The Brine - Dill Pickle Food Co-op

Dill Pickle
April 2015 Volume 8, Issue 2
The Dill Pickle
Food Co-op
3039 West Fullerton
Chicago, IL 60647
Spring Hours (starting May 1)
9am - 10pm, 7 days a week
This Issue
Growing the Local Food
Economy in Schools pg 3
Cooperation at the Good
Food Festival pg 3
Meet HOO
Jinno Redovan pg 4
Own The Change, The
Movie pg 5
Sharon Hoyer,
General Manager pg 5
Planting and Dreaming at
Genesis Growers pg 6
The Dill Pickle Heads to
Expo West pg 6
Introducing the Recipe Wall
Collection pg 7
Block Club Connects Co-op
and Community pg 8
The Pickle's Organic and
Local Milk Line-Up! pg 9
Ramps, Dandelion Greens
and Powerballs pg 10
Kevin Monahan, President,
Board of Directors pg 11
Photo by Jana Kinsman
Busy Bees Are Sweetening the City
By Kristin Jensen
The Chicago Honey Co-op products are in stock at the Dill Pickle
with local honey bees providing
the key ingredient for a luxurious sugar scrub, solid moisturizing bar, and beeswax lip balm.
With organic and/or sustainably
sourced cocoa butter, palm oil,
apricot kernel oil, and sweet
almond oil obtained from a local
supplier, Honey Co-op products
offer a blend of natural ingredients and local production.
Working in a space on the
west side of Chicago, a small
team of Honey Co-op staff
performs multiple duties to
extract honey and create products including the scrub, body
bar, and lip balm. The products
were developed by one of the
Chicago Honey Co-op founding
members, Stephanie Arnett, who
researched, mixed, and revised
each product recipe before
achieving the perfect combination of ingredients.
Sydney Barton, Operations
Manager at the Chicago Honey
Co-op, states that one of the
goals for the bath and body
product line is to keep them free
of artificial additives or preservatives. This philosophy results in
simple, safe, and focused product
The National Honey Board
promotes honey as a humectant, helping your skin attract
and retain moisture. And the
Chicago Honey Co-op products
are chock-full of good-for-you
ingredients, yet the list is minimal
and natural.
The moisturizing bar is particularly useful for dry and combination skin, as dry winter air
can continue late into the spring.
Apply the bar very sparingly over
your face and body for exceptional moisturizing benefits. The
scrub is thick with sugar crystals,
and again, you only need a small
amount. Rub the scrub gently
on wet skin for natural exfoliation and renewal. The lip balm is
an essential for your bag, desk,
nightstand, and bathroom - wherever you spend your time.
Buy local products at the Dill
Pickle and support our Chicagoarea beehives while enjoying the
moisturizing benefit of honey and
beeswax skin products.
For more information about
the Chicago Honey Co-op, check
out their website: http://www.
Turn to page 4 to learn how
to prepare your own deep conditioning hair mask with natural
ingredients available at the Dill
Kristin Jensen
is a marketing
writer, technical writer, and
freelance writer
with special interests in nature,
science, historical fiction, affordable style, and bath and body
Sharon Hoyer General Manager
Mike Garvin Front End Manager
Jim Metzke Front End
Jessica Dickerson Front End
Michael Gorka Grocery
Roslyn Kauffman Accounts Payable
Ron Kollath Maintenance
Jennifer Le Vine Health & Wellness
Andy Needling Meat
Dana Norden Perishables
Michelle Perez Merchandising
The Dill Pickle Food Co-op offers healthy
food choices and the benefits of cooperative practice to build a vibrant local community and more sustainable world. We
meet community needs and strengthen
area diversity through products, services,
and education.
The Dill Pickle Food Co-op opened in 2009
and is currently Chicago’s only cooperative
grocery store, owned by over 1,500 neighbors and counting. The DPFC is open to all,
but owners are granted the right to vote
and run for the governing board, participate
as Hands-On Owners, and enjoy special
sales and discounts. Ownership entails a
refundable $250 equity vestment. For more
information on joining, email [email protected], or visit
Brittany Peters Front End
Upcoming Ownership Orientations
Saturday, April 18th, 11:00am-12:30pm @
The Logan Share, 2864 N Milwaukee Ave.
Contact [email protected] to RSVP.
David Glover Treasurer
The DPFC Board of Directors meets on
the third Wednesday of each month at
the Serbian Orthodox Church, 3062 W.
Palmer, at 6:30-9:00pm. All owners are
invited to attend!
Nivan Yahaghi Produce
Ally Young Communications
Amber Zook Produce
2014-15 BOARD
Kevin Monahan President
Brekke Bounds Vice President
Bettina Johnson Secretary
Marcus Klokkenga
Gajus Miknaitis
Ryan Palma
The content of the stories printed in The
Brine are entirely the opinions of the
author and do not represent the views or
opinions of directors, staff, or owners of
the cooperative. Articles about health or
nutrition are intended for informational
purposes only and are not intended as
professional medical advice.
