4 Business Owners Share 14 Reasons to Become an Owner of Chicago Market

The mixer at My Buddy’s was a blast! Best yet, 10 new Chicago Market Owners came on board that night as a result of hobnobbing with a bunch of buddies from the Co-op!

It happened on July 19, when about 75 Chicagoans showed up at My Buddy’s, a relatively new neighborhood “social grub and pub hub” in Uptown to learn more about what it means to be an Owner of Chicago Market.

And learn they did – at the hands of 4 “local business owners” who shared passionately about how the values and vision of Chicago Market drove their decision to become “Chicago Market Business Owners” (more about what it means to be a Business Owner in an upcoming blog post).

Here are 14 reasons shared by these engaged Business Owners:

Greg O’Neill, Chicago Market Owner #771 and proprietor and co-owner with partner Ken Miller of
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, a multi-location specialty retailer featuring artisan foods, catering and fine-dining.

1.  Specialty and cooperative food retailers are an essential part of the local community. If the community doesn’t support these types of markets, we’ll all go away. That’s so important to us, Pastoral became an Owner even though the Co-op is a potential competitor!

2.  Chicago Market has the most amazing real estate with the Gerber building.

3.  Uptown is an area that needs a community-focused business like our Co-op.

4.  If we don’t get passionate about Chicago Market and others who share our values, we’re not going to win!  (4 reasons so far.)

A big thanks to Pastoral partners Greg and Ken for the $25 gift certificate for the My Buddy’s raffle!

Danilo Cuevas, Chicago Market Owner #974, Artist and owner of
Printed Canvas that creates and sells hand-painted greeting cards and gifts from locally sourced materials.

1.  The Chicago Market community is full of people who want to support the communities we live and work in.

2.  Buying local is extremely important to me; every facet of my business is Chicago-made. And when I’m shopping, if I come across something that is local, I want to buy it.

3.  The dollars we spend reflect our values first and foremost. I call in “intentional buying.”

4.  Printed Canvas is presently renovating a building in our community of Avondale, so it’s easy to feel aligned with the Co-op value of supporting the local community of Uptown. (This makes it 8.)

Thanks, Daniel, for sharing samples of your greeting cards with attendees.

May Tsupros, Chicago Market Owner #761, co-founder and co-executive director with Adam Zmick of
Gardeneers, a non-profit that gives Chicago students in food desert communities equal access to healthy food and food education.

1.  Even though the Ownership fee was outside our budget back when we became Business Owners, we wanted to be a part of another organization that supports local foods – just like we do.

2.  Gardeneers believes in shared leadership, and we think the co-op model is a good basis for decision making. It’s important that as Owners, we have a voice and a vote in how Chicago Market is developed and run.

3.  Many of our student-gardeners are learning job skills around urban agricultural and some of them will be our future urban farmers. Supporting Chicago Market lets them know they’ll have a place where they can eventually sell their products. That’s profound to us.

4.  Chicago Market is building such a flourishing community, one we want to tap into for our nonprofit’s future. (HINT: Please buy a ticket to our annual fundraising gala – Growing Healthy Futures – happening on September 6, 2018! (12 reasons so far!)

Thanks to Gardeneers for donating your happy sunflower T-shirts for our My Buddy’s raffle!

Esther Dairiam, Chicago Market Owner #690 and owner of Read It & Eat Bookstore, a foodie’s paradise for 4,000 food-related titles and exceptional culinary experiences, classes and events.

1.  I became a Chicago Market Owner because I believe everyone should have access to good ingredients.

2.  I believe in what the Market stands for…and I look forward to our Grand Opening! (And 2 more makes 14!)

A final shout out to Chicago Market partner Sitka Salmon Shares, based in Chicago, who graciously providing the following:

- 10# of salmon for 2 special noshes we enjoyed at the My Buddy’s Mixer
- A $25 discount to a Sitka Salmon share that was one of the raffle prizes

THIS JUST IN!  As exciting as it is to have the 10 new Chicago Market Owners who joined the cooperative at My Buddy’s, we still need 759 additional new Owners that our lenders require before they’ll lend us the money we need for building out Gerber.

And that's the truth.

Getting new Owners is a job for all of us. If Chicago Market is to be, it needs your help. Anyone can volunteer, even if you're not yet an Owner. To help us attract new Owners at an upcoming event or to share your special skills, please email us.

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