Will Hyde Park lose Co-op Markets?

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Business reporter Sandra Guy broke the news a week ago that Co-op Markets executives are considering closing the independent, customer-owned grocery store at 54th and Lake Park Drive. after 75 years. (Coming Friday in Neighborhoods -- a profile of the Co-op's most loyal employee.)

On Sunday, about 400 people reportedly turned out for the membership meeting to hear the choices the financially struggling Co-op will face.
The membership will to pick it's poison: filing bankruptcy and undergoing a financial restructuring. Or cutting a deal to close the place so a new grocer takes over.

Ballots will be sent out soon. If you had a say, how would you vote?

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As an expatriot Hyde Parker and one who shopped often at the 57th St. Co-Op and sparingly at the 53rd St. Co-Op, I have to say that the Co-Op's were always a little more expensive than Jewel or Dominick's, and the service was usually poor. I liked going to the Co-Op on 47th St., but that one closed down a few years ago. I agree that the concept of the Co-Op is nice. However, the quality of employee that they attracted wasn't always top notch, to say the least. Many times, the cashiers would be slowly scanning items while talking to each other even though they had a line of 3 or more waiting. That's extremely aggravating for a customer, and it's no wonder they were losing money.

I'd love to see a first-rate grocer in Hyde Park.

The one on 47th was my main store also. I do remember that one day I made a purchase and forgot to take it with me. None of the employees told me at all and I didn't find out until I got all the way home.

It's amazing to me that the Co-op has lasted this long, but nothing last forever.


I'm sure you remember my husband, Marjan L. "Pete" Pederson when he was hired as the General Manager and began the renovation that was needed - this was back in the late 70s.

He really liked working for the Co-Op and left under questionable circumstances due to discension of Board Members. I know there were lawsuits against the Co-Op, because he had to testify in court.

I would guess you and him would have gotten along pretty well, as he was very much a people kind of person - like you.

It's too bad the Co-Op is having financial difficulties that may force it to close.

I want to wish you the best of luck in the future, whatever the decision is.

I would be interested in hearing from you regarding those days when my husband was working there and the outcome of the lawsuits.

Thank you.

Irene J. Pederson

You reporters are missing an entertaining story in the debate over the Co-op's future. You need to read the most recent Co-op newsletter (www.coopmarkets.com) with its wild charges against the university and the Hyde Park Herald with its pie in the sky attempsts to find ways to keep the Co-op open.

how do we get refunds of membership?

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on November 19, 2007 5:17 PM.

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