Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Treasure Island to Replace Co-Op End of February 08

posted by chicago pop

Today's announcement from Hank Webber:

I am pleased to tell you that the University has signed a lease with Treasure Island to open a grocery store in the Hyde Park Shopping Center at 55th Street and Lake Park. Treasure Island is working intensively to obtain a number of city business licenses that are required. Although the timing of this process is somewhat uncertain, Treasure Island has set a goal of opening the new store before the end of February.

Treasure Island, a locally owned grocer (see www.tifoods.com), plans to make major renovations to both the interior and exterior of the store, while maintaining operations throughout the remodeling. It will be some months before the renovations are completed, but we believe they will be worth the wait.

Treasure Island will occupy the space formerly leased by the Hyde Park Co-op. Given the Co-op’s serious financial difficulties, the University worked closely with the Co-op Board to ensure the smoothest possible transition to a new store. The Co-op’s licensing agreement for the 55th Street store will expire at the end of January, and the Co-op anticipates closing its operations by January 20 as its current food supplies are sold.

All of the current Hyde Park Co-op employees who are interested in working at the new store will be invited to interview for employment, beginning as early as this week. Additionally, the University has worked with Alderman Toni Preckwinkle to ensure that city and state resources, support, information and training are made available to the Co-op employees.

Beginning immediately, Treasure Island is offering on-line shopping and delivery service to the Hyde Park community. For information, visit www.tifoods.com and click on the “personal shopper” link. Treasure Island has also agreed to immediately take over the Co-op’s shopping and delivery program to the area shut-ins, ensuring continuous service to those who cannot do their own shopping.

In addition to the news about Treasure Island, we are looking forward to the opening by the end of January of the new Hyde Park Produce in Kimbark Plaza at 1226 E. 53rd Street. The new store will be more than three times larger than the current store at 1312 E. 53rd Street, providing a significantly larger selection of produce, meats, cheeses, and other foods.

Since we are in a period of transition, we want to remind you of other Hyde Park grocery shopping locations near the University, including:
  • Harper Foods, 1455 E. 57th Street, 773-363-6251
  • University Market, 1323 E. 57th Street, 773-363-0070
  • Village Foods, 1521 E. Hyde Park Blvd. (Village Center), 773-288-8180
  • Market in the Park (Regents Park), 5050 S. Lake Shore Drive, 773-734-3687
    A detailed map with shopping alternatives can be found on the web at http://oca.uchicago.edu/ More information about shopping options is available through the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce at contact@hydeparkchamberchicago.org or 773-288-0124.


    Henry S. Webber
    Vice President, Community and Government Affairs


    Redag said...

    Sadly, the notion of 'on-line shopping' seems to involve a telephone line and no reference catalogue of goods. So it is a little less than useful.

    As it turns out the major impact on me of the Co-Op dwindle-down is difficulty finding my brand of cat food. Lamentably the cozy new pet place on 55th only has insanely wholesome and expensive products.

    Otto said...

    Sadly, the notion of 'on-line shopping' seems to involve a telephone line and no reference catalogue of goods.

    Nah, you can E-mail the personal shopper! That service costs $10 on top of the delivery charge, though, so there's no obvious savings over Peapod.

    Richard Gill said...

    It's in the on-line Tribune, this evening (Tuesday, Jan. 15), including quotations from Maria Kamberos, of Treasure Island.

    Gosh, it's happening at last!

    I wonder if the Post Office will move to its new location during the remodeling.

    chicago pop said...

    I wonder if the Post Office will move to its new location during the remodeling.

    Let's hope so. Standing in line at that location drives me crazy.

    Peter Rossi said...

    Is hyde park produce open yet?
    why isn't it on his list?


    Ben said...

    The word on the street is that Hyde Park Produce wil open in its new location on Jan 21. Hank touched on this in his letter to the University community.

    I have mixed emotions about the opening of a Treasure Island on 55th. I'm still not convinced (although I'll be perfectly happy to be wrong about this one) that it is the best fit to be the sole full-service grocer in HP. Taking into account the arrival of the market on 47th and HPP expansion in Kimbark Plaza, I anticipate the market for specialty items to be highly competetive. My concern is that we will need more than the finest breads, meats, and cheeses. Although...I really need all of those things!

    To be honest, I am surprised that Dominick's wasn't all over this. Does anyone have any inside konwledge of the negotiations? I'd like to hear what the determining factors were. Perhaps they might be more interested in the 47th location (bigger store/better parking)?

    khs said...

    HPP was on the original list sent out in the e-mail. Last word was that they were still waiting on a second health inspection before receiving approval to open - so it should be any day.

    JM said...

    You are invited!

    SR said...

    Hyde Park Produce is not open yet; the last I heard, they expect to open sometime next week (I can't remember if they said the 23rd or the 26th). Although a week before that, they were saying this week, so I don't know how firm that is.

    I guess the claim that a new store would open within "two weeks" of the Coop's closing was a tiny misstatement of fact on the University's part, eh?

    Rosemary said...

    Hyde Park Produce was on the list that came out from the University yesterday with a map of all stores selling food in the neighborhood. These maps were delivered to university buildings. The new HPP is supposed to open up in the next week or so, but the one on 53rd Street is up and running well. With great prices and friendly service, it's even OK to wait in line to check out.

    And I'm sorry that Parker's Pets doesn't sell redag's cat food, but the store is a great addition to the neighborhood and has been very well received by pet owners. I support them whenever I can.

    Richard Gill said...