If you want to write for The Brine, we are
always accepting new writers. Email us with
a pitch, or we can assign you a story that fits
your style! (No experience necessary.)
Sean Shatto
This newsletter was printed by Sommers
& Fahrenbach, a community partner and
printer located in Logan Square.
If your business wishes to reach our discerning and informed membership, email
us for more information!
Elise Zelechowski
If you are an owner who has an upcoming
event, submit it to [email protected]
for consideration for publication!
Managing Editor
Cara Sawyer
Design Editor
Katherine Eng Kirby
Photo Editor
Becky Lomax
The DILL PICKLE Newsletter
[email protected]
Growing the Local Food Economy in Schools
By Lydia Mills
At the Dill Pickle, we support our local food
economy through our purchases. Farmers
need money to grow their delicious and
healthy produce, and they need the support
of stores like ours. Our local farmers play a
big role in fighting environmental degradation and the problems caused by big ag.
What if local farmers had even more venues
at which to sell food and make money, causing our local food economy to flourish? What
if delicious, healthy local produce was served
in schools?
Farm to School is the idea that, when
farmers from not too far away grow the food
that’s served in schools, everyone wins. Farmers have a stable market to sell their crops,
schools have higher quality food in their cafeterias, and children learn that eating healthy
can taste really great.
A Farm to School program is anything
done in a school that focuses on locally
grown food. This might mean a nutrition
education program or a school garden,
since these programs teach students about
how food grows and why it’s good to eat
fruits and vegetables. This might also mean
procurement of local foods in the school
cafeteria, including fruits and vegetables but
extending to milk, grains, and protein. When
kids are growing food, eating locally grown
food, and learning to appreciate farmers,
we are planting the seeds for a new food
system in the future. Farm to School is a new
way for schools to be part of their local food
Here in Chicago, Farm to School is becoming reality. There are over 400 gardens in
Chicago Public Schools, and around 100 of
them are actively being used for students to
grow vegetables. Every week, Chicago Public
Schools offers a locally procured fruit or vegetable option – even in the winter. Last fall, a
local farmer came in to meet students on the
day his cabbages were served! Chicken from
Indiana raised without antibiotics is served as
the protein throughout the year.
All of this good news cannot go without
a dose of reality: Illinois is still lagging behind
compared to other states in the Midwest.
Photos courtesy of Seven Generations Ahead
However, there is a lot that we can do as parents, teachers, or general supporters to make
sure that we keep growing in this work.
The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act
(CNR) funds child nutrition programs and
is up for debate this year. These programs
include things like the National School Lunch
Program, Breakfast in the Classroom, and
Farm to School funding from the USDA. Five
years ago, the law established $5 million of
yearly funding for Farm to School, and this
year we have the opportunity to increase that
The Farm to School Act of 2015 would
increase funding to $15 million a year. This
money could go to creating season extension
programs, or building kitchens, or to implementing local procurement programs. If Farm
to School is important to you, please sign on
to the National Farm to School Network’s
Letter of Support. (http://www.farmtoschool.
Lydia Mills is the Farm to
School Coordinator at Seven
Generations Ahead, the
state lead organization for
the Illinois Farm to School
Network. She lives in Logan
Square and loves the local food scene.
Cooperation at the Good Food Festival
By Brekke Bounds
This year’s Good Food Festival & Conference was a great one for the
Dill Pickle and other food co-ops in the area. Taking place over three
days, this yearly festival takes time to celebrate good food from all
angles including financing food operations, developing food policies,
and educating consumers. This year’s festival ran from March 19th
through March 21st at the UIC Forum.
The recently formed Chicagoland Food Cooperative Coalition
(CFCC) came together at a corner table in the Good Food Expo on
both Friday and Saturday to educate attendees about the many coops developing in the area and why cooperatives are a great choice
for consumers.
With volunteers from all five developing co-ops (listed on page 7)
continued page 7
April 2015 | 3
One HOO’s Love of the Logan Square Community
By Rob Montalbano
This month’s outstanding Hands-on-Owner is Jinno (pronounced
Gene-O) Redovan. Jinno has been a member of the Dill Pickle Food
Co-op since he moved to Logan Square last fall. In fact, he chose to
live in the neighborhood because of our Co-op. “It’s not too busy,” he
explained, “and Logan Square is full of some really great people.”
When was the last time you volunteered at the store?
Just this morning. I worked the 10a-noon shift. I helped restock some
of the shelves and then helped unload the delivery truck. It’s a big job.
Do you ever talk to animals?
I do. We have two cats, Cece and Luna, and I talk to them all of the
What do you say?
