Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Community Investment Program

Community Investment Program

As a Co-op, investments from our Community are required to raise the capital necessary to build our grocery store. This is a basic tenant of Cooperative business and what makes Co-ops economic powerhouses and long-lived businesses (Co-ops following best practices to open, as we are, have a 90% success rate after 10 years - a phenomenal success rate for small business).

As the first co-op in DuPage County, Prairie Food Co-op will support local farmers and producers and make delicious, healthy, sustainable food accessible to all. Our store will be your convenient one-stop-shop for fresh, local and organic produce, dairy and meats, fair-trade and conventional foods, bulk items, wine & beer, and grab & go prepared foods. 

Funding Pledged and Raised

Prairie Food Co-op needs approximately $4.4M to build, staff, and operate our store. The CIP Committee has run two intensive 8-week funding campaigns asking Owners to invest or donate in the store. 30% of PFC Owners contributed an average of $2000. While 30% participation is higher than average, the average contribution of $2000 is lower than the typical average of $4000-$5000 for Co-ops that have run funding campaigns in recent years. Here is the outcome of our two capital campaigns:

  • $1.6M Pledged. PFC Owners have pledged $1.6M to this project. We have collected all but $300K of this pledged amount and are relying on Owners to come thru with their pledge to contribute .
  • $1.2M Bank Loan. West Suburban Bank has committed to funding a portion of our project because they believe in PFC and the benefits it will bring to Lombard and DuPage County. This loan is contingent on PFC raising additional funds from Owners. 
  • $400K - $1M Grant Our Grants team has applied for over $2M in grant funding over the past 5 years. There are not many grant opportunities for cooperatives and they are very competitive. Our grant applications are up against well-financed corporations, universities, and farm bureaus. Despite that, we have been finalists for several large grants but have not received any significant grant funding. But we want Owners to know that the Board is working diligently to pursue all possible funding opportunities. 

Next Steps

The Board is currently pursuing several viable store locations in Lombard. We cannot move forward unless we have the funding necessary to open our store. Depending on negotiated rent rates and other parameters, the Board projects a $300K-$500K funding gap that will need to be filled.

Ready to Invest? That’s great! Schedule a call with a Co-Operator to start the process!



$4.4 Million Dollar Funding Goal

Our market analysis indicates that $4.4 million is needed to construct and operate a 10K square foot grocery store. We can reduce that amount by looking at smaller spaces, but there is a minimum store size beneath which would be challenging to operate a profitable grocery store. Here is how funds will be used.

Use of Funds

  • 50% Construction and Equipment. With Covid related supply chain issues, construction and equipment costs have increased nearly 50%. These increases are not expected to come down anytime soon.
  • 25% Working Capital. Working capital is required by lenders and best-practice to cover losses during the first few years of operation while the store builds efficiencies and attracts new customers. It takes several years for most small businesses to turn a profit.

  • 25% Staff and Misc. The remaining funds will be used to pay staff, fill our shelves with all the products we are excited about, provide services, and more.


How Can YOU Help?

Current Owners

We have made it easy for you to contribute.

Want to learn more? Review your contribution options below, and then Schedule a call with a Co-Operator to ask any questions and start the process!


Not yet an Owner?

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Investment Options








Professional market studies show that 109 S. Main in Lombard is the ideal location for a thriving co-op and that we can generate earnings to buy back preferred share and loan investments. However, investments are not without risk, including the risk of loss. 

This is not an offer to sell securities which is made only by the Confidential Offering Memorandum and only members who are IL residents are eligible to invest in Owner Loans and only IL residents are eligible to invest in Preferred Shares

Together we built this. Join us.