July 2020 Newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter - July 2020

Assessing Operational Feasibility

After learning this spring that the CTA really wants to retain us in the Gerber building and is willing to work with us, the Board felt we had three strong reasons to hire a team to reassess the operational feasibility of that location:

1) the CTA is offering some things that are material enough to perhaps change the calculus

2) the Board has a new perspective that says "instead of trying to force our Cadillac vision into the space, you tell us what could work there"

3) Covid actually changes a lot of things about how a grocery store operates, including for example the fact that we can reduce office space needs in favor of work at home for some positions.

So the due diligence we needed to take was to have fresh eyes look at the project from program and store design perspective and help us understand what could work there and be a successful store. We Owners need to recognize that this will very likely mean some shifts in what we can build, but we know we can keep true to our vision of a better food community - local, sustainable, connected.

We are excited to introduce the team we've hired to reassess operational feasibility of a store in the Gerber site. We started with the strong project management skills of Kaye Kirsch of Firebrand who then pulled together the rest of the team:

● Jacqueline Hannah from Food Co-op Initiative will provide operational and financial feasibility expertise
● Kim Harder and Karla Krueger from Retail Planit will provide store design expertise
● Kevin O’Donnell from seven roots will provide programming and operational expertise
● Christina Nichols & Don Moffitt from Columinate will provide financial feasibility expertise and pro forma updates
● The team will also consult with Marcia Pfeifer from Dakota Worldwide to seek input on sales projection implications of the proposed changes to design, programming or other operational considerations.

Full bios on each here

Firebrand's work is underway and will run 8 weeks - we'll keep you posted on our progress!

In the meantime, the other major component to our success, even if Firebrand presents a solution, is FUNDING. We as Owners and members of the community need to support and partly fund our store, so we also have a Capital Campaign team working now to help the Board assess our ability to raise the needed funds. 

Board Elections

Being a co-op means we're a democracy steered by a Board of Directors, and those directors come from among our Owners! Elections for new and returning Board members happen annually in conjunction with our Annual Meeting. Per our Bylaws, any Owner of record in good standing may run for the Board but we do highly recommend candidates step forward as volunteers and attend Board meetings as a first step toward getting involved. We also ask that candidates email us to arrange a one-on-one conversation with a current Board member to learn more about what it means to be a part of a "working board" and the time commitment it entails. 
We wanted to share some election details and timeline with you:
  • One more So, You Want to Be a Board Member? Zoom session on Wed, July 15 at 7:30pm - come learn!
  • July 28 - deadline to declare you'd like to run for the Board; candidates are also required to fill out a candidate statement and provide a photo.
  • Four of our current six Board members have terms ending this summer and 3 of them are going to run for re-election. 
  • There are 13 open seats.

Interested in running for the Board? Click this button and let us know!

I See You - on display in our space

If you haven’t already seen it - please take a walk by the northernmost windows of the Gerber building along Broadway - future home of Chicago Market - to see our latest art display from artist Bojana Ilic (aka BOJITT). The installation, “I See You” is intended to help bring awareness to Black Lives Matter and all proceeds from the eventual sale of the piece will be donated to the cause!

You can read more about the artist and her project on our blog. You can find more of BOJITT’s amazing work on her Instagram page



Upcoming Events 


News from our Business Owners

Happy Birthday to our Business Owner friends at Collective Resource Compost! They're celebrating their 10th year in business, hauling food scraps, facilitating zero waste events and helping customers reduce their landfill use through commercial composting.

Their grand total, since beginning this important work on June 16th, 2010, is 6650 tons diverted. Because tons are kind of hard to wrap your brain around, this nifty calculator can help you understand how very much that is. It uses all sorts of equivalents, but their favorite form of measurement: 97 million carrots!

By diverting all of those food scraps from landfills, Collective Resource Compost and all their customers have had the collective impact of reducing 10,267 tons of methane.



News from our Volunteer Team

Hello from the Volunteer team!  We have a new group doing some great work for Chicago Market called the Capital Campaign team. They are organizing our next round of fundraising and are looking for your help!

Do you have individual fundraising experience?  Do you have connections to people that might be interested in investing in our amazing Market? Maybe you have skill sets in finance or data management and would love to use those skills to raise money? There are a variety of needs and likely some way for you to plug in! So drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll schedule some time to chat!

How Can You Support Your Co-op Now?

While the Board continues to work with the CTA and our consultants on the operational side of things, you can help by becoming an Ownerdonating or pledging a loanvolunteering or considering a Board position (must be an Owner first); and by sharing your enthusiasm for your Co-op with your friends and on social media.

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