My first job was at a co-op. I had… um, gotten into… um… a little trouble as a teen and was referred to the co-op by my counselor at the Holton Youth Center in Milwaukee. Outpost Natural Foods hired me at fifteen years old with zero work experience, a nose piercing, dark lip-liner and baggy jeans. They were a godsend. After two years as a cashier and customer service representative helping to sign shoppers up to become owners of the co-op I had tons of confidence and a knack for fighting off colds with homeopathic remedies.
More recently, and without dark lip-liner, I’ve taken to visiting The Riverwest Co-op on my visits to Milwaukee. Their motto? Food for People, Not For Profit. Housed in a tiny storefront, packed to the brim with foodstuffs, produce and even a cafe, it’s something I’ve wished for in Chicago for years.
Looks like I got my wish with the recently opened Dill Pickle Co-op.
While the price points were more comprabable to Whole Foods than Trader Joe’s and their membership program is a little more expensive that I would like, Dill Pickle is definitely providing a good service. It is unfortunate that a community owned grocery store’s prices must be so much higher than those of large corporations; makes it hard for even a middle-class family to shop there these days. Still, the cost for bulk items is reasonable and once the growing pains are done, we may be able to see some of the prices come down.
Does your neighborhood have a co-op? Where is it? Worth the visit?