Less than a month away

We’re less than a month away from opening our new store and there’s more simultaneous activity than is possible to describe in one short paragraph. All equipment and shelving has arrived and subcontractors are working like mad to finish up tile work, trim, paint, fixtures, moulding, etc, etc, etc by the end of the month. Starting Monday, staff will, with help from National Co-op Grocers, set up shelves while around us refrigerators will be hooked up and tested, signs installed in the windows, and the back wall comes down, opening up our parking and receiving area.

But we’re probably most excited about the thirty wonderful folks joining the Dill Pickle staff. Our July 31 hiring fair was successful beyond our dreams, thanks to partnership with and tremendous support from Center for Changing Lives. We screened and interviewed more than 150 applicants and, from that day, filled almost all open positions. We’re deeply humbled by the turnout of good people who want to work for the co-op, people passionate about serving their neighbors and making the world a better place. And we’re excited for our growing, deepening relationship with CCL, who will provide anti-oppressive leadership training for our managers and supervisors, along with ongoing coaching for all staff.

Thank you, all our owners and customers for making this good work possible. And remember, we are still in need of owner loans for working capital that will keep our store running through the first months in our new location. Please consider keeping this vision moving forward by making an owner loan. Learn more at dillpickle.coop/owner-loan-program

Hints of Finishes

You may have noticed some changes to the outside of 2746 N. Milwaukee this week; storefront frames installed, a dip in the sidewalk fixed and replaced with a small ramp to where a new vestibule will sit. Today, inspectors examine our plumbing rough in, after which the snaking systems of pipes and conduit and wire that make up the complex innards of our new store will be sealed away behind slabs of drywall. Those attending our Pickle Preview construction tour this Sunday will see hints of finishes: floor tile in this room, painted ceilings there, and a sumptuous rust red epoxy coating the back of house floors. Walk in coolers will be installed and the dimension of rooms—prep rooms, restrooms, office space, kitchen—will be concrete, so to speak. I hope you’ll stop by this Sunday any time between 1 and 3pm to take a tour of the work and learn how you can help make the co-op opening in September a resounding success!

A Truly Majestic Ventilation Hood

Up until a few weeks ago, the monumental nature of the Dill Pickle’s relocation project was measurable in blueprints, in ledgers, in hours of meetings and, less tangibly (but more powerfully) in the hearts and minds of a couple thousand Chicagoans who believe cooperation can change their neighborhood for the better. Now all that imagining and head-scratching and fundraising and redrafting and more fundraising* is made manifest in steel and concrete.

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This week hundreds of feet of conduit, ducts and plumbing lines were hung from the ceiling of the first floor and the basement. A truly majestic ventilation hood now hangs over where our future deli cook line will be. I can’t speak for the visitors who toured the future home of the co-op a couple weeks ago at our Pickle Preview, but I’m continually awed at the scope of what we’re putting together here.  

And of course the physical rig is but one facet of the Dill Pickle gem; we’re planning hiring fairs, posting for new positions and spending a lot of time talking about how all our roles will grow and change with the physical store. I hope you’ll come in to take a peek at the construction progress, ask lot of questions and hear tales of your staff and board’s expansion trials and triumphs at our next Pickle Preview Sunday, July 23rd from 1-3pm. 

*And more fundraising! Help keep our project on track by investing in our owner loan program.

Hi there, Blue Line!

For a few hours on Wednesday, the side wall of 2746 N. Milwaukee disappeared, flooding our new store site with light and a view of the Blue Line entrance. It gave us a little taste of the brightness and energy that will soon fill what is, for the moment, a pretty raw construction site. We'll keep providing photos here each week, and we hope you'll come take a look at our progress yourself at our next Pickle Preview, Sunday, July 22nd from 2-4pm.

Faces in our New Space

We hosted around 35 owners and neighbors for construction tours of 2746 N Milwaukee Ave during last weekend's Pickle Preview-- thanks to all who came out! Stay tuned for future tour dates in July as work continues to progress. We're on track to open at the end of summertime! 

Completing plumbing excavation & framing

The construction project is moving forward quickly: framing and plumbing excavation is complete and the old storefront has been demo-ed to install new energy-efficient glass and watertight concrete curbing.  This week, all HVAC ductwork comes on site and roofing work gets underway! Join us next Sunday, June 11 from 2-4pm for a tour of the new store we're building together. 

Removing the facade

From the GM: Construction progress became really visible this week, as our contractors removed the crumbling facade at 2746 N. Milwaukee; we’re now in the process of building a vestibule and replacing out of date materials with solid concrete curbing and energy-efficient glass. 

A portion of this work is financed by a Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) grant and some comes as a contribution from our landlord.  We’re grateful to have the support from our city and our building owner to bring you a spruced up storefront for new Dill Pickle. And we’re beyond grateful to the over 200 co-op owners who have lent to this remarkable project, and the 2,000 more vesting equity to keep us moving toward our late summer opening.

Construction is on schedule and we’re looking to you, the community we serve, to help us get our doors open! Please consider making a loan toward our much needed working capital, putting additional equity into your account or making an extra shopping trip a week to the current location. Our tiny tugboat on Fullerton is the financial engine towing us to bigger and better cooperative work on Milwaukee Avenue!