LOGAN SQUARE — Chicago’s only storefront food co-op is looking for bigger digs — much bigger.
The community-owned Dill Pickle Food Co-op, 3039 W. Fullerton Ave., has spent nearly four years in its tiny spot directly across from the Logan Square library, but the time has come to expand, its board members have decided.
“It’s not the optimal space for a grocery store,” board member Ella Revzin said of the tiny 1,300-square-foot shop.
The co-op — which has about 1,300 owner-members but does not require membership to shop there — has done well despite its small size. Dill Pickle has succeeded by tapping into the changing demographic of the neighborhood and its growing appetite for organic, sustainably produced food.
“We did really well the first year, and really well after that,” Revzin said. “Hopefully with an expansion, we can do even better.”
First opened in December 2009, the co-op gives community members a chance to become part-owners by investing $250. Members share in any profits and get a 5 percent discount on everything in the store.
The prices are a little steep, some Yelp reviewers lament, but Revzin said that's one of the things they hope to improve by moving to a bigger space.
"We definitely want better pricing," she said.
In looking for a bigger store, Dill Pickle also wants to add more community space, a loading dock, an office for the manager and general manager and maybe even a parking lot.
All told, Revzin said they hope to move to a space of about 8,000 square feet within about a mile of the current location.
General manager Sharon Hoyer said the planning is now getting into the phase of figuring out lending options for the move, and they already have a few ideas for a new location.
"Our overall timeline is we'd like to be open next fall  and operating in our new space," she said.
As always, environment and sustainability will be a factor in their planning, Hoyer said.
"When we pick an architect and a contractor, that will be a consideration," she said. "I'd like to have it LEED-certified."