Dill Pickle Food Co-op | 3039 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL

Expansion

The Dill Pickle Food Co-op is planning to expand in 2012.  This webpage will serve the latest information on the co-op's progress towards expanding to a larger, improved store in Logan Square.



A letter from the Board President to all member-owners:


27-September, 2011


Dear Dill Pickle member-owners,

At the close of this exciting year in Dill Pickle history, I want to start by thanking all of you who have taken the time to email the board or talk with the staff regarding your thoughts and concerns about our space.  It is a great pleasure to know that there are member-owners of the Dill Pickle that care about the store enough to spend their time brainstorming ideas and offering suggestions to make it even better.

As the first home of the co-op, 3039 W. Fullerton is a special place, but it definitely presents certain physical challenges.  We've worked around the problems with varying degrees of success so far, but I am sure it will be a relief to you to know that the board and staff have spent the past few months working on finding the best possible solution to the problems, and so we have some thrilling news to share with you tonight.

Last year at the annual meeting, it became apparent during the listening session that a number of member-owners were interested in either finding a second location or moving the whole co-op to a bigger location.  We held another separate listening session specific to a possible expansion, and heard many member-owners explain their concerns and desires for the Pickle: more space, better air conditioning during the hot summer months, better parking.  After doing intense due diligence and working out several different scenarios, we felt we could resolve the issues in the 3039 space, particularly the heat, by fixing equipment in the store, and we were prepared to move ahead in doing that.  Shortly following our decision, circumstances changed and it became apparent that the amount of money required to meet the needs of the co-op would be way more than anticipated, so another solution needed to be found.

I'm happy to present to you the road map we've devised.  The board has committed to moving the entire co-op to a new, bigger location and we have begun the process to make that happen.  We have not committed to any specific location as yet, but we are in the process of hiring a real estate broker to help us and are asking them to start work immediately on finding and securing our next home.

The ideal store location will address the major physical problems of our current space, including small aisles and the unbearable heat in summer; offer excellent access to public transit, foot traffic, and parking for cars; and include space for deliveries that will not imperil our staff members, HOOs, or vendors by exposing them to traffic or annoy our neighbors by disrupting the same.   

To be perfectly clear: we have not yet signed a lease or entered into any agreements on any particular space, but we have a first location we are considering on the recommendation of our general manager and the store staff, who put much time and energy into researching this space.  We agree with Vinnie's assessment of this location as a good starting point.  If we do due diligence and for some reason this space will not suit our needs, we will continue searching until we find a space that will.  There are several options in the area and none have yet been ruled out.  The goal is to move the co-op into a space that will accommodate our current sales and allow for some growth as well, and towards that goal your Dill Pickle board and staff will work with local and national advisors to devise the best possible plan for our co-op.

This is a hugely exciting time for us and things will be moving fast.  We will be keeping member-owners up to speed in several ways:  there will be a monthly status report at each board meeting, we will send out a monthly email with a status report, we will be installing a dedicated bulletin board in the store, and as always, our staff and board will be happy to answer your questions.  Please do join us at the monthly board meetings if possible - we meet on the third Saturday of the month at the Logan Square Library, from 10:15AM to 12PM, and all are welcome.  We are all in this co-op endeavor together, so please don't hesitate to participate - that's what will make (and keep) the Dill Pickle Food Co-op great.

Thanks, and gogocoop!

Gajus Miknaitis
Board President