A. Jordan Rothschild is a residential real estate broker with @properties. His real estate business, Bike Home Chicago, recently became Chicago Market Business Owner #1803. Jordan gives clients the option to tour homes by bicycle or car. He understands the demand in the community for a store like Chicago Market and is excited to see the space come to life.
How did you find Chicago Market originally?
My husband and I bought a condo in Buena Park in 2018 after renting in the area for many years. I actually found Chicago Market just by chance through social media - many of my friends follow Chicago Market on Instagram. As a new homeowner, I wanted to be involved in the community, and when I saw that Chicago Market was doing an information session at the library, I decided to attend and became an Owner on the spot! Now, I’m pleased to be a Business Owner through Bike Home Chicago. I also enjoy volunteering with Chicago Market.
How do you and your clients connect to the Cooperative Principles that Chicago Market honors?
Cooperation and member participation reflect my clients’ values. My mother’s family is from a small town in North Carolina where the community is close-knit, and I’ve experienced this sense of community in the Midwestern culture of Chicago. I enjoy being part of a close-knit community and I’m happy to live in a city as diverse as Chicago.
Like Chicago Market, I also value sustainability, which is a main reason I became an Owner. Touring homes by bicycle is a carbon-neutral way to search for your next rental apartment or home to purchase.
You have a unique approach to real estate - viewing houses by bicycle. Does that also help clients find and engage with community resources like Chicago Market?
It’s easier and more effective to engage with a neighborhood when you’re on a bicycle. I ride with clients around different neighborhoods by bike so they can really get to know the area, not just the homes we are touring. I point out the Chicago Market building to clients on tours and encourage everyone to become Owners.
Access to healthy food is a top priority for individuals during their home search. If people don’t have children (and aren’t prioritizing a school), their top priorities are generally the 'L' and access to grocery stores. I think the community is lacking a large grocery store, and I’m excited for that void to be filled by the Co-op.
What excites you about Chicago Market?
I’m part of Tomato Mountain Farm’s CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Many of my clients are also part of different CSAs. A common comment I’ve heard is “we love our CSA, but we get a large helping of just one vegetable on a particular week.” I think a lot of people are excited to have Chicago Market where we can have a wide variety of quality food to “grab and go,” so if you just need one of something you have access to it.
I’m excited for my CSA to be able to sell to Chicago Market, too. I’ve heard from folks involved with different CSAs that it’s hard to go to all the different farmer’s markets; a central location will expedite delivery of their goods. I’m really looking forward to seeing it open and riding my bike there with my husband, and meeting other like-minded people at the store.
The goal for Chicago Market is always to reach out to the whole community, but we’re aware that there are some people who struggle to afford Ownership. What’s your perspective on the place of Chicago Market in a community struggling with gentrification?
From a real estate perspective, I think it’s important to be cognizant of the evils of your own industry, whatever the industry. There are a lot of amoral agents out there who do a lot of damage to communities. I think the most important thing people can do is push back, become involved in local politics and policy making, and advocate to help longtime residents stay in their neighborhood.
In terms of Chicago Market, I’m excited about our new membership that’s in the works at a lower price point. I think that will do a lot to reach out to some of the more financially vulnerable members of the community. I’m also excited that Chicago Market will be accepting food subsidies. I think the co-op grocery store model is an answer to many of the evils in the food industry.