I talk to them just like I talk with humans. They’re a big part of our
lives. Cece was a stray and we adopted Luna from the shelter so we’re
pretty close to them.
What is your favorite vegetable?
Kale. I grew up a picky eater and ate a lot of junk food. I never liked
most vegetables. I started eating better in my early 20s and I love the
kale that I get from the Coop. I put it in smoothies and I also like to
sautée it.
Can you share a wonderful memory in your past?
It was my 16th birthday and I was really looking forward to it. I called
my friends and tried to get something planned. Everybody cancelled
on me. Not a single one of my friends wanted to spend the day with
me. I quickly went from being excited to being devastated. It hurt.
When my birthday arrived, my parents wanted to take me out to dinner but I didn’t want to go. Finally, I gave in. As I walked into the restaurant, all of my friends were waiting for me. It was a great birthday.
Tell me about all those tattoos.
This one on my arm I got for my brother, Elijah. He’s very special to
me and the tattoo helps me stay grounded and reminds me of the
importance of relationships. Even my mom grew to like it.
Photo by Becky Lomax
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about
volunteering for the Coop?
Just do it. Everyone is wonderful. They know what they’re doing in the
store and their products are all well-researched. There are so many
Rob has been a member of the DPFC for some time.
He is also madly in love.
Honey Coop
from page 1
This recipe is courtesy of the National
Honey Board website: http://www.
Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
By Kristin Jensen
½ cup honey
¼ cup olive oil for dry hair or 2
Tbsp olive oil for normal hair (for
oily scalp simply avoid applying
mixture to scalp)
1. Combine the honey and olive oil in a
bowl or cup.
2. Work the mixture into the ends of
your hair and cover with a shower cap.
Leave the mixture in your hair for 30
3. Shampoo, rinse, and condition as
4 | The Brine
Ashley lives in the apartment
below Cara Sawyer. The Dill
Pickle's millet harbored a
new friendship and a new
space for pickle humor.
A Movie for the Co-op Curious? Check out Own the Change
By Kath Duffy
“Put up the factory....and own the job!” - James Brown
As a member of the Pickle, you're already familiar with the concept
behind co-ops. Our little store is owned by all of us. As memberowners, we pledge to support the store by shopping there, and we
democratically participate in the operation of this enterprise by electing a board of directors that represents us in decision-making. But did
you know there are other types of co-ops as well?
One rising model is an employee-owned business, or worker co-op,
in which groups of workers not only work at their jobs, but own and
democratically operate the business for the benefit of all members.
The crash of the US economy in 2008 caused many people to
look for new business models that would not unfairly socialize risk but
privatize profit. Where is the fairness in a model that leaves average
workers to bear all the losses when business is bad but not share in
the gains when business is good? Through democratic ownership and
operation, worker co-ops enable all who take part to both share the
risk and enjoy the profit.
A new film, Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One
Worker Co-op at a Time, introduces the concept of worker co-ops and
illustrates how this model works. It features interviews with workerowners from many flourishing worker co-ops across the country, co-op
developers and researchers, funders, and educators including Dill
Pickle member #1599, Brian Van Slyke, a worker-owner with The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA.) TESA produced the film
in conjunction with reporter Laura Flanders of GRITtv. You can view it
for free on the TESA website or on YouTube.
One important principle reinforced in the film is that worker coops require both a democratic approach to business ownership as well
as creation of a viable business. Both of these are necessary; without a
viable business, the co-op collapses. Without a strong co-op foundation, the business is not truly a democratic workplace.
The benefits of worker co-ops are many. Worker-owned business-
es mean stable
jobs, which
means stable
families and communities. Workerowners make the
decisions about
wages, benefits,
and working conditions. Worker
co-ops bring
more democracy
to the workplace and directly reward the people who do the work that
makes a successful business.
In the film, worker-owners from many flourishing worker co-ops
recount their experiences and share their thoughts on creating, owning, and running a co-operative business. Ricky Macklin of Chicago's
own New Era Windows co-op offered a beautiful summary of his
experience as a worker-owner of New Era Windows: “We had been
told that we were just window manufacturers...but by running our
own business, we found out that...we are people of industry.” In these
rather trying economic times, it has never been more apparent that in
order to be truly job secure, workers need to claim their own agency
and discover their own capacities as “people of industry.” Workers coops can help that happen.
Kath Duffy is the founding organizer and member
#1 of the Dill Pickle. She also serves on the board
of the Center for Workplace Democracy, a Chicago
organization that advocates for worker co-ops and
employee owned businesses.
Knowledge is Power: Co-Op Principle 5 in Effect
Dear Owners,
The Dill Pickle crew is accustomed to
change at a pretty fast clip. Because we started with so little space, staff, and time, we’ve
been in a constant state of self-education and
growth. Co-op staff members are in the habit
of walking in the door, looking around, and
asking themselves what they’ll make better
that day. In most cases the answer is something we’ve never done before and must
figure out how to do, often with the advice of
an older and wiser co-op.
