Welcome to the Dill Pickle
Your neighborhood grocery store, open to all!
Dill Pickle Owners, Co-op Allies, and Residents of the Fightin' 39th District,
We're approaching a major milestone in our movement with the modernization of state policies governing cooperative identity, capital and equity, worker ownership, and organizational structure -- big changes made possible by co-op leaders, lawyers, and legislators working together to advance our model of people over profit.
Join State Rep. Will Guzzardi, a fellow Dill Pickle owner and sponsor of the IL Cooperative Act (HB3830), to learn more about the first update to Illinois co-op law in 100 years! Guest Speakers will include attorney Rebecca Osland as well as representatives from the IL Environmental Council and the Center for Workplace Democracy.
Monday April 13, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
at Center Portion: ART + ACTIVISM
2850 1/2 W Fullerton Ave, Logan Square
Heads-up, morning shoppers! We're not fooling: The store will open at 10am on Wednesday, April 1st to allow for quarterly inventory. (Our staff will be super busy counting ALL THE THINGS.) Thanks for your patience!
HB 3830, The Illinois Cooperative Act, passed out of committee last week, sponsored by Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Dill Pickle owner! This bill encourages the growth of co-ops by clarifying and modernizing state laws last updated in 1915. We need your support to get it to the Governor's desk -- ask your Representative to co-sponsor and support HB3830 and ask your Senator to keep an eye out for it and co-sponsor it once it comes to the Senate.
From the Illinois Stewardship Alliance:
"There are a number of food co-ops being proposed around the state including Springfield, Chicago, Macomb and Bloomington. Food co-ops have a long history of sourcing local food at rates far greater than conventional grocery stores, serving as engines for local food system development, offering local farmers and local food entrepreneurs appropriate marketplaces for their products. HB3830 is the product of a coalition of existing co-ops, prospective co-ops, and co-op law experts working together to develop a new modern law for co-ops in Illinois. HB3830 will make it easier for co-ops to raise capital and permit the formation of worker owned co-ops and provide better governance structure and options for co-ops. It was modeled in part after Ohio’s co-op law which is considered one of if not the best in IL.
PICKLE POTLUCKS ARE BACK, Y'ALL!
Join us on Wednesday 2/25, 6-8:30pm at The Logan Share, 2864 N Milwaukee.
In a spicy nod to the February blizzard of historic proportions that Chicagoans largely ignored, the Dill Pickle Food Co-op presents: The Big Chill Chili Cook-off of 2015.
BRING YOUR BEST BATCH.
White bean chili, spaghetti squash chili, chili con carne, tofu chorizo chili, texas chili, chinese chili, things-in-a-crock-pot chili… Break out the jalapenos, green chiles, anchos, onions, oregano, cumin, tomatoes, unsweetened chocolate, a little dark beer. . . and HEAT IT UP!
Short on time? No oven range? Extras are welcome to put out the fire: veggies, sour cream, shredded cheese, guac, chips, cornbread, nachos...
BYOB: juice, kombucha, beer, cider, tequila, whatever.
A message from the DPFC Board & GM
Over the last fourteen months, the Dill Pickle leadership has worked hard at advancing negotiations on a primary site for our expansion, all the while keeping a secondary site under consideration. Both of these sites have different strengths, but the primary site held the first position for a couple of reasons: it is located closer to the current store and central Logan Square, and it offered more space to grow into over time.
The biggest drawback of the preferred site was the complexity of the lease we were trying to enter. The building was vacant but still under lease at a well-below-market rate to a national corporation. Instead of accepting a lease buyout, this corporation wished to capitalize on their lease by renting to us at a higher, but still favorable rate. This meant that our deal would involve three parties instead of two, and two leases instead of one. The resultant complexity of the multiple agreements was exponential. This was compounded by an extremely slow response rate of the lease-holding corporation we were negotiating with.
We first approached the lease-holding corporation in December of 2013, and finally signed a non-binding letter of intent with them in August of 2014. After another six months of continued sluggish negotiations, two significant deal-breakers emerged in January 2015. The first was the addition of a clause that would have approximately doubled our cost of rent. Secondly, and most importantly, the building owner suddenly expressed a change of heart and no longer supported our interest in sub-leasing use of his property. In fact, he vowed to fight any attempt by us and the lease-holding corporation to pursue a deal. After 14 months of hard work and financial investment, the challenges to making this property work for the Co-op became irreconcilable.
At their monthly meeting on January 21st, the Dill Pickle Board voted by consensus to cease negotiations on this site and begin negotiations with our secondary preferred site.
You may now be wondering where this leaves our expansion. We’re now looking at a much smoother and more promising negotiation process. Our new preferred site is owned by a party that reached out to us nearly two years ago when word of our expansion plans began to spread through the community. Renewed conversations with this building owner give us confidence that we’ll be able to negotiate a favorable agreement in a much shorter time-frame. This site meets our search criteria (see section E of our Policy Governance document for full list of criteria), and we feel very enthusiastic about its potential as the new home for our co-op.
Moving is a big step in our short history. Our store location can have a huge impact on the patronage and shopping habits of our owners and customers at large. We sincerely believe that this new potential site is the best option in a one-mile radius of the store. We have studied the real estate market in Logan Square closely and affordable commercial rents—with the size and amenities that our Co-op needs to succeed—are few and far between. Through surveys over the last four years, you asked for an expansion—and for good reason; our vision demands much more than our current store can provide. We are grateful for your trust and support as we steer the Dill Pickle Food Co-op toward a new home that will provide responsible, stable growth in our mission.
Kevin Monahan President, Board of Directors
Sharon Hoyer General Manager