Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Jeremy Nash

  • published The Prairie Food Co-op Store Design Has Begun in News 2021-09-20 17:26:47 -0500

    The Prairie Food Co-op Store Design Has Begun


    The PFC Board is excited to share that we have begun the Store Design process. That is, we are working with a talented team of co-op experts, architects, and general managers to create the beautiful store we’ve been dreaming of since day one.


    We have a “dream team” helping with this project. The Board has hired Firebrand Coop and Retail Planit to help create a store that represents the values of our PFC community. This team of consultants includes:

    • Dan Arnett - General Manager of Chicago Food Coop and Cooperative Development professor who has overseen the development of 4 food coops
    • JQ Hannah - Food Coop Initiative assistant director and former GM of Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana
    • Karla Krueger - Karla brings over two decades of grocery store design experience
    • Kaye Kirsch - Firebrand co-owner and project manager of Prairie Roots Food Co-op, a recently funded $2.9M project


    Adding to this dream team is our own PFC Store Design volunteer team including:

    • Team lead Megan Harte, local architect and co-owner of 845 Design Group (and early proud PFC Owner!)
    • Kevin Corral of Ade Food Service for equipment planning and procurement
    • Jeff Gahris DuPage County Forest Commissioner who will bring a focus on sustainability
    • Rick Lewellayn who brings decades of experience developing and opening sustainably-focused, fiscally-sound grocery stores


    In just a few short weeks, Owners will be provided photo-realistic renderings of our home-grown grocery store! This will provide a clear idea of what PFC will look and feel like. It will include the departments and services that PFC will offer and what your shopping experience might be. Will we have a sandwich or smoothie bar? What will the community space look like? How will we market our values of supporting local farmers and food producers? How will PFC support sustainability?

    We are so excited to embark on this journey of a shared vision for a better grocery store - one that is owned by US, that gives back to the community, and that supports local farmers and food producers.

    Stay tuned!

  • published Skip the Line: Schedule a Time in Community Investment 2021-04-09 01:42:23 -0500

    Skip The Line: Schedule Your Time


    Ready to step up and help build your community Owned grocery store?

    Or do you have some questions?

    Just wanna talk co-op?

    Schedule a time for one of our warm, friendly Co-operators to call and talk about Prairie Food Co-op with you.

  • published Join the CIP Outreach Team in Community Investment 2021-03-09 00:30:22 -0600

    Community Investment Program Outreach Team


    We are halfway to our overall funding goal of $4.4M and have never been closer to opening OUR store!  
    But to meet our goal, we will need to connect with all of our Owners - and we need your help!
    We are looking for additional volunteers to help us spread the word about the Fall campaign, store updates, and share information about how owners can invest in PFC.  We have volunteers returning from our spring campaign, but now we have even MORE owners to contact with this final push to fund our store.  
    Can you help us by doing any of these activities with our CIP Outreach team? 
    1. Emailing or texting Owners, with pre-drafted messages we will provide?
    2. Calling Owners to share updates, exciting news about our store design, and your general enthusiasm for Prairie Food Coop?
    3. Taking pre-scheduled calls from Owners who are excited to invest, and answering questions (or saying “let me find out and get back to you!”)?
    We will provide you with messaging examples, training, a supportive team of other volunteers to ask questions and share ideas with, and cool technology to keep you organized and make use of your valuable time as a volunteer.  We are looking for at least 4 hours of your week beginning 9/24 through 11/15 - just 7 weeks!
    This is NOT cold calling. Yes, it's nerve racking to imagine your first call to another PFC Owner, but you'll be rewarded (and calmed!) with great conversations shared with neighbors and community members, where we excitedly talked about OUR very owned store that will support local farmers and provide sustainable, organic food to all.  
    We would love as many volunteers as possible, but we believe we need at least 15 more individuals to make our campaign successful.  If you can help, or if you might want to help but have questions you’d like to chat through first, please email Jacquelyn at [email protected]

  • published Give a Brochure or Postcard in For Owners 2021-03-05 01:18:09 -0600

    Give a Brochure or Postcard


    Do you know someone that you think would love to hear more about Prairie Food Co-op?