This is to say that Cooperative Principle
Five: Education, Training and Information is in
our DNA. The principle states, “cooperatives
provide education and training for members,
elected representatives and employees so
they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-op. Members also inform
the general public about the nature and benefits of co-ops.” The two parts of this principle—inward investment in the people running
the co-op and outward education of the
greater public about what we do—have been
an increasing focus of our work. The staff and
board attended five trade shows and conferences over the last month and a half. These
included the table top show for our major
distributor UNFI, and the Up and Coming, Up
and Running Co-op Conference in Bloomington, Indiana, not to mention the Good Food
Festival that we attended last month along
with our sister startups here in Chicagoland.
The skills our staff and board have developed
from a very modest start is truly remarkable—they have created systems and are
using tools and methods usually reserved for
larger organizations. Our challenge now is to
keep this drive within our constrained space:
to keep training, learning, and growing so we
step into larger shoes with confidence, ready
to take on the challenges ahead.
Chances to educate the greater public
about co-ops abound as the reputation of
the Dill Pickle, and the larger cooperative
movement in Chicago, have grown. We participated in a GoodGreens meeting hosted
by the Chicago Food and Nutrition Service,
we presented to startups from around the
country at the Up and Coming, Up and Running Conference, and in April we’ll sit on a
panel at the Illinois Credit Union League’s
annual meeting. We’ve also tabled at Logan
Square winter market and will have a regular
presence at the outdoor market this summer. Tabling season is officially underway and
we have plans to bend every ear about the
awesomeness of co-ops, from Fair Trade Day
in Daley Plaza to the Milwaukee Avenue Arts
Fest to Pitchfork.
Probably the most exciting Principle 5
activities are through our Block Club’s education working group. This team of board, staff
and Hands-On Owners are developing co-op
curriculum pre-K through adult and are seeking out new opportunities to educate our
greater community about how cooperation
makes the world a better place.
One of our Hands On Owners had a
marvelous insight related to this principle at
our last Block Club meeting; she pointed out
that education is a two-way street. When coop owners educate the greater public about
their work, they learn how the co-op can better serve the greater public. This simple idea
fuels our passion to learn something new every day: what can we make better? How can
we better serve our community? The co-op
will conduct our second ever customer survey
in April. We hope you’ll take the time to share
your thoughts on these questions with us.
In Cooperation,
Sharon Hoyer, General Manager
Sharon is the General
Manager of the Dill Pickle.
She finds that many of our
biggest challenges are well
met through a good meal
and cooperation. When not
cooking or cooperating, she can be found
writing, sewing, gardening or dancing.
April 2015 | 5
Springtime Planting and Dreaming at Genesis Growers
By Angela Klipp
The part of spring that
is so exciting to me is seeing all of the green popping up and hearing all of
the plows around me.
It’s almost impossible not
to become giddy this time
of year. Trees emerge
from their wintery slumber
and start showing signs
of life while squirrels use
them as boudoirs. Tulips
begin popping up looking for their shadow a la
Punxsutawney Phil. Spring
also means our local
harvest will soon become
bountiful. I spent most of
February dreaming of a
fresh spring greens salad. I
chatted with Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers
about what Spring means
to her and her farm.
AK: How do you prepare
for spring planting?
VW: Getting ready for
spring means first figuring out what I want to plant and what others
want me to plant (chefs, local shops, markets). Then, I buy my seeds. It all starts with
seeds. While I’m seed shopping, my staff are
busy going over every piece of equipment
to make sure everything is in good working
order to avoid anything breaking down when
we most need it! Right now, we’re planting
all of our hoop houses. Pretty little rows of
chard, kale and lettuces are living there right
now. Concurrently, we get seeds ready for
outdoor planting. First are onions. Onions are
the hardest crop to plant so it’s smooth sailing after that!
AK: How do you decide
your Spring crop?
VW: I’m really careful in
my planting because I’m
limited by space. I can’t
afford to plant way more
than I’m going to harvest.
We sell to restaurants, small
grocery stores and at the
market so my clientele is diverse. I try to simulate what
our forebears would have
planted to support their
family. That supplies us with
a nice arrangement for all
of our buyers. If someone
asks me to plant something
that I wouldn’t normally
plant I ask how much they will need and then
I’ll see if this is something that other people
would want. If I find interest in the crop I’ll try
to plant it as a trial crop. The trial crop might
be something I found over the winter or
continued page 9
On the Road: The Dill Pickle Heads to Expo West!
