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

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the co-op, including what type products are stocked, how membership works, and other important details.

What is the Dill Pickle Food Co-op?
The Dill Pickle is a cooperatively owned and governed neighborhood grocery store that aims to provide sustainable, local, and organic goods at affordable prices in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

What is a cooperative grocery store?
A co-op is an independent, democratic organization that is owned, operated, and financed by its members. The start-up costs and operating expenses are generated from our membership equity, in addition to member loans and bank loans.

Why do we need a co-op when major grocery chains carry organic products?
Grocery stores are a high-value asset to the communities in which they reside.  The best way for a community to value and preserve their local grocery market is to own a share in it with their neighbors.  Ownership in a grocery co-op offers the chance for the consumer to have a hand on the plow, so to speak.  The Dill Pickle Food Co-op carries high-quality, affordable foods because its members are committed to offering them to our community. In addition, being a locally owned and managed store means the co-op attempts to support other locally owned producers in Chicagoland and the Midwestern region.

Why should I become a member?
Each member-owner has their personal reasons for becoming part of the Dill Pickle. Below are great reasons.

  • As a member, you are actually an owner of the Co-op. You will be taking a direct action to bring local, organic, and natural foods to your community and your family.  As a member-owner, you can run and vote for the Board of Directors and make proposals for the rest of the membership to vote on
  • You will be able to receive discounts on certain products in the store. 
  • You will also be supporting locally-owned business and creating a better community not only for your neighbors but also for the farmers and producers we support.
  • Through the co-op, you'll find a variety of ways to meet friends and neighbors and develop a sense of place in your community.  
  • You can participate in the Hands-On Owner volunteer program.
  • As a member-owner, you will be eligible to receive a patronage rebate.  Each year that the co-op turns a profit that doesn't have to go back into the storefront, the money will be distributed amongst the membership.  How much each member-owner shopped at the co-op over the course of that year will determine the percentage of the profit he or she is eligible to receive. 

Who can become a member?
Membership is open to adults (18 or older) and households, and all members have a direct and equal say in Co-op affairs. Members have the opportunity to run and vote for the Board of Directors, make proposals for the membership to vote on, receive discounts at the register (including an optional volunteer member discount), and receive a patronage rebate at the end of each year that the Co-op makes a profit.

Do I have to be a member-owner to shop at the Co-op?
No, the Dill Pickle will be open to everybody, but we believe that the benefits of becoming a member-owner make it worthwhile if you plan to shop at the co-op.

How much does a membership cost?
A fully-vested membership is $250 and can be paid at once or over 5 years with minimum annual payments of $50. Members wishing to terminate their membership for whatever reason can redeem their shares in full at any time so long as funds are available.

Is there a family membership?
There is not currently a family membership that works differently from an individual membership.  Each membership equals one vote, so a family can join the co-op under one membership, but the family would effectively be splitting the benefits of an individual membership; the whole family would be entitled to one vote. Similarly, in the case of discounts, development work is still being done, but there will possibly be a weekly or monthly purchase limit that discounts can be applied to, so each member of a family under a single membership would have reduced financial benefits compared to an individual with his or her own membership.  The co-op is exploring the possibility of offering different types of membership, including a family membership, so more info will be available soon.

Where do I send my membership payment?
Joining is easy!

  • You can join at the store

  • You can join on-line

  • You can send a membership form and check to:
    Dill Pickle Food Coop
    3039 W. Fullerton Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60647

What if I move or want to leave the coop?
No problem.  Your membership dues are fully refundable as long as funds are available at the time when you decide to leave.

What type of accreditation does the coop have?
The Dill Pickle is registered with the state of Illinois as an Illinois For-profit Cooperative Business 

What type of foods does the Co-op carry –meats, dairy, etc.?
The Dill Pickle carries frozen meats, dairy products, package goods, pre-made meals (both refrigerated and frozen), fresh baked goods, various beverages, and non-food dry goods like personal care products. It also has a large fresh produce and bulk section allowing shoppers to save money and reduce wasteful packaging.  Of course, all members will be invited to have a hand in influencing what products are carried in the store.

Does the co-op only carry locally produced goods?  Is the produce section just be seasonal?
While the Dill Pickle will strive to carry as many locally produced goods as possible, it is also committed to providing shoppers with a full range of organic and sustainably grown produce and other goods throughout the year.  

Will there be a deli or cafe at the store?
Our current storefront does not have the space capacity to host a deli or café.

If I am a member, can I volunteer to receive a discount at the store?
Yes! Check out the Hand-On Owner volunteer program. 

Who can I talk to for more information on Memberships?
We want to meet you.  Stop by an upcoming Dill Pickle event or send an email to membership@dillpickle.coop.