April 2024 newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — April 2024


Your Co-op Hosted the Governor Today!

Chicago Market is proud to have hosted Governor JB Pritzker and others today in our space for a press conference to announce another round of funding under the Illinois Grocery Initiative. The first round supported upgrades and equipment purchasing for existing stores and this second round supports the formation of new independent and cooperative grocery stores opening in food deserts throughout our state. 

Chicago Market is not in a food desert so not eligible for funds from this program, but we are huge supporters of any initiative that improves food access in our state. And this is also a program that indirectly supports our farmer friends who may find themselves selling into, and shopping, these new stores. 

From the press release:

"The truth is: too many people live in food deserts, and it's contributing to an ongoing public health crisis. As we celebrate the launch of our second Illinois Grocery Initiative grant program today, we aim to support local entrepreneurs and communities as they open new grocery stores in food deserts." said Governor JB Pritzker. "This is a first-of-its-kind state government investment — and it will have a significant impact on under-served rural towns and urban neighborhoods dealing firsthand with the struggles of food access."


"Better food access and better food systems mean a better community."

- Matthew Ruffi, Chicago Market Board President



"I want to thank the entire Chicago Market team especially for your visionary leadership in the food justice movement."

- Governor JB Pritzker



"Food is medicine and Chicago Market is going to help this community be healthy."

- Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer



"This is something that Uptown has been at the forefront of — shoutout to Chicago Market!"




Lieutenant Governor
Juliana Stratton
Rep. Mary Beth Canty Rep. Hoan Huynh Ameya Pawar, Economic
Security Project

Watch today's full press conference here

Chicago Market was at the table about a year ago speaking with one of the bill's key sponsors, Rep. Mary Beth Canty, about the bill and informing the legislation. Short video on that visit is here

Foodshed Champions: Local Food Forum + Sarah Stegner

Foodshed Champions raises up the activists, advocates, and organizations in our foodshed who are making a difference. Learn more about them and support any way you can.

Two of our Owners are teaming up to bring you "Better" Dialogues, a series of webcasts that will be presented every other Monday at 7:00pm beginning April 15. Bob Benenson is the journalist behind Local Food Forum and his co-host is two-time James Beard Foundation Award winning chef Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe. 

The first one is free and focuses on regenerative agriculture, featuring our farmer friend, Marty Travis as well as Greg Wade, head baker at Publican Quality Bread, and Tim Brown, farmer at Broadview Farm and Gardens. 


Follow along on the process of your store with this visual of our Timeline.
Here's the most recent progress:
  • We submitted our construction permit application on March 15! We understand from our permit expediter that the City is taking 6-8 weeks right now. Once we have permits and our bank loan is closed, we can begin construction. (read more here)

  • We've presented drawings and a proposal to the CTA for use of two small parcels of land not included in our lease that will be important to operations and they are reviewing that now for approval.

  • Placement of electrical utilities has ComEd approval and is moving forward.

  • Our store design team is preparing for an interior decor presentation to the Board. 

News from Our Business Owners

"We have a Behind the Bean event on April 11. It's a chance to meet fair trade coffee farmers ahead of the Specialty Coffee Expo taking place April 12-14. 

We're also hosting a spring clothing swap at the Weaving Mill on April 12-14."

In April, Irpino visited Birrieria Zaragoza at 4800 N Broadway, which has quickly become one of Dominic’s favorite restaurants. He is a very frequent customer! They chatted with John Zaragoza, the owner of Birrieria Zaragoza which opened last year in the heart of Uptown. So check out the Local Business Spotlight Video and stop in for some birria!

Get Involved

Your Co-op is a nationally recognized project that will have incredible impact on our local economy and the local food system. Invest in Preferred Shares now—you benefit and your Co-op can lower its reliance on bank debt. 

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Not up for investing but want to help your Co-op financially?

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