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Chicago Market Owner Profiles: Meet Andy!

 

Chicago Market's new Owner Profiles invite co-op Owners to answer a few fun questions about themselves, so we can virtually 'meet' and build community with each other. 

Our first Profile was Owner #148 Annette. Now, meet Owner #670 Andy Kalish...whose businesses the Ravenswood Event Center and Kālish Short Order Vegan have been huge supporters of Chicago Market.
  
Click on the "I'm An Owner!" link  and fill out your own profile, for us to feature in our next newsletter!

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What's the story behind how you adapted your last name for your business? It was a gift from our architect, Ferdinanda Marcic. She was instrumental in our vision for going vegan and recognized the potential in crafting our name with an accent and apostrophe. Kāl'/Kale + 'ish. We are plant based, but not in obvious ways. 

How do you feel about the prospect that Chicago Market may end up at the Wilson CTA stop in Uptown, your very own neighborhood? INSPIRED. There is no other community that better fits the ambition and promise of what the co-op represents. 

Here's a question in two parts -- 

Part I: As an Uptown resident, why do you believe Chicago Market would be a great addition to the community? At its core, a co-op is about independent-minded people working together for a greater good. Uptown is, in many ways, a co-op community. There are so many people in Uptown who would like to see a transformative presence in Uptown - without giving in to national chains and big box stores.

Chicago Market has the potential to transform Uptown while still being accessible to people in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the commuters who ride the El.

Part II: How about as an Uptown business owner? As a business owner, anything that increases positive traffic in the community is important. A market that caters to the needs of neighbors -- while also being a magnet for consumers in surrounding communities -- will be a game changer.

Why did you decide to become a Business Owner of Chicago Market? In the late '80's I was a member of a food co-op in downtown Detroit. If it were not for that, I wouldn't have had access to fresh, whole and nutritious foods without going to the suburbs. Access to healthful foods should be a basic human right. Chicago Market will deliver on that promise, so supporting its mission has become my own. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? Work. My wife and I are on a mission to transform our stretch of Wilson Avenue in Uptown into a vibrant community hub for dining and gathering. There isn't much time after that. 

What are your philanthropic priorities - in addition to Chicago Market, of course? Locally, feeding people is my biggest concern. I am on the board of Ravenswood Community Services, and I do as much as I can to support their efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.

Beyond that, supporting Senn High School has been important to my family. Our son is a senior there -- and it is an extraordinary institution. Even for neighbors without school-aged children, supporting local schools is a sure way to elevate the quality of our communities. 

What's your one 'wish come true' that you'd like to see from Chicago Market? Might be a product for our shelves, a program you'd like to see, a job you'd like to have, a location; whatever. Name it! OK I would like Chicago Market to have an ongoing youth snack/nutrition program that educates young people as to the benefits of fruits, vegetables and grains...and provides nurtritious snacks before and after school. 

Three words that best describe you?  Unstoppable Humane Being.


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