You can help us grow Chicago Market


Chicago Market needs 1500 Owners to put ourselves in a position that secures a site and our financial future.

We're looking for 50 new Owners between now and the end of 2016, with our #cooplove campaign.

Here are easy things you can do to help now  (and be entered to win some cool prizes, too!)



Invite your Facebook friends to Like our Page

The more "likes" a page has, the more Facebook will promote it to new audiences. Ask your friends to "like" our page - of course, they can opt in or not. If they do, they'll see us in their newsfeed, but we'll increase our reach to other audiences, too.

1. Navigate to the Chicago Market Facebook page here.

2. In the right column, click on "Invite Friends to like this page"

3. Choose "Chicago friends" to sort the list and scroll down, click everyone who might like to know about us. Done!



Participate in our Tag 5 Tuesdays on Facebook

Each Tuesday in December, share our "Tag 5 Tuesdays" post on Facebook and tag Chicago Market (@chicagocooperative) + 5 friends on Facebook who might want to know about us. You'll be entered into a drawing for some fun Chicago Market merchandise.



Get a Chicago Market Yard Sign (or other Chicago Market merchandise)

Get a handsome yard sign and show off your #cooplove in your yard, window, flower box... Wear our cool t-shirts. Carry a Chicago Market water bottle. You can order all of these here. If you're an Owner, you are entitled to a free totebag (if you don't have yours yet, let us know and we'll get it to you pronto!) and you can buy more...They make great accessories for farmers market visits and #shoppinglocal.



Give the Gift of Ownership

Is there someone in your life who would appreciate being part of our community? You can buy their Ownership for them as a gift. We'll put it in a pretty envelope and deliver it to you (or them) in time for the holidays, or you can add some extra fun by purchasing it in a gift basket with other Chicago Market goodies.

If we get to our goal of 50 new Owners by December 31, we'll have an REI gift card ($50 value) and an REI co-op membership ($20 value) to give away to one of these new Owners, too!



Ask us for Chicago Market pamphlets, posters, postcards, email templates

Do you work or play someplace where you can put out pamphlets or a poster? Folks you know would like to talk to us, but not sure how to make the introduction? We'll give you a sweet holiday postcard to mail, or some email ideas you can copy/paste into your own messages. Just ask



Got another idea? Want to host an event, or volunteer? Send us a note. We can't wait to hear from you! 



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Food Tank Summit

On November 16th, the inaugural Food Tank Chicago Summit took place, convening thought leaders from the food and agricultural fields. With the theme of “We Can Change the Food System”, the Summit featured researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, and government officials from across the country working on local and international food issues. Food Tank hosted their first summit last year in DC and with their vision to build a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters, has since expanded to hosting summits throughout the year in Boston, Sacramento, and Brazil.

Chicago Market was well-represented - Owners Harry Rhodes of Growing Home and Karen Lehman of Fresh Taste were speakers, and Linn Austin, Board member, and Sofia Jouravel, grocery team volunteer attended. We asked Sofia to tell us about the day.

Sofia and Linn

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Board Changes

Chicago Market's Board of Directors is sad to see a longtime member go. But we're happy to welcome the co-op's founder back to a role on the Board. 

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November 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

Public Board Minutes for 11/16/16

Public Minutes for Chicago Market Board Meeting of 11/16/16
7 p.m.
Emily's house
Present: Bill, Greg, Dan, Grant, Karen, Jen, Larry, Mike, Heather, Emily, Linn
Absent: Anthony, Kelly, Mark, Lizzy
Guest: Lee Herman
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October 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

Public Board Minutes from 10/26/16

Present:  Mark, Mike, Dan, Grant, Lizzy, Emily, Kelly, Anthony, Greg, Linn, Larry, Bill  (and two owners - Molly Milne, Adam Widera)
Notes: Anthony and Emily
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Visit to Windy City Greens

We visited Windy City Greens in Pilsen this week, a sustainable hydroponic vertical farm that grows micro greens, herbs, lettuces and edible flowers. WCG_Kessler_2641.jpg

The Windy City Greens team: Krystal Hernandez, P.J. Mazza and Daniel Jarvis.

You'll get your chance to meet them too and take home some of their delicious greens at our Thanksgiving Co-op Pop-Up Market on November 19.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Hillary Stifler

Chicago Market Owner #523 Hillary Stifler is one of those people who does so much, and all of it with such a calm, smiling demeanor, that it makes the rest of us wonder what her secret is. Having completed her fourth (!) triathlon this summer, she took a few minutes to let us shine our Volunteer Spotlight her way.

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Chicago Market Isn't A Place

As of this month, over 850 Owners have joined Chicago Market, and we're so excited about our growing honest food community. But as we've shared before, our co-op will need a lot more Owners before we can open our doors. Our planning work tells us that we cannot secure a loan and therefore a site without 1,500 Owners. Market research says there are more than enough likely joiners in our target area. But we need your help finding them and helping them understand why they should join, now. We hear a lot that one thing that makes it hard for Owners to recruit their friends, family, neighbors to join is that "we can't tell you yet where the store will be." Our Board and Site team are working hard on that! Meanwhile, Board President Grant Kessler offers another way to think (and talk) about what Chicago Market is all about. Here's his story. What's yours?


Chicago Market isn’t a place.

Chicago Market is the recognition that the word agriculture contains the word “culture”. Chicago Market is you and I working together to reinvigorate our foodshed with culture, with community around food and around growing. We are working together to rebuild the connections between eater, farmer and soil.

The work will be complicated, but the idea is simple – you and I working together – because we want food culture, food with story, food with intense flavor, food with soil clinging to it and a farmer with a name bringing it to us.

Short story:

At the farmer’s market recently I ran into a friend (and fellow Chicago Market Owner!). Eric was very excited to have gotten 5 pounds of something called a marrow bean from Tracey at Three Sisters Garden. He told me passionately and reverently about how delicious these beans are and that he buys so many because they freeze well. “Really, if you like beans, you have to try these,” he urged.



Next stop for me was of course to go see my farmer friend Tracey and I bought something less than 5 pounds to give them a try. They are in fact, delicious fresh beans that are named marrow beans for a reason – they have a very meaty flavor and texture. I’m a convert. A week later I check in with Tracey for more and she says she’s out of the fresh, but let her know before market and she would bring me some of her frozen ones.

Do you see what happened there? Do you see the community and culture in that story? Eric (part of my community) sold Tracey’s beans for her. And now I’m selling them to you. Now picture those same beans on a shelf in a typical grocery store. Would they sell? Would you care? Would you know about them at all?

Chicago Market isn’t a place.

It doesn’t matter where Chicago Market is. It is more than a location. It is food with a story and it won’t be rich and amazing without you adding your story to it. Be part of this amazing change in our food culture by becoming an Owner today!

[photo credit: Grant Kessler]



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Weekly Update, 9/20-10/3


Here's a quick update on what our Chicago Market teams have been doing these past two weeks:


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Board Meeting Minutes for 9/28/16

Chicago Market Board Meeting
7 p.m. 9/28/16 at Cafe Chien
Present: Grant, Anthony, Heather, Emily, Karen, Lizzy, Mike, Dan, Kelly, Bill, Jen, Tony, Mark
Guests: Greg and Jeannie Radek (Owner)
Absent: Linn and Larry

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