Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

March 2024

Another significant milestone has been reached, and that is PFC’s Federal HUD grant has been fully executed! We’ve also heard very encouraging news that our state grant is very close to being fully executed. The funds for both of those grants, with a combined total of $1.55M, will be applied towards the buildout phase and cover a large portion of the costs associated with the buildout. Dust off your hardhats!

In addition to the funding news, we are very close to signing off on our construction contract, which will then open the door to the bidding process. Once we have construction bids approved we will then begin the store buildout phase. 

A hot topic right now is what product vendors we will be working with once we open. The short answer is many, and my goal is to have at least one hundred local vendors on board before we open. This topic is near and dear to my heart, as I truly believe that farmers and producers should be rewarded for their tireless efforts to bring quality products and food into our lives. Having an established retail setting allows those farmers and producers to benefit from all their hard work. In addition to speaking to many super-local producers (within and just outside of the Lombard vicinity) I have visited at least one farm in Central Illinois, one Central IL distributor of Central and Southern Illinois products and produce, and will be visiting a few more Central Illinois farms later this March. I will also be focusing my efforts in securing primary beef, pork and chicken vendors in the next few weeks.

The great thing about a co-op is that customers will have exposure to many local producers and farmers that they may have not known even existed. Though PFC’s definition of ‘local’ is within a 200 mile radius of the store (which will include neighboring states like Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa), what excites me is that all of Illinois is considered local. This gives us the opportunity to work with many additional partners downstate and allows us to spread our economic impact to all of Illinois, not just within the aforementioned 200-mile radius. Did you know that there is a Non-GMO rice-growing region in Southern Illinois? Did you know that high quality peaches are being grown in Central Illinois? Did you know that a large percentage  of the produce utilized in Chicago’s finest restaurants is grown right here in Illinois? Stay tuned to learn more!

I hope you’ve had a chance to stop by the site and take a peek the past couple weeks, as some much needed color has been added to the site in the form of large posters and additional marketing. Thank you to our Ownership and Outreach Committee for putting these together! They certainly add a little more excitement to the site and have been garnering a lot of extra attention. Stay on top of our owner count by checking out the main entrance, which displays our current owner count and is updated with each additional new owner.

Speaking of owner count (which currently sits at 1817), we want to ramp up our Ownership numbers over the next following months so if you're not a PFC Owner yet, now is the time to become one! Though you don’t have to be a member to shop at PFC, membership benefits include the ability to vote for the PFC board, reap additional member discounts and attend members-only events. Membership is a one-time fee of $200!

Heads up! PFC is planning its annual Owner’s Meeting, which should take place in April. Information will be coming your way soon! 

Prairie Food Co-op is a community-owned and democratically operated grocery store dedicated to strengthening our economy and creating a marketplace for transparently labeled, local, organic and sustainable food. 

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

Together we built this. Join us.