All Together Now

Reasons to love the Dill Pickle Food Co-op

For a source-conscious, local-market-loving city, Chicago was dreadfully behind on the food co-op train. (The city's one and only–the 75-year-old Hyde Park co-op–closed in January 2008.)

That changed earlier this month, when Logan Square's Dill Pickle Food Co-op opened and reintroduced the city to the concept of a member-owned grocery.

The store has everything you'd hope from a co-op: an emphasis on local and sustainable produce, meats, dairy and cheese, and shelves stocked with names familiar to farmers' market and natural food store shoppers.

Genesis Growers and Green Acres Farm are well-represented in the wood produce bins–grab Red Piata cipollini onions, Chioggia beets, French gray shallots and red kuri squash, which you may have missed at the farmers' market over the weekend.

Bread comes from Cook Au Vin on Elston Ave.; the cheese selection is curated by Great American Cheese Collection. You'll find local Mint Creek Farm lamb in the freezer case (try the lamb bratwurst) next to TJ's free-range chicken from Piper City, Twin Oak Meats pork from Fairbury, and sausage, bacon and ribs from Michigan's Jake's Country Meats.

Unlike many co-ops, membership isn't mandatory for shopping and there's no required member participation–though in the future, members who pick up volunteer shifts will be rewarded with discounts.

Dill Pickle Food Co-op, 3039 W. Fullerton Ave; 773-252-2667 or dillpicklefoodcoop.org