Chicago Market Newsletter - June 2017

LET'S TALK - Chicago Market's Next Ownership Information Session!


What's the coolest tote in town? Why, that's the Chicago Market totebag - available for free to everyone who becomes an Owner of the co-op.

And what's an Owner? Great question! Come join us at our next information session, Wednesday night June 7 at 7:00pm at Emerald City coffeehouse in Uptown. Board members and volunteers will be there to talk about how co-ops build better food communities, and the benefits of becoming a member Owner now. Bring a friend or neighbor for a cup of coffee and we'll answer all your questions.

Since April, almost 2,100 of you have signed the petition supporting our bid to build our community-owned grocery store in Uptown. Now, find out why over 930 individuals, households and local small businesses are also proud to say "I'm an Owner" of Chicago Market. Click here to RSVP or email us if you can't make it but would like to learn more!

UPDATE: Chicago Market's Wilson Station Bid


Have you seen our new video? Click here or on the image just above, to hear community members share why they're so excited about Chicago Market in Uptown!

With 3 live community/Q&A meetings; dozens of additional meetings with individual local organizations yielding (so far!) 35 letters of support; 934 Owners; and over 2,100 community petition signers...we are readying our 40+ page formal document to submit to the CTA by June 9, bidding for a site in the renovated Wilson Station, aka the Gerber Building. We continue to be thrilled and inspired by the response and support we've gotten, and we're incredibly grateful to our elected Board and other volunteers who are working so hard. You can follow our progress, and all of the #ChiMktatCTAWilson updates, here on our website.

Meanwhile: there's still work to be done! If you haven't signed the community petition yet, check it out and please give it your support. Already signed? Take the next step and share it with others, on your Facebook feed or via email. We're shooting for 3,000 signatures before the June 9 RFP deadline and with everyone's  help, we know we can make it.  


BBQ Co-op Pop-Up

Get ready for summer and fill your grill with fresh, local and sustainable goods at our next Co-op Pop-Up Market on Saturday June 10, 2:00-4:00 pm. We'll bring some of our favorite farmers and producers to Truman College in Uptown. You'll find meat, produce, hot dog and hamburger buns, sauces, sweets, fresh flowers, trail mix and more! All align with Chicago Market's Purchasing Values.

Owner #598 Kolleen Blume will be there with her string band, providing wonderful live music. And check out our Community Corner, built on Co-op Principle 7 ("Concern for the Community"). You can learn more from Uptown United and the EZRA Multi-Service Center about the good work they do. You can also meet our friends from Lakeview Pantry, one of Chicago's largest and longest-operating food pantries; we invite you to make donations of food or goods from the Pop-Up to support this important neighborhood resource.

The Pop-Up market is FREE but you do need to RSVP here.

You'll get a $10 coupon good for purchases at the Pop-Up if you join Chicago Market before or at the event, or if you recruit a friend!

Sharing the event on your social media pages and with friends and neighbors is one of the easiest and most helpful ways for you to help us grow, since it lets others learn about the co-op, meet the farmers who support us, and talk with Chicago Market Owners and volunteers as they experience what we're all about.


June 6 - 7:00-9:00 pm. Chicago Market Owner Meet-up. Our new monthly meet-ups are your chance to eat, drink and socialize with other Owners. Join us and meet some new like-minded friends. RSVP here to let us know you'll join us, this time at Southport & Irving.

June 7 - 7:00-8:00 pm. Chicago Market Ownership Info Session. See details above. Please RSVP here.

June 20 - 7:00-8:30 pm. Chicago Market Book Club (rescheduled from April). Meets at Owner #763 Café Chien. Our selection this time is "American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)" by Jonathan Bloom. Click here to RSVP and for more details.

June 25 - 6:00-9:00 pm. Fried Chicken & Bingo at River Valley Farmer's Table
. This terrific restaurant in Ravenswood offers farm-to-table dining as well as shopping, catering and events. Join us there for an Amish fried chicken dinner, craft cocktail and a high-energy game of Bingo! -- proceeds will help support the co-op's mission. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets for the event. 

June 28
 - 7:00-9:00 pm. Chicago Market Board Meeting is open to all Owners. Click here for location update and to RSVP. 

