Photographer Captures Evanston's Beloved Dominick's Employees

Numerous people lost their jobs when Dominick's shuttered its stores at 1910 Dempster St. and 2748 Green Bay Rd. in Evanston.

Green Bay Road Dominick's employee Kevin has found a job at the Jewel-Osco in Wilmette. "He loved working there and it showed," says Trautmann. Photo by Lynn Trautmann/LTPhoto on Facebook.
Green Bay Road Dominick's employee Kevin has found a job at the Jewel-Osco in Wilmette. "He loved working there and it showed," says Trautmann. Photo by Lynn Trautmann/LTPhoto on Facebook.
When Evanston's two Dominick's stores closed for good on Dec. 28, nearly 200 people lost their jobs and community ties were broken, as local shoppers and employees parted ways after decades of seeing one another day after day.

Local photographer Lynn Trautmann, who has shopped at the Dominick's on Green Bay Road for the past 20 years, captured the city's Dominick's employees and their relationships with customers in a series of photos taken at Evanston's two Dominick's stores.

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"They were not just cashiers, they were like neighbors, they were like friends," Trautmann says. "I wanted to take photos of these events as a way to help us all remember that."

She photographed employees and customers who came out to say goodbye at two employee appreciation events organized at the Dominick's at 2748 Green Bay Rd. and the store at 1910 Dempster St.

Ald. Jane Grover (7th Ward), estimated that 70 people lost their jobs when the Green Bay Road Dominick's closed, while Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd Ward) estimated that more than 100 people were employed by the Evanston Plaza Dominick's in his ward.

There has been no official word yet on whether another grocery is interested in buying either Dominick's store, although there were rumors of Whole Foods coming to the Green Bay Road location. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced Monday that she is forming a committee to help fill the vacancies created at 1910 Dempster St. and 2748 Green Bay Rd.

Now that her local Dominick's has shuttered, Trautmann says she's reluctant to shop elsewhere. She recalls the "warm and friendly" service at her old grocery, and says she will miss several employees she knows by name. 

"Holly, Karen, Lily, Patty I was very fond of," she recounts. "Gloria. And more."

To see all of Trautmann's photos, visit the Evanston Dominick's Community page she created on Facebook. She is hoping more employees can access the photos, and is asking residents to share the photos and tag whomever they know.
Sharon Stockman January 14, 2014 at 03:54 PM
I lived close to both stores and loved going to them both, they were my neighbors and friends. The Dempster store was close by so I would walk to it rather than drive or take a taxi. The employees there knew that I was working long hours during tax season and would keep an eye out for me, just in case I left my keys, wallet, and/or phone by the self-check cash registers. If I made it out of the store, they would grab the forgotten items knowing that I would be returning for them in 5 to 30 minutes, depending on when I realized that I left the item(s) behind at the store. I still miss them and having a hard time finding a new grocery store for items not sold at Whole Foods...I need my Dr Pepper (non-organic item)!
Marian kurz January 14, 2014 at 04:51 PM
great pictures; we all loved Kevin and hope that whatever goes into the Green Bay spot will bring him back...it's a little out of your way, but D & D Finer foods on Noyes St. has good meats and a friendly, owner there and long time staff working there..I need Tide and I am not going to Wilmette and send my taxes there.
Tea January 19, 2014 at 06:29 PM
GREAT photos!
Carolyn Bok January 20, 2014 at 08:56 AM
It's nice that Evanston celebrates its businesess that have such an effect on our community. Kudos to the Dominick's employees that made a corporate run business act like a "Mom and Pop" run store. I hope that more businesses can continue this same hospitality in serving the community. Another characteristic that makes Evanston a great place to live and work.


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