June 2024 newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — June 2024


Chicago Area Co-ops Rising

Co-ops build thriving communities and it's pretty exciting to see all the Chicago-area co-op news:

  • Wild Onion Market opens tomorrow at noon in Rogers Park. Read all about it in Local Food Forum.
  • Prairie Food Co-op in Lombard announced that their construction has started.
  • Southside Market, a micro-grocery and cafe in Chatham on the southside, is converting to a cooperative and opening this summer. They're hosting an event at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church on June 15th from 2-4pm for those interested in becoming a Founding Owner. And super fun - Southside Market is a Chicago Market business Owner!

"We are delighted to see another food cooperative get opened in Chicago this week! Wild Onion is a product of over a decade of perseverance and vision, yielding a new, community owned shopping option in Rogers Park. Cooperative food options in Chicago are on track to expand faster than in any other metropolitan area in the United States during this generation, and we look forward to ushering in the UN International Year of Cooperatives in 2025 with our own store in Uptown! Congratulations Wild Onion! Go Co-op!!"

- Dan Arnett, Chicago Market General Manager

Note that both Wild Onion and Prairie began their organizing about a year before Chicago Market  — building an impactful co-op takes time, but it is so worth it!


Show off your Chicago Market pride with one of our brand-new hats! Charcoal grey, adjustable, one-size-fits-all, and only $25. 

Dan Carmody, CEO at Eastern Market in Detroit, visited our market last week and of course he bought one!

Buy yours at our booth at the Uptown Farmers Market any Wednesday. 


Foodshed Champions: Community Food Navigator

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.

Meet Community Food Navigator:
Community Food Navigator works towards greater food sovereignty for all people. They focus on supporting the Black, Brown, and Indigenous growers, producers, educators, and organizers in Chicago’s food ecosystem working towards widespread food sovereignty. 

They do this by elevating community-led solutions, building dialogue both digitally and through in-person gatherings, and by amplifying the voices of people doing this work on the ground.


Local Food Forum hosts Nick Davis, managing director of Community Food Navigator, for their next Better Dialogues webinar:

Gardens in a City: Cultivating Hope in Chicago
June 17, 7:00pm
Register here

Learn more and get involved: Community Food Navigator

Follow along on the process of your store with this visual of our Timeline.

Your Board, GM, and our store design team all continue to work diligently to speed things along, but outside forces and the complicated nature of our project are often at odds with our desire to be open yesterday!
Two recent updates impact our schedule:
  • We'll be starting construction a little later than expected due to the ongoing coordination with MANY government agencies. That said, both the City permitting process and the SBA bank loan process are moving fairly smoothly. 

  • Construction will likely take a little longer due to our very complex site and location. Our construction team had planned to move equipment into the space through the large hole we'll have to install our elevator, but elevator permitting is more complicated and will take longer, so that installation plan becomes a little more complicated and slower. 

  • We had expected our construction to take 7-8 months plus a month to stock the store and train staff. Seeing the complicating factors — needed underground work for our electrical service, elevator timeline, etc. — our builders now estimate 7-11 months plus that stocking month. 

There's a clear path forward for everything, but nothing moves as quickly as we'd all like. We know you're just as eager for an open store as we are, and we WILL get there. 

Here's the most recent progress:
  • Our design team is finalizing the next round of edits in our drawings and those go in to permitting this week.

Run for the Board

We elect new Board members every year in conjunction with our Annual Meeting — coming in September this year. If you'd like to be a more integral part of the success of your Co-op, consider running for the Board. To learn about what's involved, email Dana or talk with other current Board members at our Uptown Farmers Market booth on Wednesdays. 

News from Our Business Owners

Collective Resource Compost Collective
"Help us get to 150 owners! We’re the only composting co-op in town. We’re a hybrid co-op which means owners can be employees, customers or supporters. Details are here on our website."

Irpino visited The Lytle House recently, a hidden gem event space and secret garden in Edgewater that hosts weddings and more. Check out the Local Business Spotlight Video.

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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