Democratically owned by you, the customer.
June is here, and our new owner benefits system has now taken effect: a 10% grocery discount once per calendar month on the day of your choice, rotating special owner sales, and a year-end patronage rebate if the co-op runs a surplus. At checkout, you'll now be asked, "Would you like to use your discount today?" It's use it or lose it, so don't forget to answer "yes" monthly, and if there are two folks on your owner account, be sure to coordinate shopping!
>> Sharon Hoyer, General Manager.
Last week, I talked at some length about the four feasibility aspects of an expansion project—site, financial, design, and organizational—how they’re interrelated and developed in tandem. With so much focus on where the site will be, what it will look like and how much it will cost, the organizational work can sometimes feel secondary. This isn’t the case with the talented staff and board of the Dill Pickle! As a young co-op, learning and growing is in our DNA; our whipsmart, creative crew is excited to take on more responsibility, increase outreach and programming, and make our co-op better every day, before expansion and after.
And sharing information is part of the international co-op philosophy; you’ll see it hanging on our wall near the front window—Principle 6: cooperation among co-ops. Three members of our staff just returned from People’s Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, MI, where they met with their counterparts and learned how another great co-op navigated a major expansion. The good folks in K-zoo exemplified P6, hosting Dana Norden, our perishables lead, Amber Zook, our new produce lead, and Ally Young, our HOO and communications coordinator, giving them a store tour, answering questions one-on-one, and inviting them into their management meeting. Great ideas were shared both ways and new friendships were formed. Next week, two board members and two staff members (including yours truly), head to Madison for the annual CCMA food co-op conference…the biggest in the country! I can’t wait to report back what we learn about ushering Dill Pickle smoothly into a new home.
>> Sharon Hoyer, General Manager
After weeks of interviewing fantastic, like-minded architecture firms, we're excited to introduce you to the Dill Pickle expansion design team! Together, our architect and store designer will take the co-op's dreams (seating, community room, more produce and bulk, a deli, juice bar, owner services counter, meeting and office space) and show us ways to bring them to life in the spaces we're pursuing…with attention to sustainable and beautiful design, of course!
It may sound odd to hire an architect before a lease is signed, but it's actually quite important for us to have our designers involved in the early stages of the project; they'll create equipment lists and construction drawings that put real numbers to our projected budget. Lenders need to see how money will be spent on the new co-op. And we've picked the design team to show them just how exciting the Dill Pickle will be! So, without further ado I give you:
Architect: Matt Nardella of Moss Design, AIA, LEED-AP Architect / Founder / Bike Warrior. And Dill Pickle member-owner!
After graduating from the NewSchool of Architecture and spending nearly a decade designing sustainable architecture in San Diego, Matt returned to the character building climate of his native Chicago to found moss. His work is known for utilizing site orientation, creative use of green building techniques, and sustainable building materials. Matt understands the urban environment and how to sustain it as a community for all living things, and volunteers for the 47th Ward Green Council, Openlands Project where he is a volunteer Treekeeper, and as a guest laborer at Peasant’s Plot Farm. He has lectured on sustainable architecture and urban design nationwide. Matt enjoys The New York Times, cooking, wood working, and hydrology. He is not a fan of golf or flaxseed.
Store designer: Nicole Klimek of CDS Consulting Co-op
Nicole Klimek has always loved co-ops going back to when she was a child shopping with her mom at Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville, Minn. Throughout the years she has channeled this passion for community and cooperation and merged it with her expertise in development and design. Nicole specializes in food co-op store design in her work with CDS Consulting Co-op.
She is interested in how communities are created through good design, and sees food co-ops as a big part of what makes a place livable. Nicole’s grocery store plans incorporate green practices, including LEED certification, efficient operations, and comfortable shopping experiences. “Co-ops are focused on their communities and they want to bring good things to them when they do a project. I do too. I believe in respecting the environment and knowing where things come from—whether it’s food, clothes, or building materials,” she said.