By Jennifer Lynne Le Vine, Health and Wellness Lead
Not only was I fortunate enough to escape the bitter end of Chicago's concrete arctic winter, I was able to represent the Dill Pickle
Food Co-Op at the world's largest natural, organic, and healthy
products event. The 35th annual Natural Products Expo West took
place March 4-8 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, one
of the country's largest convention centers. As Chicago's only food
cooperative with a retail storefront, it was a big deal to be at this
type of event. All types of positions in the natural products industry
were brought together for one weekend of networking, ordering
and education. From the CEOs of the major companies’ products
that we carry in the co-op, to the brokers that help us get deals on
their products, to the sales representatives that give us support in the
store, everyone was there to get the good word out about the growth
and prosperity of the natural products industry. I had the opportunity
to meet and chat with the people I order from over email and phone
over the past couple of years. I bonded with other buyers from all
over the world that have my same position in their co-ops or health
food stores. I tried foods and supplements and body care products
that won't be in the market until six months from now. I placed orders
for products in our co-op for excellent deals. I attended seminars
and info sessions on women in leadership, sales and margin control,
trends in specialty diets, etc.
My favorite experience of Expo West was the Herb Walk tour that
took place at the Fullerton Arboretum on the California State University campus. As an herbalist, I was very excited to learn about unusual
plants that thrive in such a different environment that I'm not accustomed to. What was even more exciting was that one of my mentors,
owner and founder of Four Elements from North Freedom, Wisconsin
was going to be one of the herbalist guides. Alongside her were also
the Co-founder of Herb Pharm and the CEO of Nature's Way. I was
star struck! Seeing all these different plants in their element and connecting them to the uses in their products was amazing.
6 | The Brine
I'm very grateful that I was able to experience Expo West and
I look forward to returning next year. From the morning yoga and
impromptu dancing, to the several hours spent on the exhibit floors
everyday, to the music in the evenings, it was one of the most fulfilling
experiences to date for my time at the Dill Pickle. To feel like I was still
connected to the Co-Op while representing us when I was there just
made the experience even more fulfilling.
Jennifer finds peace and herself in helping others
as a health & wellness buyer, herbalist, aromatherapist, crystalign-healer, and vegan raw food creator
throughout her community and the universe. Her
favorite yoga pose is Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel),
favorite tea is matcha matsu no midori, and favorite
fruit is a persimmon.
Introducing The Dill Pickle Recipe of the Week!
By Jessica Dickerson
What’s green and yellow and read all over?
Our new recipe wall collection! The Dill Pickle
is now offering a series of recipes to customers that will feature a rotational Recipe of the
Week dish that will spotlight our new saleitem-of-the-week promotion. The collection
will also feature two other recipes, a delectable side dish and a dessert, which will rotate
out monthly.
You might be asking yourself: “Why does
the Dill Pickle care so much about expanding my cooking horizons?” Because we all
know how challenging it can be to find the
motivation to cook a delicious meal, much
less spend the time looking for the tasty and
healthy recipes in the first place. So we’ve
have decided to go ahead and take care of
the hardest part of meal planning: the inspiration.
Our mission with our new recipe collection is to encourage and motivate folks to
create meals with fresh, local, and sustainable
products that are healthy for you and your
wallet. Julia Childs puts it best: “You don’t
have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.” If you’re looking to break out of your
cooking rut and ready to try new recipe ideas,
then swing on by to pick up a copy of one of
our recipes of the week!
Jessica wrangles customers
on a daily basis at the co-op.
When she's not busy doing
what she loves (working
with good food and good
people), she can be found
digging in her compost, riding her bicycle all
over the city and being the change she wants
to see in the world.
Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves 4
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet,
lb. penne pasta
Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, minced
bunch trimmed asparagus
cups (10-ounces) shelled English
Peas or frozen baby peas, thawed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
-Reggiano cheese, plus more for
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.
heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and
asparagus and cook over moderately
low heat, stirring occasionally, until
the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the stock and boil over high heat
until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the peas and cream to the
skillet and boil over high heat until the
sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. Stir
in the penne and cook until heated
through. Remove from the heat and
stir in the butter, sage and the 1/2 cup
of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and
serve right away, passing additional
cheese at the table.
Good Food Festival
from page 3
and the Dill Pickle, a bevy of cooperators worked the table and had
hundreds of conversations about food cooperatives and their role in
the good food movement. Volunteers were able to discuss the co-op
model with festival attendees and direct interested parties to the closest store.
Additionally, CFCC sponsored a series of talks in the Good Food
Commons on Saturday based around building the food community.
With 20-minute talks on topics ranging from food security to school
gardens to sustainable horticulture education programs, this informative series of talks was well attended throughout the day. The community series also featured a talk specifically focused on the development of food cooperatives in the area with representatives from all six
area co-ops presenting.
Food co-ops were truly well represented at this year’s festival.
Beyond the above presence, Cheryl Muñoz of the Sugar Beet Co-op
in Oak Park was featured on a panel discussing the future of food.
