Why did you join the Dill Pickle?
I joined the staff at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op during the expansion, and I became an owner in March of this year with the express purpose of running for the board of directors. The GM transition was a bit of a rude awakening to myself and staff. We are all taught the "hour glass" structure of cooperatives during staff training. We are taught that the board of directors is there to oversee the GM, who in turn is the only link between staff and the board. This structure is something none of us on staff had a reason to think about, until it effected us is an extremely visibly way. Realizing there are nine individuals who may or may not have grocery experience, meeting in the co-op basement once a month, making decisions directly effecting our lively hood, made me want to step up. I wanted to be a voice for the staff of the Dill Pickle Food Co-op, to provide insight they otherwise would not have. Also, I'm at the co-op five days a week, why wouldn't I want to be an owner!
How have you participated as an owner?
Being a worker owner has given me an even bigger sense of pride in the work that I do. I hold myself more accountable for every order I place, every local vendor I bring in. Every day that I walk into the Dill Pickle, I am working towards our ends. I am not just making decisions for my department and for some number on my weekly sales report, I'm making it for every single owner. This past spring, I was given the opportunity to serve on the GM Search Committee. I enjoyed giving a staff perspective, working with board members, and finding strong candidates who aligned with our co-op's values. The staff presence on that committee proved to be invaluable, which I believe will be the same for the board of directors.
Why do you wish to serve on DPFC Board of Directors?
Staff representation. Two staff members are allowed to serve on the board at any given time. And I believe there should be two staff members on the board at all times. The staff at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op deserve more of a voice at the board level.
What perspectives, skills, experiences, or affiliations do you hope to bring to board leadership?
I have over two years of co-op grocery experience at the Dill Pickle. I have worked as a cook, counter service supervisor, and prepared foods manager. I'm excited to provide the staff perspective, from out on the floor.
how might the co-op open its doors wider to prospective new owners and community members?
Better community outreach. More community programs. Showing the Logan Square neighborhood that we are an affordable, and worthwhile grocery option. Rejuvenating the co-op explorers program, with monthly kids activity days. Our cafe may be small, but I would love to see it filled every Saturday with some sort of program, cooking demo, craft, informational session. It would be nice for the Dill Pickle to be known as a social leader in the community.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Feel free to stop by the deli and say hi!