Best Food Co-op | Best of Chicago 2010 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

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Best Food Co-op 

Dill Pickle Food Co-op

3039 W. Fullerton

It’s the best because it’s the only—its predecessor, the Hyde Park Co-op Market, went out of business in 2008. Four and a half years in the making, Dill Pickle finally opened its doors last December, and I must disclose that as member #183, I’m directly invested. I’ve even lured in a member or three while staffing the co-op’s tent at the Logan Square Farmers’ Market. The co-op stocks locally produced, organic-when-possible food in a 2,500-square-foot space that puts it somewhere between convenience store and supermarket. Dependent on volunteers to help stock shelves, run the cash register, and unload trucks, it carries everything from toilet paper to homemade bread (I’m currently obsessed with the olive sourdough); in the three aisles you’ll find baby food, cake mix, organic produce, bulk items (granola, trail mix, nuts), and an assortment of vegan and vegetarian selections (most of them priced comparably to or cheaper than Jewel or Whole Foods).

Most important for me, at least, is the sense of community: on the Dill Pickle’s opening day, a cash register malfunction created an hour-long checkout wait, but it felt like everyone—behind and in front of the register—was in this together.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)