledge about the local terrain, flora, and fauna. They can help you navigate through challenging paths, identify interesting wildlife, and share fascinating stories and facts about the area.
  • Safety First: The safety of our clients is our top priority. Our guides are trained in first aid and emergency response. They carry essential safety equipment and are always prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
  • Customized Adventures: We understand that every adventurer has unique interests and preferences. We offer a variety of adventure packages and also provide the option to customize your adventure based on your specific interests and fitness level.
  • Convenience: With our guide service, you don't have to worry about planning and logistics. We take care of everything from providing necessary equipment and food to arranging transportation and accommodation.
  • Responsible Tourism: We are committed to preserving the natural beauty of our adventure destinations. Our guides educate clients about responsible tourism practices and ensure that our adventures do not harm the environment.

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Artisanal Cheese Making

Artisanal Cheese Making in Minnesota is an excellent idea for several reasons. The state's rich agricultural heritage, climate, and growing foodie culture make it an ideal location for this craft.

  • Minnesota has a strong dairy industry, which provides a steady supply of high-quality milk, a key ingredient in cheese making.
  • The state's climate, with its cold winters and mild summers, is perfect for the aging process of certain types of cheese.
  • Minnesota is home to a growing number of food enthusiasts who appreciate and support locally produced, artisanal products.
  • Artisanal cheese making can contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and supporting local dairy farmers.
  • It can also boost tourism as cheese lovers from around the country and the world can visit cheese making facilities, participate in workshops, and attend cheese tasting events.

Organic Farming

Organic farming in Minnesota is a great idea for a multitude of reasons. The state's diverse climate and rich soil make it an ideal location for growing a variety of organic crops. Additionally, the increasing demand for organic products both locally and nationally presents a lucrative opportunity for farmers in the state.

  • Firstly, Minnesota's climate is diverse, ranging from hot summers to cold winters. This allows for a wide variety of crops to be grown throughout the year, including corn, soybeans, and wheat in the summer, and root vegetables in the winter.
  • Secondly, the state has rich, fertile soil that is well-suited for organic farming. Organic farming methods, such as crop rotation and composting, can further enhance the fertility of the soil, leading to higher yields and healthier crops.
  • Thirdly, there is a growing demand for organic products in Minnesota. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and are willing to pay a premium for organic foods. This creates a profitable market for organic farmers.
  • Lastly, organic farming can contribute to the sustainability of Minnesota's agriculture. It reduces the reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which can harm the environment and human health. It also promotes biodiversity and improves soil health.

Related business ideas:

Local Tour Company

Starting a Local Tour Company in Minnesota is a fantastic idea due to several compelling reasons. Minnesota, known as the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes', is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers, making it a prime location for a tour company. The state's diverse attractions and unique experiences offer a plethora of opportunities for a local tour company to create engaging and memorable tours.

  • Rich Natural Beauty: Minnesota's vast wilderness, including its many lakes, forests, and parks, offers endless possibilities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, and wildlife viewing.
  • Diverse Attractions: From the bustling city life of Minneapolis-St. Paul to the serene landscapes of the North Shore, Minnesota boasts a wide range of attractions catering to different interests and age groups.
  • Unique Experiences: A local tour company can offer unique experiences such as ice fishing, snowmobiling, or a tour of the state's rich Native American heritage.
  • Seasonal Variations: Minnesota's distinct seasons each bring their own charm, allowing a tour company to offer a variety of tours throughout the year.
  • Local Expertise: A local tour company has the advantage of in-depth knowledge and understanding of the area, enabling them to provide insider tips and experiences that larger, non-local companies may overlook.

Sustainable Clothing Retailer

A Sustainable Clothing Retailer in Minnesota is a great idea for a multitude of reasons. Minnesota is known for its eco-conscious population who value sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. This makes it a prime location for a business that focuses on sustainable clothing. Moreover, there is an increasing trend towards eco-friendly fashion, and a sustainable clothing retailer would be a step in the right direction.

  • Minnesota's population has a high eco-conscious mindset, making it a perfect market for sustainable clothing.
  • The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. A sustainable clothing retailer would contribute to reducing this impact.
  • There is a growing trend towards sustainable fashion, and Minnesota could lead the way in this movement.
  • Sustainable clothing is often higher quality and longer lasting, which provides value for consumers.
  • Such a retailer could partner with local designers and manufacturers, boosting the local economy and further promoting sustainability.

Mobile Food Truck Business

Setting up a Mobile Food Truck Business in Minnesota is a great idea due to several reasons. Minnesota, known for its diverse food culture and love for food trucks, offers an excellent platform for this kind of business. The state has a thriving food scene, with a growing demand for quick, diverse and quality food options.

  • High Demand: Food trucks are popular in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities. People appreciate the convenience and variety they offer.
  • Diverse Food Culture: Minnesota's diverse food culture means that there is a wide range of food options that can be offered from a food truck, catering to different tastes and preferences.
  • Festivals and Events: Minnesota hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, providing ample opportunities for a food truck business to thrive.
  • Supportive Regulations: The state has supportive regulations for food truck businesses, making it easier to start and operate a food truck.
  • Economic Growth: Minnesota's strong economy and growing population provide a stable customer base for a food truck business.

Home Renovation Service

A Home Renovation Service in Minnesota is an excellent idea for a multitude of reasons. These services can help transform your home into a more comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing space. They also add value to your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Here are some key benefits:

  • Expertise: Professional home renovation services have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of projects, ensuring quality work.
  • Cost-Effective: While it may seem like doing it yourself can save money, hiring a professional can actually be more cost-effective in the long run. They know where to source materials at the best prices and how to avoid costly mistakes.
  • Time-Saving: Renovating a home can be a time-consuming task, but with a professional service, you can have the job done quickly and efficiently.
  • Increased Home Value: A well-done renovation can significantly increase the value of your home, making it a smart investment.
  • Customization: With a professional service, you can customize your home to suit your personal style and needs.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home renovation is in the hands of professionals gives you peace of mind and allows you to focus on other important aspects of your life.

Independent Bookstore

Minnesota, known for its vibrant literary scene and passionate community of readers, is an ideal location for an independent bookstore. Not only does it cater to the local population's love for literature, but it also contributes to the cultural richness of the state. An independent bookstore can offer several unique advantages:

  • Personalized Customer Service: Independent bookstores can provide a personalized shopping experience that larger chains often can't match. They can offer recommendations based on individual tastes and reading habits.
  • Support for Local Authors: Independent bookstores often showcase local authors, providing them with a platform to reach readers in their community. This support can be invaluable for emerging writers.
  • Community Engagement: Independent bookstores often host events such as book signings, readings, and book clubs, fostering a sense of community among local readers.
  • Unique Selection: Independent bookstores often carry titles from small presses and local authors that may not be available in larger chain stores, offering a unique selection of books.
  • Economic Impact: By shopping at an independent bookstore, consumers can support their local economy. Independent businesses often contribute more to local economies than larger chains.


Founder and CEO

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.