If you had a magic wand that gave you the power to create the values and rules by which businesses operate, what would be most important to you?
Here’s a list for starters:
1. Everyone is welcome to join.
2. Those who join are Owners – and every Owner has a voice and a vote.
3. Owners contribute financially - and share in the profits.
4. The business is independent and democratically run.
5. Educating members and the community about its operations (i.e., transparency) is a key guiding principle.
6. Cooperation with other like-minded organizations is key.
7. Community inclusion and stewardship is front-and-center.
Now that’s the kind of business worth patronizing, right?
You betcha. And the best news? It happens to be exactly the type of business Chicago Market will be!
Following a long history of food co-ops throughout the country, Chicago Market will operate under the 7 principles of co-op management put forth by the International Co-operative Alliance and adopted by just about every co-op around:
They sound familiar (if slightly more formal), don’t they? They should – because those are the guiding principles for Chicago Market – and the type of business most fair-minded people can get behind.
If those 7 reasons aren’t enough to make you a believer – and a future Owner of Chicago Market– perhaps this short history lesson will help. The popularity of food co-ops has been cyclical over the years. Many were founded during the Depression as a way for people to pool their limited resources for the greatest good. Co-ops flourished in the ‘60s and ‘70s as the environmental movement grew and people became increasingly concerned about the food supply.
The current resurgence of food co-ops is due to a number of factors, most of which fall under the broad categories of health, safety and fairness concerns about the industrial food production system and a desire to support small, local and environmentally responsible producers. There are currently more than 330 food co-ops around the United States, including almost 70 that have started in recent years. In addition to brick-and-mortar groceries, there are also a number of active cooperative buying groups that harness the power of their membership to effectively negotiate pricing.
Chicago Market – founded in 2013 – is excited to take its place in Illinois co-op history. And YOU are central to making it a reality.
Become an Owner today – and have a voice in shaping the Chicago food marketplace!
Interested in learning more about information about food co-ops? Read on!