January 2024 newsletter


Chicago Market Newsletter — January 2024


Visit to Janie's Mill

From field to mill to baked goods — we visited Janie's Mill and Publican Quality Bread to follow the path of grains in our local food system.

Watch this short video and be connected to the people bringing you food!

One of Chicago Market's goals is to play a role in improving the local food distribution system in our region. Our General Manager, Dan Arnett, is hard at work doing just that, visiting the farms that can supply Chicago Market and building strong relationships that will be the backbone of an improved local food system. Our Updates playlist on YouTube carries the stories of his visits...and there are more coming soon!

We have some unfortunate news to share regarding our timeline. In November we had a clear go-ahead from ComEd to use the existing pole and transformer in the alley on our property for our power supply. 

With that understanding, our design team was finishing drawings accordingly to submit for our construction permits. However, ComEd reversed this decision just late last week due to technical concerns about the pole and the capacity of that transformer. They are now requiring a vault - think concrete bunker - be built underground on the property to house our transformer. 

This slows us down for three reasons. 
  • One, our design team needs to find a suitable location for a vault and draw up plans for it. 
  • Two, that location and design will need to step through ComEd and CTA approval processes. 
  • And three, it will take time for us to build the vault and for ComEd to install their equipment in it. Time that wasn't necessary with the earlier pole solution. 
All of that needs to happen before we can submit final drawings for permitting. 

There are two pieces of good news here. 
  • This change lets us switch to a higher voltage, three-phase transformer. This will have some positive environmental impact and will help extend the performance life of major equipment like HVAC and coolers.
  • We will have less risk of power outages. 
At the moment we are working with our design team and ComEd to get a clear picture of the timeline adjustments this has on our project. We will update you as soon as we get a reliable understanding of estimated delivery dates for the needed work.

Our site has its share of complications being under a federal train system, but it has been shown time and again in our market studies to be a very high-performing location for a grocery store. It is the ideal place for Chicago Market to realize its vision of a local food grocery store that cares for the community. 

Foodshed Champions

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.

Farmers Rising
For 25 years Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia, IL has trained and supported farmers to build a sustainable food system for us all. In December they announced a strengthening commitment to that work and a name change — "Farmers Rising is a name and a call to action. It’s a chance for all of us who care about climate change, food sovereignty, and fresh food grown by local farmers to bolster our food system for the benefit of our future and our communities.

[...] At Farmers Rising, we create space for farmers to learn from one another, grow their businesses and their practice, and to connect with eaters, partners, and advocates for local food of all ages and walks of life."

They are also launching an incubator farm in Caledonia with a special emphasis on regenerative livestock production — a unique incubator in our area.

Read their full announcement to learn more and donate to support.

News from Our Business Owners

Collective Resource Compost Cooperative
"Happy New Year! In this blogpost, we reflect on all the goodness that happened in 2023, including becoming an employee- and community-owned co-op. We’re happy to report that our co-op now has 82 owners! Can we say almost 100 yet? Maybe next month!"

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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