Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

December 2023

Hello Prairie Food Co-op community! Welcome to the GM Junction where I update you all on the progress being made at our site at 837 S Westmore-Meyers Road, and also some of the behind the scenes work going on. 

Exterior renovations are in their final stages with the window trim (and a final overall touch up) nearing completion. The North side of the center as a whole is looking fantastic! Big news! Our architect has submitted the permit package to the Village of Lombard as well. This is a significant step toward getting our buildout started once we take possession of the site. Our hope is to have possession handed over to us from the Landlord by the end of December.

If you are in the area take a peek at the backside of the building, where you’ll see Ace’s new Garden Center. The area between the Garden Center and our building will be refinished, repaved and dedicated to additional seating and landscaping. Programming ideas for this cozy area are being considered now, and after we open we will keep everyone in the loop as to what fun events we will have planned. Stay tuned!

Our federal grant process continues to proceed, with final paperwork having been submitted to Housing And Urban Development (HUD) for final approval. Once we get final approval we will have access to the grant through our authorized representative, Cooperative Development Services. Our Grants Committee has worked tirelessly to finalize this process and deserve recognition! Huge appreciations to Grants Committee Chair Jess Buttimer, PFC’s Grant Manager, Edith Makra, and PFC’s Accountant, Tom Lamberty. 

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to our buying partner, INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Association). INFRA is a purchasing cooperative comprised of independent organic and natural food and wellness retailers. Through collective buying power, operational support, and innovative marketing programs, INFRA helps member businesses thrive in step with their values and communities. Our partnership with INFRA allows PFC to pull grocery products from its main supplier at very competitive wholesale prices, which we can then pass along to our customers in the form of lower prices. You will find many natural and organic products that you are familiar with on our shelves, as well as a competitively priced organic line, CADIA, that covers all the pantry basics. INFRA has been instrumental in PFC’s pre-opening operations, providing guidance and support since we signed on back in October. Though INFRA supports hundreds of independent food retailers, PFC is only one of a handful of co-ops that INFRA has in its repertoire, so we are getting the red carpet treatment as INFRA navigates the co-op world!

Thank you to Ace Hardware for hosting Thanksgrilling 1 and 2 this winter! Ace graciously allowed us to participate in both events, where Jim, Manager of Ace, cooked up some tasty food. It was great seeing PFC owner support right next to our site. 

A large focus at this time is nailing down our vendor onboarding process. Our Product Sourcing Guidelines and Quality Standards are set, and during the next month I will be reaching out to the many vendors and producers who have contacted PFC in getting their product(s) in the store. I want to thank YOU for submitting YOUR ideas for potential products you’d like to see at PFC. I do have that list in hand and will be reaching out to those vendors/producers who meet our sourcing guidelines and quality standards. We are still asking potential vendors/producers to submit their information online on PFC’s website. And I still encourage anyone to submit potential products and/or vendors that would be a good fit for Prairie Food Co-op!

Thank you for taking the time to stay up-to-date on all things PFC!

See you in the aisles!

Jason Krapausky
General Manager
Prairie Food Co-op

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