    Help us spread the word about how we are opening a community Owned grocery store in the heart of DuPage County that will focus on selling as much locally produced food and keeping more profit in our local economy!

    You can choose to hand out a brochure or two (or more) to any interested friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers or maybe even at a place of business or civic institution.

    Or you could write and send a PFC postcard to a potential PFC Owner. People love handwritten messages!

    Or you could do both. Whatever method you choose, this is a very powerful way of growing community support for Prairie Food Co-op. People are very responsive when a friend, family member, or neighbor speaks highly of something. So thank you for spreading the PFC word!


    CLICK HERE to fill out the form and our PFC Brochure Fairy will be in touch!





  • published 30 By 30 in News 2020-06-23 01:44:42 -0500

    30 by 30

    As you may know, when the shelter in place order began in Illinois we created the PFC Virtual Farmers Market, a directory that promoted as many local farmers and food vendors as we enter one of their usual most busy times of the season. 

    One of our most recent participants in the PFC Virtual Market is Southside Blooms- a farm-to-vase florist CSA on the Southside of Chicago who provide unique and fashion-forward floral arrangements delivered to your door while maintaining an uncompromising dedication to both the environment and their surrounding communities.

    From their website, “Our urban chic designs draw from the resources and creative inspiration of the inner city– where all our blooms are grown. Every purchase directly contributes to job creation for at-risk youth and young adults in some of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Our flowers are "beyond-organic" because we use ZERO pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers, while these toxic chemicals are standard for the rest of the industry.”

    We are excited to learn that Southside Blooms offer their flower CSA to the DuPage community and we strongly recommend that you support them.

    We also will be raffling off TWO Southside Blooms CSA memberships to any new Owner or referrer in the month of June IF we reach 30 new PFC Owners by June 30th.

    All you have to do to be eligible is either refer a new Owner or become a new PFC Owner.

    Help us reach our goal by referring or becoming a PFC Owner and you might have a summer of locally grown flowers delivered to your door!

  • published Our System Is Broke, But We Can Help Fix It in News 2020-05-29 03:24:00 -0500

    Our System Is Broke, But We Can Help Fix It

    Our System is Broke, But We Can Help Fix It.

    As the effects of COVID 19 profoundly alter our lives and shake up the way we do almost everything, we are reminded that our current food system is unsustainable.

    Many meat processing facilities across the nation are either closing down or rife with COVID 19 infections. Despite having some of the most fertile soil in the world, a large majority of produce sold in most Illinois grocery stores travels thousands of miles to get here while the profit these stores makes travels thousands of miles away from our community. And most of the food we buy at chain grocery stores are overly saturated with harmful chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, hormones, and other contaminants that have no business being in or on the food we and our families eat.

    Environmentally, economically, and nutritiously- this system is unsustainable.

    This is why food
    co-ops are important. We understand that supporting as much local food as possible is not only beneficial to OUR community, but having a vibrant, robust local food infrastructure protects us all from crises like we are experiencing now.

    We have plenty of local farmers and food producers, but conventional grocery stores simply will not work with most of these small businesses. However, this is what food co-ops do best: providing a marketplace for locally and sustainably produced, clean, nutritious food.

    But we can't do this until we can open our doors. This is why we need you to join the nearly 1100+ of your friends and neighbors who have already joined our ranks to realize our dream of building a community-Owned grocery store where we buy the food we want and a large majority of the profit stays here in our community. PFC Owners are the building blocks of what our grocery store will be and we cannot open without more of our community stepping up and becoming Owners.

    We ask you to please step up for your community by becoming a Prairie Food Co-op Owner today.

    Read more

  • published PFC Coloring Fun! in Get Involved 2020-04-27 23:57:09 -0500

    PFC Coloring Fun!



