March 2017 Chicago Market Newsletter
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Chicago Market, a community co-op
Chicago Market, a community co-op

It’s Health and Wellness Month!

Chicago Market has been focusing on the themes of fitness, nutrition and beauty recently. Check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds – we invited partners like fitMAX personal training, Third Coast Doula, The Sacred Ways (reiki and essential oils), Dana Hirt Parenting, Bloom Yoga Studio, Swedish Covenant Hospital, and Lena Rose Natural Beauty to ‘take over’ our account and offer fun, informative tips. Many of these local businesses or their owners are Chicago Market Owners – all of them support us because they know co-ops help you and your family make healthier choices – healthy food, healthy bodies, healthy minds – and build a strong local economy.


We focus on themes like this (or our “co-op love” last fall) to help folks see the many, many ways co-ops build and bring so much more to a community than a traditional grocery store can. We also want to make it easy for you to help us grow – Chicago Market is now almost 900 households strong, and we are building to 1,500 (Why?). If every one of our Owners can bring in one more friend to join, we’ll hit our goal! So please share our messages or ask someone to join you at one of the many great events we’re hosting or taking part in (see below). They can meet volunteers, learn more and join.


Upcoming Dates


March 7

Chicago Market Book Club. Enjoy delicious drinks and snacks at Chicago Market Business Owner #763 Café Chien at 7 pm, discussing Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food, by Megan Kimble. RSVP here.


March 12

Chicago Market has planned a Wellness Knowledge Swap at the Women's Health Center of Swedish Covenant Hospital from 2-5 pm. Members of our community will teach complimentary 20-minute crash courses on 5 fun topics: kombucha brewing, bread baking, essential oils, bau biology, & workplace yoga. Learn more and RSVP.


March 18

Good Food Festival. See article below, and stop by the Chicagoland Food Co-op Coalition table to learn more about food co-ops and say hi to Chicago Market volunteers!


March 22

Chicago Market Board Meeting is from 7-9 pm, location TBA. Meetings are open to all Owners. Click here for location update and to RSVP.


March 24

Wine Tasting at Business Owner #763 Café Chien. Join Chicago Market and Cafe Chien to welcome in spring with a night of wine tasting! It’s free as long as you bring a bottle of your favorite wine, under $15, to share with the group. Learn more and RSVP here for this fun event.


April 4

April Info Session - Uptown. Are you co-op curious? Thinking about joining or introducing a friend to Chicago Market? Join us at Emerald City for coffee from 7-8pm. Chicago Market Board members and volunteers will be on hand to talk about our co-op and answer questions. RSVP here to let us know you’re coming. And afterward, you can join us for our Owner Meet-Up nearby (see below)!

April Owner Meet-Up - Uptown. Chicago Market Owners, we’re starting a monthly Meet-Up! Let’s get together for a drink or snack, get to know each other, share ideas, network…and have some fun. Our first event will be in Uptown on April 4 starting at 8pm - mark your calendar, watch your email or our social media feeds for updated location and to RSVP. Hope to see you there!


April 29

Chicago Market’s Spring Pop-Up Market! Join us at All Saints Episcopal Church in Ravenswood 2:30 – 5:30 pm. Meet local farmers and producers and Chicago Market volunteers, shop local, bring friends to learn about the co-op.


Hold the Date…

July 20 is the tentative date for Chicago Market’s Annual Owners Meeting.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Chicago Market’s Strategic Vision

Chicago Market’s volunteer board of directors spent a Saturday together this fall, exploring our co-op’s strategic vision. We were inspired by Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “your why.”

Chicago Market, a community co-op
Watch the TED talk

We re-visited why bringing a food co-op to Chicago’s north side is so important to so many people, and we talked about what we’ve learned from Owners and other co-operators since we first articulated our goals. Since then, a small team has worked hard to articulate our evolved mission, purpose, vision and values and how these will guide us, in practical terms. Read all about it here and let us know what you think. We especially thank Jen Vest (Owner #532), Linn Austin (Owner #633), Lizzy Appleby (Owner # 518) and Mark Ahlheim (Owner #172) for their leadership and contributions, as well as Board President and Owner #3 Grant Kessler for planning the offsite that kicked off the process.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

We our Volunteers


Interested in learning more about Chicago Market? Chicago Market is thrilled to welcome Owner #759 Maria Rasche to the (volunteer!) role of Volunteer Co-ordinator. Maria’s long been an engaged and passionate co-op fan – she also organizes our monthly book club meetings and has been active at many events. She’ll be planning info sessions to orient new volunteers and help connect you to teams where you can help us move the co-op forward, faster!

Looking to add your energy and skills to the team? Email Maria at [email protected]. We’re eager for help in these areas right now: Marketing; Events (tabling, helping to publicize via handing out posters or sharing info with online newsletters, social media, neighborhood groups, etc); Graphic/web design.


One final note: are you especially interested in Food Justice or Sustainability? These are upcoming themes we’ll be focusing on and we’re looking for leaders to help the team ideate, plan and organize communications and events. Email us and let’s talk!

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Eat, Learn and Connect at the Good Food Festival

Chicago’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference takes place at UIC Forum, March 16 – 18. Families, farmers and producers, buyers, investors, chefs, policy makers, and teachers all come together to share, network, expand production, and eat local, sustainable, humane and fair food. Thursday and Friday are trade-focused, with conferences on financing, innovation, products and policy.

This year admission to Saturday’s Food Festival is FREE with online registration. Attendees can shop for local foods, get lunch at the Good Food Court, and connect with CSA farmers at the Good Food Marketplace. You can join discussions like ‘Good Food is Good Medicine’ or ‘Sustainable Seafood’ and check out micro workshops on the Organic Valley Good Food Commons. See chef demonstrations from Rick Bayless and others; celebrate Good Food Good Chefs of the Year (Christine Cikowski and Chicago Market Owner #245 Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken). Kids will love the Good Food Scavenger Hunt and the Purple Asparagus Kids’ Corner.

Curious about our city’s urban agriculture scene? Act quickly to get a seat on the Urban Farm Bus Tour (Bus Tour is $75; online registration only – (click here).

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Progress Report


Since our last general update at the Owners Meeting in August, Chicago Market’s volunteer teams have been hard at work on the critical goals of finding a site, growing Ownership and building the business case and relationships that will help us fund the store. It’s about time we offered a progress report – watch for an Owners–only email from Board President Grant Kessler in the next few days, and as always, let us know if you have questions or feedback.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Want to have greater input into your co-op? Join us at an upcoming board meeting.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Better yet, consider joining our board or volunteer teams. Contact us to learn more!

Chicago Market, a community co-op
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