This 75-minute talk was an opportunity for even more people to learn
about why food co-ops are making a difference in the good food
The year, the Good Food Festival and the Chicagoland Food Coop Coalition proved what we’ve known all along - co-ops can accomplish great things!
The Chicagoland Food Co-op Coalition
Chicago Market – A Community Co-op, Chicago
Prairie Food Co-op, Lombard
Sugar Beet Co-op, Oak Park
Rogers Park Co-op, Chicago
Shared Harvest, Elgin
Brekke Bounds is an avid Dill Pickle supporter currently serving on the Board of Directors as the Vice
President. Her life outside of the co-op includes outdoor/informal education, gardening, and reading.
April 2015 | 7
The Block Club Connects Co-op and Community
By Lisa Junkin Lopez
You’ve probably heard at some point that the Dill Pickle is more than
just a store. But what does that mean? As a cooperative business
that holds as one of its principles “concern for community,” it is our
responsibility to contribute to the strength and vitality of our neighborhood. We do this not only by creating new jobs, supporting local
vendors, and providing natural foods within the store, but also by
being good neighbors. Good neighbors help one another when times
are tough, and they work together to identify and work toward shared
goals. In order to be the best neighbors that we can be, the Dill Pickle
has established a group called the Block Club to assist the co-op with
building community and working for food justice.
Building community in Logan Square not only means bringing
people together across lines of difference, but in this moment, it also
means supporting residents’ fight for self-determination against the
forces of gentrification. The Block Club works to accomplish this by
participating in anti-gentrification actions in the neighborhood and
raising awareness on this issue within the co-op. And, we provide opportunities for people to meet and get to know one another through
events and educational programming.
Working toward food justice means helping to ensure that all
people can have access to food that is environmentally and socially
sustainable. The Block Club supports food justice campaigns and
initiatives throughout the city, and provides recommendations to the
general manager to make the co-op more accessible to all.
The Block Club is currently focusing on the following initiatives:
Anti-Oppression Education: Growing a democratic cooperative movement requires that we understand how power and privilege operate.
A series of upcoming programs will make connections between our
co-op and the fight for food justice, anti-racism, and self-determined
neighborhoods, and it will encourage owners to be agents of change.
Events: The Block Club hosts events throughout the year to engage
both co-op owners and the greater community. We host a block party,
monthly potlucks, and we are planning a community-wide input session to gather feedback about ideas for our store expansion.
Education: We build relationships with local schools, the YMCA, and
the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) by offering
educational presentations for youth and adults on food, wellness, and
the cooperative movement. Topics are determined by what groups
want to learn and have included anti-inflammatory spices, natural
dental health, and an introduction to organic produce.
The goals that we have identified are large and somewhat daunting,
but we aren’t operating alone. Block Club members represent the
co-op within other community organizations that have shared goals,
including the citywide Growing Food and Justice For All Initiative, the
Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s Member Action Committee, and Somos Logan Square. Together, we can achieve more.
This is just the beginning of the Block Club, and we welcome anyone who would like to participate. The Dill Pickle is indeed more than
a store… we are a cooperative movement. Be a part of it.
Join the Block Club for meetings each third Thursday of the month at
7pm. For details and locations, email [email protected]
Lisa Junkin Lopez is a cultural worker and collaborator who has volunteered with the Dill Pickle since
8 | The Brine
The Pickle's Organic and Local Milk Line-Up!
By Dana Norden
Here is some information on the milk that
we carry so you can make a more informed
choice when buying milk at the Co-op.
Castle Rock
This grass-fed milk comes from Osseo, WI on
a MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association) certified organic farm. They raise the all
of the crops that they feed to the animals.
When these cows get sick, they receive homeopathic remedies! Castle Rock milk comes
in glass bottles and is non-homogenized, so
there is a visible cream top layer on the milk.
We carry Castlerock's whole milk, 2% milk
and heavy cream.
Old Heritage Creamery
This milk is grass-fed and is not certified
organic, but they utilize organic farming
practices. Sam Gingerich, the head farmer,
has numerous contracts with local Arthur, IL
Amish farmers. In addition to whole milk, we
also carry their goat's milk, raw sharp cheddar
and raw goat's milk Gouda. This milk is also
non-homogenized and comes in BPA-free
plastic half-gallon and pint bottles.
Kilgus is a family farm in Fairbury, IL. The farm
is not Certified Organic, but they do use sustainable practices and the cows are not given
any hormones. Kilgus raises Jersey cows,
whose milk is creamier and more golden than
that of traditional Holstein cows. The cows
are pastured from April to November. Milk
from pastured cows is generally higher in
conjugated linoleic acid and believed to have
greater health benefits than milk from grainfed cows. This milk is non-homogenized and
we carry whole, 2% and skim milk, along with
heavy cream, half-and-half and chocolate
Organic Valley
Based in LaFarge, WI, Organic Valley is a
farmer-owned cooperative and the biggest
organic food producer in the nation. I like to
think of them as an organic and more ethical
version of Kraft foods. Recently, they added
Grassmilk to their lineup of milks. Organic
Valley partners with a bunch of family farms
in the Kickapoo River Valley region of Wisconsin. Their milk is also non-homogenized
and is available in paper cartons only. In
addition to the Grassmilk, we carry their
half-and-half, buttermilk and a variety of
Trader's Point Creamery
Trader's Point products are the Cadillac of
dairy products.They each are exceptional and
are by far our most expensive dairy products.
