Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

May 2016 News

We are thrilled to announce that we exceeded our Spring goal of 500 Owners! We raffled off a Wine & Paint party to the new Art Life Gallery & Studio in Lombard and two pairs of Cubs tickets. Many thanks to everyone who helped us achieve this milestone - by sharing our Facebook posts, forwarding our newsletter, and chatting about PFC to friends and neighbors. A special thanks to Owner Emily Suarino for offering the Wine & Paint party prize and to Owner Kris MacLeod for the Cubs tickets. THIS is how we will get to opening day!

There has been a lot of chatter about the lack of grocery stores in Lombard. The entire central-North corridor of Lombard is considered a Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) area by the USDA.  While there are a few national grocers on Roosevelt Road and North Avenue, it is unlikely that a big box grocer will consider a center-town location for a variety of reasons (lack of available space that is large enough, not enough parking, ingress/egress, low traffic compared to Roosevelt and North, and so on).

This is why Prairie Food Co-op is special. As a cooperative business, we make decisions based on what is most beneficial to our Owners & our community. It’s clear that our Owners and our community want a centrally located convenient grocery store. Our market study and financial statements demonstrate that a centrally located grocery store can be successful and profitable. Prairie Food Co-op Owners aren’t waiting and hoping for this type of grocery store to come to town. We are empowering ourselves to create the type of grocery store that we want - a centrally located community hub that focuses on sustainable and locally produced food, transparent labeling, and educational classes. It’s exciting to be part of an organization created BY friends and neighbors FOR friends and neighbors. By working together we are building something truly special.

Cooperatives are businesses created to address an unmet community need. That is exactly what we are doing at Prairie Food Co-op.  As a cooperative, community members have more control over the business. Cooperatives, by their nature, are more responsive to community needs than a traditional business. They are also longer-lived businesses. In fact, cooperatives fared so well during the worldwide economic downturn that the United Nations declared 2012 the "Year of the Co-op" due to the strength and resilience of the cooperative business model.

Building a cooperative business takes time. On average, it takes 5-6 years to open a cooperative grocery store. We have been building Prairie Food Co-op for 3 ½ years and have over 500 Owners.  We have received many honors and awards based on the strength of our organization, including a prestigious $10K Food Co-op Initiative grant. We have a market study and detailed financial statements that demonstrate strong potential for success. We are currently in lease negotiations for a location that is NORTH of Roosevelt and SOUTH of North Avenue that would be an awesome center-town convenient location (we cannot reveal the location until a firm lease is signed for a variety of reasons). We need 800 Owners to show sufficient community support to sign the lease. At over 500 Owners, we are getting close!

Help us get to opening day sooner by becoming an Owner today! If we get at least 25 new Owners in May, all new Owners and their referrers will be eligible to win a Sandhill Family Farm Summer CSA share (a $305 value!). We need "25 to Thrive" to continue our progress towards opening day!

Become a Prairie Food Owner for a one time payment of $200 or as little as $25 down!

Be an Owner

Have questions about Ownership? Please join us at one of our events or call Ownership & Outreach Coordinator Jerry Nash at 630.501.7444.


In cooperation,
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Together we built this. Join us.