As you may have heard, Lombard trustees are seeking proposals from developers to turn the old DuPage theater site at 101 South Main into a grocery store. Prairie Food Co-op first heard about this process in this Daily Herald article. While a centrally located grocery store would benefit our community, the 101 South Main site is not a feasible location for Prairie Food Co-op for the following reasons:
- The city is seeking a 20K sq ft, single use grocery store. Our market study predicts sales potential to support a 10K sq foot grocer.
- National chain grocers have access to the capital required to purchase land, build new buildings, and weather weak sales for long periods in order to enter new markets. As a cooperatively owned startup, our financial decisions must be more fiscally conservative.
- Easy entry and exit to ample parking are critical to the success of any grocer and this site is a challenge in those regards.
If a grocery store opens at 101 South Main, we would conduct another market study to determine the impact to the co-op. The board is in communication with city officials to further explore how we can work together to best meet the needs of our community. While we recognize that it is the job of Lombard trustees to bring new business to Lombard, it is our job to represent the 670+ Lombard area families who have invested in Prairie Food Co-op. Families that want a grocery store in our town that:
- Keeps more money invested in our community
- Is committed to meeting the needs of our community and is not solely operated to make a profit for out-of-town investors
- Provides a marketplace for local farmers and food producers
- Seeks to minimize the environmental impact of operation through product selection and sustainable business practices, with an emphasis on conserving natural resources
- Is committed to product transparency and consumer education
The more quickly we can reach our 800 Owner goal, the more quickly we can sign a lease, announce our location, and move towards opening day. This is where you come in. This summer is a crucial phase in our development. We need your help advocating for the type of community-driven grocery store we have all been dreaming of and consider becoming a Prairie Food Owner today.
After becoming an Owner you can help us reach our goal by referring your neighbors and friends, host a house party to help get the word out, and/or display your Prairie Food Co-op yard sign proudly. Now is the time to jump off the fence and talk with your friends and neighbors about why you support Prairie Food Co-op.
So consider jumping aboard and stay tuned for all the upcoming fun!