The milk is non-homogenized, grass-fed and
bottled in glQass. The milk is made in very
small batches, and the largest size of milk
available is a quart. Trader's Point is located
in Zion, IN and is a single-herd family farm.
We carry not only their milk, but yogurts and
cottage cheese.
Dana grew up in a small
beach town in the South, but
spent every summer working
on her family's dairy farm in
Northern Wisconsin. When
she’s not at work she usually
spends her time playing the organ, practicing reiki, teaching kundalini yoga, and writing
comedic short stories.
Informed Consumerism:
Milk, Milk, Everywhere!
Our very own perishable goods
purchaser, Dana Bates Norden, was
recently interviewed by Lydia Mulvany
and featured in an article on in February. The topic,
organic milk, is apparently nearer and
dearer to our American hearts than
ever before. According to the article,
organic milk sales were up almost
10% in 2014, while conventional milk
demand dropped 3.8%. Apparently we
are experiencing this trend!
“I’ll have people call up and say,
hey, I know the truck’s coming on
Tuesday, can you put aside three halfgallons?” said Dana Bates Norden, 33,
who works as the buyer of perishable
goods for [The Dill Pickle], which in
2014 started selling out of the glassbottled milk it gets from Midwest
organic dairies within two days. “When
I first started two years ago, I felt like
I ended up having to write off a lot of
organic milk, and now, I really can’t
keep it in stock.”
Check out the Bloomberg article
(referenced below, available at, and read on to find out
more about the Pickle’s dairy purchasing choices.
Mulvany, Lydia. "Grocery Stores Are
Running Out of Organic Milk." Bloomberg, 9 Feb. 2015.
Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
Genesis Growers
from page 6
something that people ask me for. I plant those in a separate plot. If
they do well, then we consider planting it next year and committing
more space to it. About 1 in 10 of all of the trial crops work out; few
advance out of the trial plot.
AK: Describe your favorite spring meal.
VW: A big pile of salad greens just because they are so wonderful - who doesn’t crave green in the spring! I was just telling my
daughter I was dreaming of cabbage with onions and carrots. That’s
almost a wintery thing but I usually use napa cabbage because
we grow it in the greenhouse. I just sauté it up with a little bit of
sausage, then add some of the first spring carrots and onions and
there’s just nothing better.
There’s just nothing better than spring.
An owner since 2012, Angela Klipp loves handstands
in the park, bike rides and dreams of being a unicorn.
She lives with her bearded partner in crime, Matt,
whose jokes she steals whenever possible, and their
two floppy cats.
April 2015 | 9
Vegetarian Spring Recipes
By Bazil Brainard
Southern Comfort Powerballs
There is nothing quite like soul food - vegan soul food, that is. Prepare
these easy power bites for a party or your backpack for a fun and delicious way to get whole foods into your diet, all while feeling incredibly
1 1/4
cup of raw or toasted pecans
cup raisins
cup water
Tbsp of chia, hemp and/or flax seeds
cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
1. Pour pecans into a food processor and pulse once or twice.
Add raisins and process for about two minutes or until everything
breaks down into at least pea sized chunks. Once the fruit and nuts
have been desiccated, add a tablespoon of water at a time until the
mixture starts to feel "tacky." This should be a binding effect of the
raisins and pecans coming together.
2. Next, add in chosen seeds and give it a couple final pulses. Start
to form small balls of the mixture with your hands about the size of a
grape then roll them in coconut shreds and serve. Sometimes its better to refrigerate before serving to help the raisins set. Enjoy!
Lemon Dandelion Greens in
Cracked Wheat
Dandelion greens are another spring favorite! After a long winter of
stagnation and heavy foods its nice to get some bright and sometimes bitter flavors into the diet. Lemon and cracked wheat cut the
bitterness of this green, giving this nutritious food two delicious side
1 cup chopped dandelion greens
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp red chili flakes
2 cup cooked cracked wheat
1. Add olive oil to a pan with dandelion greens along with fresh garlic. Saute until the greens are slightly wilted, then add lemon juice,
salt and chili flakes. In a separate bowl place the sauteed greens,
then add cooked cracked wheat. Stir until incorporated and enjoy!
