Chicago Market Newsletter - June 2021
Your Co-op is Buzzing
- The Uptown Farmers Market is raising awareness of our Co-op. 28 new Owners have joined us since the market began!
- We're a brand new market - just five weeks in - but we have a terrific vendor list of over 30, with a few rotating in and out. Response and enthusiasm from the community has been great:
- "I am loving having this market open. I’ll be walking over every week!" - Cyndi on Instagram
- Check out this shopper's amazing video: It's a Wayne Bite!
The farmers market has given us another great way to connect with people in the community too - we've welcomed a large number of new volunteers who are helping with everything from sidewalk chalking to vendor load in/out to photography, video and other marketing efforts.
- Our (award-winning!) SHOP page has expanded its offerings with Cahokia Rice, Meliora Cleaning Products, and Mossum Sea Moss. And Chicago Meat Collective is coming soon. Order now for June 20 pickup.
- Our GM Dan is very busy getting connected to the community. If you're part of an organization you feel your Co-op should connect with, reach out to Dan to introduce him. Dan is also very well connected in the national food co-op scene and is having conversations there that may lead to funding support.
- The national Up & Coming food co-op conference happened in May and our full Board attended workshops to bring back valuable learning to the Co-op. The broader co-op community recognizes it has equity work to do to ensure co-ops meet the needs of BIPOC and LGBTQ members and shoppers, so the conference this year focused on DEI work that will inform Chicago Market moving forward.
And in true cooperative sharing spirit, we're proud that Matthew Ruffi and Dan Arnett both presented workshops at the conference, sharing knowledge about our SHOP initiative and our Firebrand reassessment with other co-ops around the country.
Dan and our Capital Campaign team are looking into the opportunity of offering preferred shares as a means of fundraising the $1.45 million we need to complete our funding package. They'll present this to the Board soon for discussion.
- Our Annual Meeting is coming up which means we'll be launching our Board recruitment process next month - please consider running! We specifically invite diverse voices to the table to join our efforts.
This summer is your chance to get involved, especially as the city starts to open up.
- Volunteer with us.
- Bring a friend to the farmers market and share our vision with them.
- Come table at the farmers market with us and share your passion for the Co-op with others.
- Pick up a yard sign at the market (or your Owner tote bag if you don't have it yet) and make sure your neighbors see your visible support of the Co-op.
- Consider loaning, donating, or leveling up.
- Invite a friend or family member to join.
- Come to one of our events, one of our upcoming “So You Want to be a Board Member” sessions to learn more about running for the Board, or a Co-op Cafe or Market Meet-up... bring a friend to one of those too!
There are SO many ways to get involved!
Uptown Farmers Market Quick Updates
- Twidley Bits takes their jars back for credit on future purchases: For every two jars, regardless of size, you get $1 off your purchase. Just bring them back to the market!
- New vendor shout outs - Fons Empanadas, Lafevor Farm, Perkolator Coffee, Smiling M Farms and The Talking Farm were all new last week!
- Bring your knives, garden tools and scissors for Sharpening By Dave to sharpen!
Wednesdays, May to November (rain or shine)
Wilson & Broadway
- Uptown Farmers Market - 2:30 - 7:00pm, every Wednesday
- June 9 Board Meeting - 8:00-10:00pm, RSVP to receive Zoom link
- Open House + Owner Tote Back Pick-up (special guest Mossum) - 11:00-3:00pm, June 20
- Online Co-op Café- 10:00-11:00am, June 26
- June 23 Board Meeting - 7:00-9:00pm, RSVP to receive Zoom link
News from Our Business Owners
Phil Circle Music penned a terrific blog post in support of Chicago Market. Check it out and if you blog too, consider reaching your audience in the same way. Thanks, Phil, and congrats on opening your music school!
If I Can Change the World, So Can You
- Collective Resource Compost hosted a delightful and successful Spring Finished Compost Gift-Back this May. On three Sunday afternoons and one Wednesday evening, our friends at The Talking Farm gave us space at their farm in Skokie for a pile of food-scrap amended compost. Our customers came with their own receptacles and took home finished compost they helped create. This community-building event was made even more wonderful by the presence of representatives from both Chicago Market and Wild Onion Market.
Back Your Co-op Now
We own this business together. We operate it. And together, we fund it, through Ownership, loans and donations.