    Cooped up in the house and looking for something creative to do? Need an activity to keep you and your kiddos occupied? Well break out your crayons, coloring pencils, or- dare we suggest- paints and get in touch with your artistic side! Whether you're a John Singer Sargent, a Georgia O'Keeffe, or maybe even closer to a Jackson Pollak, we want to see your creations!

    Just print out one or all of the above coloring pages (just click on the image), get your coloring on, and then post a pic of your creation(s) on your social media while tagging Prairie Food Co-op. We'd especially love it if you include you and/or your kids (even furry kids) in the pics, because people LOVE pics of people (especially kids and pets) even more than they like pics of fancy art!

    So join in the fun and we can't wait to see your pics! Also, if you haven't yet, like Prairie Food Co-op on Instagram and Facebook!



  • published PFC Presents Ask A Chef with Culinary Confidante in News 2020-03-31 20:44:30 -0500

    PFC Presents Ask A Chef with Culinary Confidante

    Check out PFC's Ask a Chef with Culinary Confidante Series, a collection of all the Ask A Chef videos that covers a plethora of kitchen related topics that were originally presented live. Whether it be talking about pantry ingredients, spices, or ingredient substitution, Chef Crystal has you covered. We guarantee that you'll be informed and entertained.

    May 19 2020

    Ask a Chef: The Right Tool For the Job

    (Skip to the 3:00 minute mark to skip the intro)

    Did you know that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife?

    Check out this FINAL Ask A Chef episode to learn more about kitchen knives and other culinary gadgets. Chef Crystal of Culinary Confidante reviews what tools she recommends you keep on hand for a well-equipped kitchen. She also shows us a few of her favorite kitchen toys + answers many questions from the audience!


    May 5 2020

    Ask a Chef: Reducing Food Waste

    (Skip to the 3:00 minute mark to skip the intro)

    Did you know that the average person wastes more than his or her own body weight in food each year? Check out our 7th(!) video in our Ask a Chef Series to find out what you can do to reduce your food waste. Watch Chef Crystal of Culinary Confidante review best practices for managing the food you buy to reduce and/or eliminate waste.
    She also gives us a few produce prep tips and touch on different ways that you can actually use your food waste.


    April 28 2020

    Ask a Chef: Making the Most of Pantry Ingredients

    (Skip to the 3:00 minute mark to skip the intro)

    Check out this installment of Ask A Chef for some pantry inspiration as Chef Crystal of Culinary Confidante gives us a few tips on what to do with the items in the back of the cupboard, including a few recipe ideas. She also covers what items you should be shopping for to reduce trips to the grocery store while still cooking a varied menu.
    She also answers questions from her viewers!


    April 21 2020

    Ask a Chef: Storing Produce & Keeping it Fresher for Longer

    Chef Crystal of Culinary Confidante discusses ways that you can make the produce that you're already buying last longer. Crystal covers where to store your produce as well as what type of container it should be stored in. She also shares a few of her tips for regrowing foods right in your kitchen, no special equipment needed!

    (Skip to 2:20 to get to the beginning of the show.)


    April 14 2020

    Ask a Chef: Salad Dressings

    Check out Prairie Food Co-op's fourth installment of Ask of Chef with Culinary Confidante: Salad Dressings.
    Using ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already, Chef Crystal discusses (and show us!) how to make a basic vinaigrette along with a few variations. Crystal also covers dressing pairings for different salads as well as how to make an emulsion. Not sure what an emulsion is? Check this out to learn more!


    April 7 2020

    Ask A Chef: Recipes- Tips, Substitutions & Improv 

    Join chef Crystal of Culinary Confidante for part three of our Ask a Chef series where she talks about recipes. In this installment she covers the basics of following a recipe as well as what to look for when browsing recipes online including how to know if you’ve found a good recipe. Crystal also discusses recipe adjustments and substitutions- especially helpful during this time of limited grocery shopping. Check it out!


