"Feeding kids is different from feeding ourselves. Whether or not we made local or organic choices before we had kids, the stakes are higher when we're responsible for the health and safety of our children."
– Chicago Market Founder Greg Berlowitz
We think Chicago Market - A Community Co-op will be great for everybody -- young, old, human and even our non-human pals.
Everybody needs high-quality, local, sustainable food, right? We're building a community-owned grocery store to bring healthy food to you and your family - at prices that won't break the bank.
This new food co-op will be especially magical for parents, children and families. Many of our leaders (and even more of our founding owners and volunteers) are parents. Part of why they started this project was to create a better place to shop for good food for their children - our founder, Greg Berlowitz, has two young boys.
Here are seven other reasons why
Chicago Market is great for families.
1. Children will learn there's more to food than sticking it in their mouths.
At Chicago Market, your kids will get to know the farmer who grew their blueberries and carrots and raised their hamburgers. Plus, they'll be able to take all sorts of cooking classes to learn what to do with the food once they bring it home. (And maybe even bring you breakfast in bed.)
As the 10-year old son of one of our leaders says, "I think the co-op will be a good thing because it will help people know where their food is coming from . . . Just so you don't think all food comes from a factory and is made by robots." Another way to think of it, from Owner and Volunteer Nicole Greene: "Chicago Market will be a shopping experience that is filled with teachable moments rather than battles over unnaturally-bright red and blue chewy things in the “snack” aisle."
2. Say "see you later" to junk.
At Chicago Market, you can feel confident that the food you're feeding your family is high-quality. Sure, we'll sell crackers and cookies just like your favorite grocery store, but we'll support local producers and will seek out clean ingredients. "Knowing that big food companies promote their salt, sugar and fat products to our children everywhere we look -- in print media, on television, on radio, on the CTA, on the playground, in schools, not to mention throughout the aisles of the grocery store, CVS, Walgreens, Target -- I want at least a fighting chance to arm my kids with the knowledge and experience of healthy food," says Greg Berlowitz.
3. One-stop shopping.
"I want to spend my time with my daughter at Wiggleworms and the park, not running from store to store to find her healthy, local food," says Steering Committee member Malcolm Haar (Dad of 15-month Ilana). Chicago Market will be your single destination for all of your food shopping. The co-op will have a full butcher shop, a deli and an extensive prepared-foods section, as well as all of the other things you'd grab at your favorite market. We're all busy (parents especially so), and there won't be any need to scramble to multiple stores just to find healthy, local food.
Chicago Market will be more than a grocery store. The co-op will be a community hub, a central location for all sorts of fun, family friendly activities. Think cooking classes, nutrition classes, spaces to learn and play, places to meet with parenting groups, book clubs and more. One thing we've learned while organizing: there are never enough places for people to gather.
5. Business, Democracy and Relationships.
Children are naturally curious. The parents on the Chicago Market organizing team are already having fun explaining how a co-op works to their kids. And the kids have been fascinated by the process. Decisions at co-ops are made by their owners, and we all work together to figure out how to run this enterprise. It's sometimes messy, always enlightening and incredibly rewarding. What better example for our kids?
You have a right to know exactly what you are feeding your children. Does that food contain pesticides, herbicides, hormones, chemicals or GMOs? Where is it from? What the heck does "Natural" mean? (hint: Nothing!) Good luck figuring that out at your typical grocery store, but at Chicago Market, we will make every piece of information about your food available to you.
7. Chicago Market needs you.
We know you care about where your food comes from and what you're feeding your kids. But to make Chicago Market a reality, we need you to become an Owner. An Ownership share is good for a lifetime and covers an entire household, including your kids. It gets you access to programming and discounts. But most importantly, it will help create a place to shop where all of these things are true.
Feeding your children healthy and organic food is important in the same way that teaching them morals is important: you're not always going to be with your kids, and you hope you instill your values in them so that they act properly and make good decisions when they're out in the world without you: with friends, in school, at other families' homes." - Founder Greg Berlowitz.