From Food Shed co-op to Polish market, new grocery stores coming soon to McHenry County

Niche grocers, big La Rosita and organic co-op will be additions this year

The Food Shed, located at 10806 Route 14, Woodstock, plans on opening this spring and staff plans on announcing an exact opening date within the next two weeks, Food Shed Co-Op general manager Peter Waldmann said.

Light reflects off brand-new polished concrete floors and the smell of fresh paint fills the sales floor of a new co-op grocery store in Woodstock. Aiming to open in late spring, the Food Shed co-op is touted as McHenry County’s first community-owned and -controlled grocery store.

But the Food Shed co-op is not the only new grocery store in the McHenry County area. Carniceria La Rosita in Crystal Lake will open a much larger store in town, while new grocers KD Market in Crystal Lake and Fresh Market in Algonquin also plan on opening this year.

Food Shed, Woodstock

Workers complete finishing touches on the exterior of The Food Shed Co-Op in Woodstock which expects to open this spring.

The Food Shed, located at 10806 Route 14, plans to open this spring, with an exact date expected to be announced within the next two weeks, general manager Peter Waldmann said.

Construction of the 9,000-square-foot store started in July after nine years of raising funds, and it cost about $5.8 million to build, Waldmann said.

The co-op has now grown to have more than 2,000 owners, Food Shed community outreach director Sue Jensen said. Anyone can apply to be an owner by purchasing at least two shares at $100 each.

“I think a lot of people were aware of us but holding out,” she said.

More than 100 local vendors already are signed on to sell produce and other fresh foods.

The grocery store will have a kitchen where staff will freshly prepare grab-and-go meals, soups and juices. About 100 recipes will be made, which were all created through a collaboration with the Duke’s Inferno and Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen restaurants in Woodstock and Crystal Lake, respectively.

“We’ll provide healthy, high-quality foods and food alternatives,” Waldmann said. “We’ll have the classics, but we’ll also have that tofu sandwich.”

Next to the kitchen sits a community room that can be reserved by anyone. Operators plan to use the space for vendors to host lessons on healthy ingredients or how to can food, Jensen said.

As a way to stand out from other grocery stores in the area, Food Shed will focus on having locally sourced foods with an aim to limit packaging and avoid ingredients typically found in processed foods, Waldmann said.

Some ingredients on the list include MSG, artificial colors, artificial flavors and hydrogenated oils, Waldmann said.

The store will have “bulk foods” such as herbs, nuts, grains and fruits, which customers can buy in the amount of their choosing using their own containers. Food Shed will have containers and paper bags for customers to buy but will encourage people to bring their own, Waldmann said.

A co-op means that it’s run by community members, but anyone in the public can shop there, Jensen said. The goal of the co-op is to keep food and dollars local in McHenry County.

“We want to deliver on our commitment to the community,” Waldmann said. “This is their grocery store, and no one can ever take that away from them.”

KD Market, Crystal Lake

The Polish grocery store KD Market will take over the vacant Joseph's Marketplace in Crystal Lake this summer.

About 6 miles southeast down Route 14 from the Food Shed, Polish grocer KD Market aims to open this summer in the vacant building that previously was Joseph’s Marketplace in Crystal Lake.

Located at 29 Crystal Lake Court, the store will be about 41,000 square feet and offer traditional Polish foods, other international foods and indoor dining, Crystal Lake Economic Development Manager Heather Maieritsch said.

Joseph’s Marketplace closed in February 2018, leaving the space vacant for almost six years.

Crystal Lake will be KD Market’s fifth and largest location, with other stores in Schaumburg, Wheeling, Mount Prospect and Schiller Park. With the extra space, the grocery store aims to have an expanded section of fresh produce, KD Market marketing director Beata Bek said.

KD’s most popular items are baked sweet rolls and paczki, Bek said. Paczki come in a variety of fillings such as plum, raspberry, mixed fruit, custard, black currant and Nutella – and not only during the recently marked Fat Tuesday, when they “take the spotlight,” she said.

“They are made fresh in our stores every morning,” Bek said.

There are many other food shopping options within a couple mile radius, including Aldi, Jewel, Mariano’s, The Fresh Market, Fresh Thyme Market and Walmart.

Despite the steep competition, Maieritsch said she sees KD Market as a “good fit” to complement what already is offered.

“There’s still room in the market for a niche grocery store that would offer a wide variety of international foods,” she said.

Carniceria La Rosita, Crystal Lake

Carniceria La Rosita will be moving from its original location in downtown Crystal Lake to Route 14 next to Savers. The new location, located at 230 W. Virginia Street, is about 40,000 square feet.

Another Crystal Lake store, Carniceria La Rosita will debut a new location along Route 14 next to Savers. The new site, 230 W. Virginia St., is about 40,000 square feet, which is about five times larger than the original store, Maieritsch said.

“We’re excited to see them grow and expand in the community,” she said.

The grocery store, which specializes in authentic Mexican foods, aims to open by mid-March, co-owner Jose Perez said. La Rosita plans to have an expanded section of grab-and-go meals, a larger area for the restaurant, a bakery and an ice cream shop.

The downtown location will remain, but it is operating under new owners as of January, Perez said.

La Rosita, which will be celebrating 40 years, has dozens of family-owned locations, from the south suburbs of Chicago to Wisconsin.

Perez knows there’s a lot of competition in Crystal Lake but plans to stand out with quality produce and meats.

“We’re going to hit them hard with quality and pricing,” Perez said. “That I can guarantee.”

Perez described the new location as the start of a new era for La Rosita. He hopes to broaden the selection to other areas such as European and Asian foods and maybe expand to another location in Johnsburg, McHenry or Woodstock.

“Once we open, we’re going to go full force,” he said. “It’s going to be like a big fiesta in here.”

The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market will be coming to Algonquin Commons later this summer. Construction is underway, but an exact completion date has yet to be announced, Algonquin Deputy Director Patrick Knapp said.

The nationwide speciality grocery store has four Illinois locations: Crystal Lake, Geneva, Lake Forest and Wilmette.

The grocery store will be an anchor in the newly revamped Algonquin Commons strip mall. Developers Red Mountain Group poured in $90 million of improvements to the mall, which includes outdoor playgrounds, a concert venue and an indoor cafe, according to village documents.

When developers purchased Algonquin Commons in 2021, it was about 63% occupied. By spring, the Commons should be at least 95% occupied, Algonquin Community Development Director Jason Shallcross said.