Chicago Market Newsletter - April 2020
"Thank you all for this update, and for staying the course. I really appreciate everything you are doing. I’m glad to hear that the CTA was not too ready to let us go." - Angela
"Thank you so much for the candid update! And thanks, also, for your comment about improving communication. In my mind, as a lender: this is an entrepreneurial venture, and therefore comes with risk. I knew that going in - that there are things we would learn along the way that are obstacles. So: risk isn’t a problem. Lack of transparency is, and I’m glad you acknowledged it and we can improve on that. (Even if transparency is sometimes without all the details, if the timing isn’t appropriate, there can sometimes be communication that says exactly that.)" - Michelle
There is a lot to learn from the Covid-19 crisis but one thing is clear - there is incredible value and security in a resilient local foodshed that provides safe, healthy food via a short, simple supply chain. That network will grow stronger by the work we, the Chicago Market community, are doing to open a co-op.
Now's the time for us to pull together - be PROUD that you're building a co-op in this moment!
What's so special about co-ops? So much, but for one thing, they follow the Seven Cooperative Principles and Principle #7 is Concern for Community. We are so proud of our friends at both the Dill Pickle and the Sugar Beet during this difficult time. They are open and serving their communities with great local food! They're practicing safe shopping measures including curbside pickup, implementing increased pay for their employees, adapting inventory and more. Read about the Dill Pickle's measures here and Sugar Beet's here. And go shop and support them!
We launched our Shop Local directory this week and it's been a huge hit! Farmers report good response to it so keep shopping local through this resource! When you shop local you are showing your Concern for Community, getting delicious food, AND proving that a local, resilient food system is more important than ever!
And thanks to all the Owners who've sent us farms and local businesses to add - we've kept the pages updated. If you know someone who should be there, send us a note.
Thanks For Your Service!
We're incredibly grateful for the commitment Kristin Hettich, Sebastian Rojas and Greg Berlowitz gave their Co-op as Board members. We're sorry to see them have to step down from the Board recently, but we're better for having had them leading. We're especially thankful to Greg who founded Chicago Market. He started an amazing thing, put a lot of years of volunteering into it, and our community owes him a great debt of gratitude.
In the News
Stone-Milled Flour Business Booming For North Park Man Who Turned Garage Hobby Into A Business - Owner Benjamin Holland responded to the increased demand for fresh-milled local flour for all the home bakers by launching True Grain Artisan Milling
Block Club Chicago Story - coverage of our project updates
No, You Don't Need To Disinfect Your Groceries. But Here's How To Shop Safely. - great resource article from NPR
- A Hack in the System: Raising Chameleon Blind in Chicago’s Vacant Spaces - New City article about our Owner Mara Baker whose art work decorates our windows right now
How Can You Support Your Co-op Now?
While the Board continues to work with the CTA and our consultants on the operational side of things, Owners can help with the Funding and Organizational side by Leveling Up your Ownership to the Cultivating level; donating or pledging a loan; volunteering or considering a Board position; and by sharing your enthusiasm for your Co-op with your friends and on social media.