    March 31 2020

    Ask A Chef: Spices with Culinary Confidante

    Watch Crystal of Culinary Confidante walk through her spice cabinet and discuss what to do with certain spices as well as which spices to regularly keep on hand. This was very fun and very informative. We also got to witness Crystal deal with a potential disaster like a pro. Come for the information, stay for the fun!











  • published PFC Virtual Farmers Market in News 2020-03-27 17:30:01 -0500

    PFC Virtual Farmers Market

    Welcome to the PFC Virtual Farmers Market, a registry of our local farms, CSAs, artisans, and small businesses. These are the producers and vendors that PFC will want to provide a marketplace for when we are open and these are the types of businesses you would likely see at a farmers market. Please support these businesses since their business models are affected by social distancing and they need the support of their community more than ever, especially with market season approaching.

    If you are one of these businesses please fill this out, or if you know of a one that belongs here please send them a link to this page so they can enter their info.



  • PFC's December To Remember Particpating Local Businesses




      Rosemary and Jeans is a fresh, casual restaurant. This beautiful white house on Main Street is the perfect place for families to gather for an affordable, scratch made meal. With a subtle nod to their Northern Italian family, simple pastas, fresh salads and classic entrees- complimented with some American favorites- will please each generation of your family.


      Babcock's Grove House is an intimate Lombardian-family-owned and operated restaurant located in the heart of downtown Lombard, IL. Babcock's offers a hybrid service style, quick counter service by day, relaxed full service at night. All menu items are made from scratch daily using primarily local, seasonal ingredients. 


    Fringe A Boutique Salon is a family of hair specialists who are passionate professionals committed to delivering the finest salon experience in our chic, soothing space. Fringe is located in downtown Lombard, yet with a ‘City’ Salon feel.

      Ruff Life is a family-owned all-natural pet supply shop committed to serving their community by providing the highest quality food & treats around. Their edibles will always be free from wheat, corn, soy & by-products so you can give the best to your best friend.


       Pick one of 3 wines (Californina Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Syrah, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc). All wines  are crafted by Michelle Coppedge, PFC Owner and Lombardian, from award winning vineyard wine kits. The fun name of Wubby Wine is an ode to her love of dogs, particularly her previous Pug Stubby, aka Wubby. We hope you can enjoy these delicious wines over the holidays!


       Marche, located at 496 Main St. in Glen Ellyn, offers cheese, charcuterie, wines, craft beers, spirits and a distinctive array of complements. There are cheese plates, sandwiches and lunch boxes to eat in, share or take home; and artfully arranged cheese and charcuterie boards for parties and special occasions. 

    Alter Brewing Company is a craft beer brewery located in Downers Grove, IL.  Alter welcomes all people interested in unique craft beers and its vibrant culture to come and share the experience with others who share your passion for delicious beer, amazing company, music and of course… fun.


    Righteous Kitchen believes that a great meal, like great Rock & Roll, should make you pump your fist and raise your lights too. They want you to experience the flavors, the excitement, the smells of a positively righteous meal prepared fresh each day just for you! 


    Yoga & Ayurveda is a local community based studio that is grounded in the traditional 8 limb path of yoga. Their teachers teach their own style and create their own sequences. They offer Vinyasa, Prenatal, Iyengar, Therapeutic, 50+, evening and early morning classes.


    MORE Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in Villa Park that specializes in NE style ales, sours and stouts as well as offering a full menu of unique and delicious appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and entree items. 


    Brewpoint Coffee not only provides freshly roasted coffee & pastries but they are a company that creates and empowers authentic community spaces through their coffee. 


    Paradiso encourages effortless style, a memorable experience and a brand to bond all types of women together. Paradiso is a place to shop versatile, affordable fashions for all walks of life and gifts for the women who inspire you the most. Their mission is for you to be able to embrace your inner beauty and connect the joy of style to your authentic self.




  • published Show Us Your PFC Yard Sign! in News 2020-05-23 00:43:23 -0500

    Show Us Your PFC Yard Sign!