    Peter -

    I called Hyde Park Produce this morning and was told they are moving into their new store January 23.

    Elizabeth Fama said...

    Peter, information about Hyde Park Produce is in the body of the letter. It will open at the end of January.

    Rosemary said...

    Hyde Park Produce is opening their new store on January 23rd.

    Mike said...

    Any news (or speculation) on if the closing of the Co-op will bring a business to open in the old 47th St. location?

    Richard Gill said...

    Well, in summary: Sic transit Co-op. Its 'gloria' expired years ago.

    On to other issues: the hotel, St. Stephens, the Point, 53rd Street.....

    Jennifer said...

    I was really hoping for a Dominick's with a giant walk-in beer cooler. Alas.

    Hey, does Treasure Island not have a dairy department or something? Has anyone ever been to one?

    SR said...

    Any news (or speculation) on if the closing of the Co-op will bring a business to open in the old 47th St. location?

    I came across an interesting comment posted to the Trib story about this:

    “I work for another inner-city grocer, not Treasure Island, and we were approached about taking over the lease. Actually got a call from a woman at the Co-Op. Given all the facts and numbers.

    Long story short: whoever agreed to that lease was an idiot.

    Yeah, I wonder why that store is still standing empty?”

    I wonder: Did the University actually take over the lease, or just give the Coop the money to buy it out? Does any new prospective tenant still have to deal with the original terms of the lease, whatever they are?

    Christmas said...

    TI is affiliated with Certified which is why it was always the first choice for 55th St. I doubt Dominck's was ever a player since it has a fine location at Roosevelt Rd. and Canal. They're too smart to compete with themselves. Rumor has it that Marshall's Dept. Store wants at least part of the space on 47th St.

    chicago pop said...

    Treasure Island will be fine. The point is it will be a functional supermarket. Even better, Hyde Park Produce is going to open up next week (so I was told at the checkout).

    We are truly blessed.

    Elizabeth Fama said...

    Agreed, C-Pop.

    Peter Rossi said...

    here is the basic problem for any grocer. The Co-Op alienated many customers over the past 10 years (I am just stating a fact I am not gloating). This means that people found other ways -- peapod and going to Roosevelt Road.

    What TI or any other store has to do is to bring those people back.

    Once you switch to Peapod, you aren't going back. so ti has a tough job ahead of it.

    the good news is that students (at least) refreh every few years so that the Co-Op legacy will not influence them.

    Many of the "diehard" Co-Op shoppers are elderly folks. Perhaps, TI could run a van service for shoppers and their groceries (sort of like an airport rental car bus).

    Rosemary said...

    The van service for the elderly is an outstanding idea. Hope that suggestion is passed on to those at TI.

    Elizabeth Fama said...

    There was coverage of the Co-Op's New Orleans funeral today in the Tribune. It included the old refrains: "annual rebates for purchases," "dividends," and "social vision" -- but neglected to mention that none of that had been true for the last couple of decades.

    Still, there's no point in trying to argue at this point...and the funeral was a nice idea -- a thoughtful way to put the institution to rest.

    chicago pop said...

    RE the Trib piece today on the Co-Op's jazz funeral, Ron Grossman has distinguished himself with a series of fuzzy exercises in nostalgia in which he fails to ask hard questions and do more than reiterate the in-house line on the Co-Op. As Beth points out, dividends and the social vision haven't been around for a lot longer than "the last few years." It will be interesting to see what Hyde Park crisis of nostalgia Grossman covers next and if he manages to improve his coverage at all.

    Also dubious in terms of real journalism in said article was the weighting of interviews with those aged 80 to 100 years. This is about the equivalent of interviewing the surviving WWI vets (or vet) and asking them what they think of US foreign policy based on their battleground experience.

    Otto said...

    Once you switch to Peapod, you aren't going back.

    Having received my first delivery today, I can assure you that this is not a slam-dunk conclusion. The service was courteous and enthusiastic, there was only one item out of stock, and the produce looks good (certainly better than what I find at the produce store when their hours happen to coincide with mine).

    But I can't say I'm left with the sense that it was a "good deal" or even much of a sustainable solution. I'm stuck with them for the time being, but near-daily shopping is a practical necessity for some. Whether I order $100 or $50 from Peapod, the delivery charge and tip total around $17.

    Which comes sooner, pellagra or scurvy?

    Elizabeth Fama said...

    Otto, Peter's statement is true, but for a certain shopper. Peapod doesn't work as well for people with small families (or one person). Some people have trouble pushing the dollar amount of their groceries over $50, and the delivery charge is almost $10 for an order that small. The delivery charge is $6.95 if you order over $100 in groceries. And you definitely have to get used to online shopping: you have to slowly establish your own "shopping list" with your usual items, you have to include more than one brand or size of an item on your "list" so that you can catch sales when they happen, and you have to be careful to read the ounces or numbers of each item.

    If you have a large family (as I do), and if you've been shopping Peapod for a long time (as I have), there really is nothing better. It takes me minutes to "shop," and someone else carries the load into my kitchen. I can't even remember what it was like to push a loaded cart through the snow to my car, heave the groceries in, double-park in front of my house, unload bag by bag, and then go find a parking space.

    SR said...

    The new Hyde Park Produce did indeed open yesterday, at 3 pm. My husband happened to be passing by almost at the very moment, and they gave him a free piece of celebratory pizza.

    He wasn't really shopping for groceries right then, but he gave it a once-over anyway, and says that it is "like a glorious dream."