BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — “Just something in the store to keep me inspired and striving for greatness,” says Dave Wanpue, the owner of 4 The Love.
Dave Wanpue has owned his business for the past two years. “We offer high quality street wear and sport wear apparel, men’s and women,” he says.
Throughout the last six months, Community Commons has given 17 minority owned businesses the opportunity to continue their operations in the shared space inside Mall of America – for free.
“It was a dream come true, with me starting a business in 2019 I was looking forward to have a business in the mall,” he says. “And when this opportunity came about to support small businesses affected by COVID-19 and the tragedy that took place with George Floyd," he says.
Beginning on April 1, the space will welcome new brands, while a few original businesses will transition to independent locations within the mall.
Something Wanpue says is a dream come true. “Before community commons, I didn’t have a store front,” he says. “4 the love will have their own storefront opening up in the spring.”
The new businesses entering the space won’t be charged rent for the first three months, allowing them the opportunity to get up and running.
Mall of America officials say after three months, they will have the opportunity to open an independent space within Mall of America or remain in Community Commons for an extended period with percentage rent.
Jill Renslow, the EVP of Business Development and Marketing for Mall of America, issued a statement saying, “We are proud of what these entrepreneurs have accomplished, and we’re excited that several will open in new spaces at Mall of America.”
While Wanpue says he’s grateful for the opportunity, he’s ready to hit the ground running when his new storefront opens in the mall next month.
“As a kid I would travel here and window shop, as a teenager doing things in the community like cutting grass to be able to buy Jordan's, and now being here as a owner.”