Ramp Relish or Ramp Mayonnaise
Spring is almost here which means only one thing...the ramps are
coming! If you are lucky enough to find ramps, make a delicious
ramp mayonnaise to top a cracker for an easy snack, or dress up a
egg yolks
tsp kosher salt
Tbsp fresh lemon juice
cup olive oil or light vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 c. brined ramps minced
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Chill a food processor bowl and blade for twenty minutes before
adding egg yolk, salt and lemon juice. Process the ingredients for
one minute then slowly start to add the oil. When pouring the oil it
should be an almost string-like stream into the bowl in order for slow
emulsification of the ingredients.
2. Once a fluffy white spread is attained DO NOT add anymore oil
to the mixture even if there is some left. If too much oil is added
there will be a disproportionate amount of lemon juice (acid) to oil
which will cause your mayo to separate into an oily mess. There
shouldn't be too much oil left, but its better to stop regardless to
avoid a ruined batch. (In a time crunch, your favorite mayonnaise or
nayonnaise works just as well as a substitute for making your own!)
3. Add in your ramps, fresh parsley and black pepper to your liking
and enjoy on a bright, sunny spring day.
Bazil is a food adventurer and writer, studying to
become a registered dietitian at the University of
Illinois at Chicago. Delicious and nutritious foods are
not always synonymous but Bazil has made it her
mission to change this by exploring the world of food
through the many lenses this world has to offer.
10 | The Brine
What’s Happening on the Board? A Spring Update
Dear Owners,
I would like to give you an idea of the kind of work we do on the board on a regular basis. Below are a few bullet-pointed items
that take up the majority of our time. I hope they will help you understand our board better, and help inform you should you
wish at some point in the future to run for the board.
In Cooperation,
Kevin Monahan, President, Board of Directors
Property Search
With Sharon’s lead, all directors are continuing to monitor and discuss
the on-going negotiations with our preferred site while also considering other potential sites.
Project Manager
Elise and Gajus are working with Sharon to determine the role, responsibility, and selection of a project manager for the build-out of
our new store.
Kevin, Sean, Elise, and David are tasked with developing a proposal to
the Board that will determine the scope, deliverable, and timeline for
our co-op’s first-ever strategic plan. At our recent annual retreat, the
entire board discussed this high priority work for 2015. Stay tuned to
hear more about our strategic planning process and how you can get
Brekke is beginning to reconvene the Election committee to kick-off
this year’s board election process. Have you ever thought about what
it might be like to serve on the Dill Pickle Food Co-op board of directors? Curious to take a sideline view of the action? Consider dropping in on an upcoming board meeting; these take place on the 3rd
Wednesday evening of every month. Also, be on the look-out for an
election process kick-off announcement.
Gajus and Elise are working with a HOO lawyer to evaluate potential
risks and challenges to this owner benefit.
Bettina, Sean, and Kevin are currently performing the Board’s annual
review of policies and will be proposing a slate of amendments to
the Board at the April 15th meeting. For those of you not yet familiar
with PG, this is the system by which the Board delegates authority to
and reviews performance of the General Manager (GM) with regards
to carrying out the mission of our co-op. In addition, PG is used to
document (via policy) how the Board conducts its own business and
communicates with the GM.
Ryan and David are working on a draft proposal that would establish
a fiscal agency on behalf of the co-op with Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a
not-for-profit organization of Oak Park dedicated to raising awareness
of our local food system through education and advocacy. This fiscal
agent partnership would allow grants and private tax-deductible
donations to be collected and put towards supporting Dill Pickle Outreach efforts such as education and workshops.
All of this work is in addition to the monthly policy monitoring and
logistical responsibilities that all directors take part in. Your board is
working hard to help our co-op succeed further in its mission and end
goals. To learn more about these, please visit the following: dillpickle.
coop/about/ and .
Kevin Monahan is a Renaissance man with skills
and knowledge across a wide array of subjects.
An adult to his commitments and a child to his
dreams, Kevin unabashedly champions idealism
while accepting realism.
Managing Editor Cara Sawyer took
a trip to Perú this winter and took
the DPFC with her. She also found
some interesting street art regarding
GMOs, which reads "Monsanto won't
work" or, more colloquially, "Monsanto won't fly.
April 2015 | 11
Everyone is welcome!
Community Events
Events Everyone
Co-op Community
is welcome!
Kath Duff
p. 5
Our nine-member board sits down
with management, staff, and owners each month to review policy,
discuss developments and collab-
Connects with our communities
through workshops, pot-lucks,
advocacy, and other engaging
outreach activities.
For information on our HandsOn-Owner Program, or just to
learn more about the Dill Pickle’s
mission, operations, governance,
and involvement opportunities.
Snacks, conversation, and co-op
education. RSVP to Ally at
[email protected]
Bring a smile and something to
munch and share with fellow
co-op owners. Friends and neighbors of all ages welcome.
open to questions and discussion
12 | The Brine