Welcome to the Dill Pickle
Your neighborhood grocery store, open to all!
Dear Dill Pickle owners and supporters,
Over the last few weeks, the co-op staff and board has been discussing how we should respond to Eden Foods' objections to the Affordable Care Act. Eden, a Michigan based company, produces a large array of organic products that have led the way for ethical and sustainable sourcing for decades. Last year, Eden CEO Michael Potter filed suit against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds. He lost the case, but when Hobby Lobby was granted an exemption from providing their employees birth control coverage in June, the Eden case was reopened for consideration.
The Dill Pickle has received many comments from owners in disagreement with Mr. Potter's lawsuit. Some would like to see the co-op boycott Eden, some are interested in seeing more alternative brands added as option, and some, though in disagreement with Eden's actions, are still occasionally purchasing Eden products for their high quality standards and sourcing. Part of the Dill Pickle mission is to provide information to customers about their purchasing options, empowering them to vote with their dollar. Our Ends E states, "DPFC members and patrons are well-educated in matters of healthful foods, environmental sustainability, fair labor practices and the cooperative business model.
In response, we have been adding, where possible, alternative brands that meet our product selection standards. In some cases, where an option of equal quality is available, we have replaced the Eden product entirely. Should sales drop to a point that indicates our customers no longer support Eden Foods products, they will be removed from our shelves. I have also written an open letter to Eden's CEO, letting him know that the Dill Pickle is informing our customers of his actions and that we will respond accordingly to impact on Eden product sales.
Many thanks to the customers and owners who have shared their concerns with us. We encourage you to also reach out directly to Eden CEO Michael Potter at:
Eden Foods, Inc
701 Tecumseh Rd
Clinton, MI 49236
We've made some very exciting strides in our expansion work over the summer months. Our biggest milestone came in late July: approval from the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), in partnership with Minneapolis-based Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF) to provide financing for our expansion! Both of these organizations exclusively back projects that build thriving, vibrant communities; CCLF provides low-interest loans to applicants in low and moderate income areas in Chicago, and NCDF funds cooperative enterprises around the country. In fact, when a co-op like ours accepts a loan from NCDF, they actually join NCDF, paying modest membership dues that go toward loans for other co-ops. Pretty cool, right? The growth of our co-op will fuel the growth of other co-ops in a very tangible way. Who knew commercial loans could make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside?
The promise of $1.6 million in funding is a bolstering show of confidence in the Dill Pickle from two great organizations. It means we can move ahead with lease negotiations on our site. It also means we now need to rally for the growth of our co-op community.
A bigger store calls for a bigger cooperative ownership to support it, not only in equity and owner loans, but in patronage, promotion and, well, love. The Dill Pickle Co-op is more than a grocery store--the store is the economic engine driving a powerful force for good, a force made up of the currently thirteen hundred-plus people who share similar values around healthy, just food. That's why next week we're launching our first (since before we opened) Ownership Drive. Our goal is to have 200 more owners join our co-op family before our Annual Meeting on September 23rd. Over 1,500 Dill Picklers will provide a powerful base for a bigger store, with the energy and imagination to take our mighty little co-op to its next stage of life. Find out how you can help your co-op grow and thrive by visiting the Ownership Drive info on our website. Your investment in the Dill Pickle is why we're expanding; it can also inspire others to join in and cooperate too! Go go co-op!
Our co-op is buzzing with excitement as we close in on finalizing a new space for our expanded store. Now's the time to come together to realize that vision, and it starts with building a groundswell of community support to grow our ownership. Here's the plan: we're gonna round up 200 new co-op owners in six weeks, beginning this Sunday, August 17th. Are you in?
1. Join the Drive Team.
Get on board! We've got lots of awesome stuff planned for the next six weeks and beyond, but we need your help to pull it off. As part of our Hands-On Owner program, 2 hours of your time is thanked with a weeklong 15% grocery discount. We're looking for good folks to: table at the farmer's market and other community events // staff our Block Party and Annual Meeting // distribute flyers & posters // take photos // help out with behind-the-scenes tasks.
Interested? Reply Here!
KICKOFF PIZZA PARTY & DRIVE TEAM TRAINING
This Friday, August 15! 6-7:30pm // 3230 W Fullerton // BYOB
Free t-shirts, fun neighbors, HOO discounts!
2. Promote the Pickle.
Speak up! Submit a quote and a headshot to be added to our ownership testimonial series: WHY I OWN IT. Help us build momentum by sharing the good word with your friends, family, and neighbors, and by connecting with us on social media. Like us on Facebook!
“I own the Dill Pickle Food Co-op because I want to put my values into practice. I want to support great businesses in Chicago and the Dill Pickle makes me feel like I am a part of something special.”
-- Rob Montalbano, Chicago's favorite local farmer.
3. Vest up.
Become a fully-vested owner! Your equity is the foundation of our cooperative business, and our new store will be built on that collective foundation. As an owner, you may purchase up to $500 in refundable equity shares, with $250 considered "fully vested." To be in good standing and retain discounts and voting privileges, your account's equity installment balance must remain up to date. Big news: The Dill Pickle is now accepting equity payments via debit or credit cards both at the register and on our website, in addition to cash and check options. Visit us online or stop by the store to vest up!
THANK YOU for supporting the Dill Pickle. Our little co-op is doing big things.
Saturday, August 9th, 3-5pm. Logan Boulevard & Whipple.
Join us on the Logan boulevard this Saturday afternoon from 3-5pm for the August edition of the Pickle Potluck Picnic! Bring a smile and something to munch and share with fellow co-op owners. Friends and neighbors of all ages welcome.