February 2024 newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — February 2024


Foodshed Champions: Chicago Fair Trade

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.

One of our business Owners, Chicago Fair Trade, is throwing their annual fundraiser, Globalfest, on February 24 and Chicago Market will be there!

Chicago Fair Trade is the largest grassroots fair trade coalition in the United States, increasing support for economic and environmental justice through consumer education, advocacy, and promotion of local fair trade businesses.

Chicago Market's commitment to fair wages, ethical production methods, environmental sustainability overlap so well with Chicago Fair Trade's work and we look forward to sourcing things like chocolate, coffee, wines, olive oil and more from fairtrade-certified producers in the Global South. These things just can't be local, but they CAN be ethical choices for us. 

We're proud to be present at Globalfest, talking to attendees about our commitment to fair trade principles and offering samples of Divine Chocolates, Metropolis Coffee, and La Riojana wines, all fairtrade partners you'll see on our store shelves. 

Get your Globalfest tickets today to support and join us!

Learn more about the ten fair trade principles here. Hold the date: we're offering a Fair Trade Tour of Chicago Market on March 30. Details to come. 

Follow along on the process of your store with this visual of our Timeline.
Here's the most recent progress:
  • Update: Good Electrical News - ComEd approves a pad-mounted transformer which is simpler and quicker
  • Our expected February permit application date has moved to mid-March due to ongoing coordination with utility providers, and the need to update all permit drawings accordingly.

A store without good access to local foods doesn't fulfill our Vision, so we continue to work to build our local food supply chain:

Here is the first video in a series where Dan outlines our store's departments:

Join Our Owner Growth Team

Just imagine the first week Chicago Market is open — it'll be packed with all of us Owners coming in to shop. We'll recognize each other from events, from volunteering together, and from shopping at the Uptown Farmers Market.

That is the cooperative advantage — we're a community and we support OUR store. It's something other grocery stores just don't have.

And those early shopping days will be critical for our new business. We will need lots of shoppers. So, the more Owners we have before then, the more resilient and successful the business we own together will be.

Also, every new Owner puts our store in a better capital position when we start. Yes, we DO have bank commitment to fully fund our construction, but we will be a more financially secure business with more Owner investment.

So we're calling on you, Owners, to join our Owner Growth Team so we launch POWERFULLY!

We're looking for volunteers who want to help strategize ways to grow Ownership, as well as those who are willing to help with tabling, info sessions, and do community outreach.

Need a little inspiration? Watch this recent FCI Live video presented by an expert who knows what co-ops need to build to be successful.

Email Dana to get started!

News from Our Business Owners

Collective Resource Compost Cooperative
"We love this time of year! Our 2024 Restaurant Raffle is live! Spend $100 at any of our composting customers that are restaurants, cafés or other food-related businesses and be entered into a raffle for one of three gift cards. You choose which of those same businesses you want the card to come from. You need not be one of our customers to participate and you can enter more than once."

Four Star Mushrooms
"Four Star Mushrooms recently began selling our fresh specialty mushrooms into select Mariano’s locations in Chicago (Bucktown, Roscoe Village, Ravenswood, Lakeview East, South Loop). I figured this might be exciting to the other Owners and give them an opportunity to eat our delicious and healthy mushrooms before Chicago Market opens. So excited to help grow the mushroom category with you!"

Four Star Mushrooms is a new Chicago Market business Owner! Check out the video of our visit to their facility here.

"Gardeneers works with Chicago’s South- and Westside schools and communities to contribute positively to the larger food system. We do this by supporting youth in our school garden and farm programs to build their own knowledge, skills, and habits to become leaders who care for themselves, their environment, and their communities.

Join us in commemorating a decade of growth, education, and commitment! As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we reflect on the positive impact Gardeneers has had on schools and communities. Here's to many more years of fostering connections with nature and inspiring a new generation of growers."

Irpino Real Estate
"February is always one of the coldest months of the year. So we decided to take a trip to a new Uptown restaurant that is bringing the warm flavors of Puerto Rico to our neighborhood. Marina’s Bistro and Rum Bar (4554 N Magnolia Ave.) just opened in 2023 and has already received quite a bit of buzz and recognition all over the city. Chef and Owner Eric Roldan took us into the kitchen to learn about his restaurant, his culture and his food in our latest Local Business Spotlight Video."

Phil Circle Music
"Phil Circle Music, with its music schools for adults in Chicago and Los Angeles, is expanding! We now have a dozen professional musicians with impressive credentials (played with Eric Clapton, Ramsey Lewis, Paul McCartney, Smino, and more), teaching voice, guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, flute, clarinet, violin (fiddle), songwriting, and business for the indie musician. We're also providing workshops and mini classes in very specific skill areas. And we're expanding our online store, philcirclemusicstore.com, to include a wider range of accessories, instruments, and books. We only carry items our teachers and clients recommend. Shipping is always free and our prices are competitive. All our shipping materials are Earth-friendly. Support a locally born and based business. Be the change you want to hear. Make great music."

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. 

black graphic that reads: invest
Not up for investing but want to help your Co-op financially?

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