It isn’t long after you start participating in the local food system that you are first introduced to co-ops, often the epicenter of a region’s food culture. Having grown up in Nebraska when I first heard the term “co-op” I immediately thought back to the grain co-ops like the one pictured in my hometown – Waco, NE. Grain co-ops are organized around the idea that a group of farmers has more selling power when they worked together.
On the other hand, food co-ops are founded by consumers who want to use their combined buying power to support local producers and compete with larger markets. The first successful consumer co-op is often said to have started in England around 1850, and birthed thousands more within 10 years. There had been many co-ops founded prior to that, but the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers created 7 Cooperative Principles that guided them and are still used by most co-ops today.
Today, the majority of food co-ops are focused on making natural & sustainable food available and affordable to their community. Jake’s works with a number of food co-ops throughout Michigan, Northern Indiana, and the Chicagoland area. These direct connections are perfect examples of our commitment to bridge the gap between producer and consumer. #yourconnectiontoyourfood
So when one of our first retail partners – Dill Pickle Food Co-op – located in the Logan Square area of Chicago – announced they were holding a Grand Opening for their new location we were happy to support them.
The Dill Pickle was founded around 2004 and opened their doors in 2009. Nate and Lou Ann said they can still remember attending a member meeting prior to the opening and sampling out some of our pork. Since then Jake’s has been a staple in the Dill, making a number of great local food connections in those almost 8 years.
The new location is just north of the original storefront on Milwaukee Ave. just south of Diversey. And it is HUGE! Wide aisles full of great locally produced products greet customers with great access to public transportation. Our freezer is located just across the aisle from the rest of the meat case – don’t miss it!
Images from the day –
After sampling pulled pork and jalapeno brats for a couple hours I made the most of my trip and headed north to a Barn Dinner hosted by two more partners – Radical Root Organic Farm and Sauce & Bread Kitchen. #havemeatwilltravel