March 2022 newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — March 2022

Funding Is the Critical Path

Our last major step before construction is the fundraising that pays for it all, so we're laser-focused on that:

  • We're submitting our application to the Chicago Recovery Plan Grant THIS WEEK! Our team of writers, reviewers, and number crunchers has been amazing and this is a truly exciting opportunity for your Co-op!

  • We've begun outreach to potential Series B Preferred Share investors. This Share offering is similar to the Series A we offered Owners in the fall, but targets accredited investors. If you know of a business or individual who might like to invest, please let us know.

  • And speaking of Series A Preferred Shares, we're also planning for another round of outreach to Owners this spring, so the team is building up a volunteer base and putting the pieces in place for the campaign. If you'd like to volunteer with us to reach out to Owners or be part of the admin team, please email our volunteer coordinator to get plugged in.  

Unfortunately, due to a potential conflict of interest with a new job he's taken with the city, John Law is no longer able to serve on our Board. He remains a huge supporter and friend to Chicago Market and in a lovely note to us even noted that, "My brief time seeing this rockstar team in action gives me complete confidence that this Market will be a huge success!" Well, John, we think you're a rock star too! Thank you for all you have done for Chicago Market and all the great things you will continue to do for us and for this city we all love!

Did you know...

...that grocery co-ops proved they are a resilient business model and critical part of a better food system during the pandemic?

"In fact, grocery co-ops have grown during the pandemic, with overall sales increasing 10% during 2020, a year full of supply and social disruptions."

* source: How grocery co-ops across New England thrived despite the pandemic (Shareable)
photo: Putney Food Co-op (Putney, VT)

In the News

Update: Uptown Farmers Market Review — Board member Kate Grimm, Owner #1759, analyzed last season's market for the Board. 

Update: Finalized Governance Documents — How does 'democratic member control' work exactly? Meet our governance documents! 

Our Uptown Farmers Market is Back! — Announcing the first market day and return of vendors you love.

News from Our Business Owners

WasteNot has a Special Promotion for new members: sign up for residential service by 3/31/22 and use coupon code "GIVEME24" to receive a $24 credit.

And WasteNot CEO & Co-Founder Liam Donnelly was featured in Midwest Living Magazine explaining the making of a successful community-based compost service.

The Levantine Kitchen is offering new virtual cooking classes focused on meal prep for the work week. The classes will be about 90 minutes each and pricing is tiered ($15, $25, or $35, depending on how much you want to pay/can afford). Anyone who cannot afford the price of a ticket to classes can always get in — contact Charles who is happy to comp a ticket, no questions asked.

Collective Resource Compost: "Our Environmental Justice Discussion Group is in its second year. Join us! We’re reading books and viewing documentaries and meeting on Zoom to discuss them with a moderator on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm CST. This blogpost explains the empathy-building group and describes the selections for March 10 and April 14. E-mail Mary Beth Schaye with any questions."

Get Involved

Our need for volunteers is bigger than ever!! As we enter the spring, Chicago Market has a bunch of exciting things happening - along with being in a critical phase of fundraising, we are also starting to get ready for the Uptown Farmers Market and prepping for a summer full of activities. Here are just some of the places where we could use your help!  
  • Capital Campaign Callers — we are going to speak with EVERY Chicago Market Owner. Help us raise the funds to open the Chicago Market doors!
  • Recruitment Specialist — join our Volunteer Coordinator in bringing on more volunteers for Chicago Market.
  • Uptown Farmers Market Volunteers (starts May 4) — come once or every week! 2-3 hour shifts with both in-person and/or behind the scenes tasks.
  • UFM SNAP/LINK Match Specialists — help our UFM shoppers buy yummy goodies with their SNAP/LINK Match benefits
Email [email protected] for more information — and if you want to volunteer, but aren't sure where to start, click HERE to help us narrow down where we might be able to use your talents!

Build a Better Market

We own this business together. We operate it. And together, we fund it. 

 You can do it!

Our Build a Better Market capital campaign team is gearing up now and will be calling Owners soon. But Preferred Shares are available NOW if you reach out to us! Email to get started.


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