April 2022 Newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — April 2022

Making Ownership Even More Accessible

We have exciting news! Owners tell us regularly they'd love to donate so that Ownership in the Co-op could go to people in our community who'd like to participate as an Owner but can't afford the cost. 

We've been building out a scholarship plan and the Board voted on March 23 to approve the outline of this new program. This is a terrific example of two of the Cooperative Principles at work that make Chicago Market special:

  • P2, Democratic Member Control: Owners have a voice in their co-op. They communicate with the Board and GM and good things happen!
    • And welcoming these new Owners will strengthen our Co-op through their voices!

  • P7, Concern for Community: Owners know their Co-op needs to be welcoming and inclusive.

We're still working out some of the details and building a few community partnerships that will enrich this program. We'll launch as soon as we can. Stay tuned and thanks for your part in making this happen!

Did you know...

...that our General Manager, Dan Arnett, has extensive experience putting accessible food programs into place at co-ops around the country?

These are generally called "Food For All" programs and each co-op builds them to meet their community's needs. Dan has been asked to present at the Up & Coming Food Co-op Conference in May about how to build and implement such programs — balancing the value of accessibility with the business needs of a store. Just think of the community impact we'll make with Dan at the helm! And it's great to have him sharing his knowledge with other start-ups. 

Our Capital Campaign Is Back

A co-op like ours offers something other businesses do not — the opportunity to invest close to home

You shop local and support local businesses and farms. Why invest in large, distant corporations that don't share your values? Usually you have no choice, but with a co-op in your neighborhood, you do. That's what our Build a Better Market capital campaign is all about — giving you a chance to invest right in your neighborhood to achieve the local food business you want to shop in! And the Preferred Shares offer fair returns for you, the investor. Your investment builds for the community AND for you.

Starting the end of April, our volunteers will be picking up the phones to call ALL Owners to discuss the opportunity these Preferred Shares offer. Be sure to pick up the phone, to respond to the texts and emails, and get invested. Or jump to the front of the line by emailing right now to get started. 

In the News

Update: Best of the Best Nomination — Your Co-op has been nominated for the Best of the Best award at the Up & Coming Co-op Conference. 

News from Our Business Owners

2Bears Tavern Uptown: Long-time Chicago Market Owners, Mike Sullivan and Mark Robertson, founders of 2Bears Tavern Group, opened their newest LGBTQIA+ focused tavern, 2Bears Tavern Uptown, in March. 2Bears Tavern Uptown occupies the former Nick’s on Wilson space at 1140 West Wilson, just down the street from the future home of Chicago Market. For information about all of their taverns, please visit www.2bearstaverngroup.com.

Chicago Tomato Man: Our Owner Bob Zeni, the Chicago Tomato Man, has starts for order on his website. And we love that he's supporting our other Owner friends at Gardeneers. They build and cultivate school gardens, and teach youngsters how to plant, tend, and harvest fruits and vegetables. As Bob says, "I really appreciate your help in making the world a little safer from those tasteless travesties supermarkets falsely claim are “tomatoes"!"

Collective Resource Compost: "We’re looking forward to this year’s Spring Finished Compost Gift-Back. Our friends at The Talking Farm will be hosting us again. If you're our customer, we have a 10-gallon gift for you and you can come get compost sooner. In celebration of International Compost Awareness Week, we’ll have three dates in May when we’ll be open to the public to buy zero waste, made-in-Chicagoland compost at a reasonable cost. Details are here on our website."

Get Involved

Help Chicago Market open its doors!

Our Capital Campaign Calling Team is growing - we are edging up to twenty callers to help us reach out to connect with every Chicago Market Owner. But we still need more help!

We're looking for any time commitment you can give to the cause! What's the saying? Many hands make light work. Even if you think you can only make a handful of calls a few times a week - we want you! We're planning a bunch of activities around calling - calling parties, both remote and in-person, GSD sessions (Get Stuff Done) to help keep you focused and provide support - and more. And you don't need to be an Owner to help - just invested in seeing the doors OPEN at Chicago Market. Sign up NOW! It'll be fun!

Build a Better Market

We own this business together. We operate it. And together, we fund it. 

 You can do it!

Our Build a Better Market capital campaign team is gearing up now and will be calling Owners soon. But Preferred Shares are available NOW if you reach out to us! Email to get started.


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