July 20 - 6:00-8:00 pm. Chicago Market Annual Owners Meeting
at the Ravenswood Event Center. We'll report on the operations, finances and progress of Chicago Market against our key goals of site, funding and Owner growth, and we’ll conduct elections for open board seats. This meeting is for Owners only (though you are welcome to bring Household members with you). Invitations will be sent via email, soon. 

LEARNING FROM OUR CO-OP FRIENDS: A Chat with Wild Root Market 


One term you'll hear a lot from anyone who's been involved in starting or running a co-op is "P6," aka "Co-operative Principle #6: Co-operation among Co-operatives." Chicago Market has been fortunate enough to learn from and share knowledge with food co-ops from around the country, and at the recent Up And Coming Food Co-op Conference in Milwaukee, we were excited to hear that neighboring Wild Root Market in Racine, Wisconsin has just signed a purchase agreement for a site! Author, Board member and Owner #17 Heather Lalley caught up with them for a chat about the challenges of being a startup, and their next steps. Read more here


Chicago Market Owner #615 Terri Reardon is a passionate advocate for urban agriculture and the local food movement. Last month, she was part of a group who headed to Springfield for "Local Food Lobby Day," meeting with our Illinois state legislators and making them aware of how their vote impacts Chicago communities. Read her terrific summary of the day and her experience.

"I'm An Owner!" - Meet Chicago Market Owner #670 Andy Kalish

  Chicago Market's new Owner Profiles invite co-op Owners to answer a few fun questions about themselves, so we can virtually 'meet' and build community with each other. 

Our first profile was Owner #148 Annette. Now, meet Owner #670 Andy...whose businesses the Ravenswood Event Center and Kālish Short Order Vegan have been huge supporters of Chicago Market. 

Check on the "I'm An Owner!" link and fill out your own profile, for us to feature in our next newsletter!

What's the story behind how you adapted your last name for your business? It was a gift from our architect, Ferdinanda Marcic. She was instrumental in our vision for going vegan and recognized the potential in crafting our name with an accent and apostrophe. Kāl'/Kale + 'ish. We are plant based, but not in obvious ways. 

As an Uptown resident, why do you believe Chicago Market would be a great addition to the community? 
At its core, a co-op is about independent-minded people working together for a greater good. Uptown is, in many ways, a co-op community. There are so many people in Uptown who would like to see a transformative presence here - without giving in to national chains and big box stores.

Chicago Market has the potential to transform Uptown while still being accessible to people in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as the commuters who ride the El.

How about as an Uptown business owner? 
As a business owner, anything that increases positive traffic in the community is important. A market that caters to the needs of neighbors -- while also being a magnet for consumers in surrounding communities -- will be a game changer.

Why did you decide to become a Business Owner of Chicago Market?
 In the late '80's I was a member of a food co-op in downtown Detroit. If it were not for that, I wouldn't have had access to fresh, whole and nutritious foods without going to the suburbs. Access to healthful foods should be a basic human right. Chicago Market will deliver on that promise, so supporting its mission has become my own. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? Work. My wife and I are on a mission to transform our stretch of Wilson Avenue in Uptown into a vibrant community hub for dining and gathering. There isn't much time after that. 

What are your philanthropic priorities - in addition to Chicago Market, of course? Locally, feeding people is my biggest concern. I am on the board of Ravenswood Community Services, and I do as much as I can to support their efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.

Beyond that, supporting Senn High School has been important to my family. Our son is a senior there -- and it is an extraordinary institution. Even for neighbors without school-aged children, supporting local schools is a sure way to elevate the quality of our communities. 

What's your one 'wish come true' that you'd like to see from Chicago Market? Might be a product for our shelves, a program you'd like to see, a job you'd like to have, a location; whatever. Name it!
 OK I would like Chicago Market to have an ongoing youth snack/nutrition program that educates young people as to the benefits of fruits, vegetables and grains...and provides nurtritious snacks before and after school. 

Three words that best describe you?  Unstoppable Humane Being.




We’re looking for Owners with a passion to see Chicago Market succeed to run for our upcoming Board of Directors election. You’ll be part of an amazing team and you’ll help build our co-op community. Whether you’ve had leadership role before or not, if you’re an Owner with ideas and commitment, we want to hear from you. We especially encourage those folks who would improve our representation of the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of our neighborhoods; as well as those with skills in marketing, development and finance.

Email us if you've got interest or even if you'd just like to know more.