    Most of us know that April showers bring May flowers. But what do May flowers bring? PFC Yard Sign Fun!

    As we near the end of May the weather is warmer, the flowers are in bloom and Prairie Food Co-op signs are on display.

    We loved seeing everyone's yard sign photos so much last summer we're doing it again!

    Share the sunshine, the flowers and a little joy this spring by posting a picture of your PFC yard sign and tagging our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.

    Now more than ever, it's especially important to support local food. Show your community that you support Prairie Food Co-op by proudly displaying one of our fabulously attractive yard signs.

    If you're a PFC Owner, just sign up for a FREE PFC Yard Sign to join in the fun.

    Not an owner yet? Become a PFC Owner today (for just $10 down!), sign up for a free PFC yard sign, and you'll get a visit from our yard sign fairy too!

    Become a PFC Owner Today!



  • wants to volunteer 2019-06-14 14:59:24 -0500

    Order a Yard Sign

    Show your Owner pride with a yard sign and pique the curiosity of your neighbors.

    You can be one short conversation away from recruiting another Owner!

    We would like to see a sign in every yard, so we are gladly giving yard signs to every willing Owner. Each sign costs us about $10 to produce, so please consider making a donation on the next screen to help alleviate the cost to the co-op. However, if you can't pitch in right now, that's OK too. The important thing is helping us spread the Prairie Food word. 

    Enter your address below and we will get a sign to your yard usually within a week! 

    Become a volunteer

  • published Volunteer in For Owners 2018-04-16 13:26:16 -0500


    The more volunteers we have out front and behind the scenes, the more we can grow, fund, and build OUR community owned grocery store!

    Here are some current volunteer opportunities:

    • Tablers – One of the most fun ways to grow our owner ranks, you’ll represent PFC with a seasoned tabler at farmers markets, info sessions, or other events. You'll be talking to potential PFC Owners about why they need to join the PFC family and current Owners about our current news and plans. 
    • Event Organizers – We need folks who'd like to help organize events – from securing venues to coordinating day-of details.
    • Co-op Ambassadors – Reach out to businesses, nonprofits, community groups, town leaders, and existing owners. Find out where we can host a table at an event, farmers market, or appear at a Co-op house party.
    • Teach a Class – Do you have a skill or talent to share? Maybe you have gardening expertise, amazing canning skillz, or maybe you're a fermenting genius or knowledgable about another DIY activity? We make it fun and easy to share your knowledge with our community! 
    • Spreadsheet, CMR, or other organizational tech skills – If you know Google Drive or have worked with CRM tools like Nationbuilder, Salesforce or others, we can use your talents!
    • Web & Graphic Design  –  Our website and visual promos are always in need of updating. Please let us know if this is your thing!
    • Hustling (the good kind) - Maybe you'd just like to hand out some brochures or somewhere for a few hours or commit to a task that isn't so involved. We have many tasks that don't take much of time commitment that could fit into your schedule. 

    To get started, please fill out our Volunteer Form. This is a painless and easy way to help us decide the best way you can help YOUR community Owned grocery store. Don't worry, if you'd like to branch out of your comfort zone, we'll work with you. 

    If you'd like to just cut to the chase you can email our Outreach Coordinator, Jerry at [email protected]

    This is hard work, but it's fun! Join the fun by volunteering today!









  • followed Become an Owner! 2020-01-23 10:58:39 -0600

  • published What's In Store for Prairie Food Co-op in News 2016-08-10 11:47:38 -0500

    What's In Store for Prairie Food Co-op

    A committed group of volunteers have been working to build Prairie Food Co-op since mid-2012. It takes, on average, 5-6 years to open a food co-op and we are on track to open within that timeframe. Along the way, we have received many accolades, including a competitive $10K grant based on the strength of our organization and leadership. We recently visited our mentor co-op, Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC) in Urbana, and were reminded of why we are doing this. Here we will share why we are working hard to open Prairie Food Co-op - a grocery store that is so much more!

    Read more