Upcoming Dates

September 20

The Chicago Market Book Club will meet from 7:00 to 8:30pm at Business Owner #763, Café Chien. We’re discussing Chicago: A Food Biography and the authors Danny Block and Howard Rosing will join us for the discussion! Everyone is welcome but we do need a headcount, so please find more information and RSVP here.

September 24

Chicago Market Harvest Co-op Pop-Up Market will take place at The Village Tap in Roscoe Village, from 2:30 to 5:30pm. See below for more information, and bring your friends! There is no entry fee, but an RSVP is required: click here and we hope to see you there!

September 28

Monthly Board Meeting at 7:00pm at Café Chien. Have a question for the board? Want to see us in action? Meetings are open to all Owners – click here for directions and to RSVP please.

October 1

Enjoying our newsletter, checking out our events, but not an Owner yet? Or maybe you’re an Owner who has brought friends to one of our Pop-Ups, and talked about the co-op with your neighbors, but they need to hear a little more about it before they join? Come to our Lincoln Square Coffee & Conversation session and meet members of our board who can answer questions and sign up new co-op Owners. We’ll be at the Sulzer Library at 10:00am. RSVP here and we’ll make sure to have a cup of coffee ready for you!

November 19

Our Thanksgiving-themed Co-op Pop-Up – once again, you’ll have the chance to to pre-order fresh, organically-raised turkey from Meadow Haven Farm, and buy all the other fresh, local goodies to fill your holiday table! Watch your emails or our Facebook page for more information soon about where we’ll be!


Thanks to all Owners who voted in this month’s annual election for new Chicago Market Directors for our board. Five terrific candidates were approved: Lizzy Appleby, Linn Austin, Larry Gast, Bill Petty and Jen Vest. All of these folks have been active as volunteers and/or appointed board members now for some time, so they’ll hit the ground running with us and we’re excited about their current and future contributions! See their candidate statements here to learn more about them and why they’re passionate about Chicago Market’s food co-op plans.

new Chicago Market Directors

At the same time, we all offer heartfelt gratitude and good wishes to those Owners who will be stepping off our board of directors: Esther Dairiam, Malcolm Haar and Lance Rantala. These individuals have each patiently shared their time, skills and knowledge to making great things happen for Chicago Market. Their energy and thoughtfulness will be missed at our board meetings, but we know they’ll continue to contribute in ways big and small. Thanks for being part of our honest food community!


The fifth in our series of successful Pop-Up markets will take place very soon, at The Village Tap in Roscoe Village, from 2:30 to 5:30pm on Saturday, September 24.

Chicago Market Harvest Pop-Up

You can meet and shop with wonderful local farmer/producers including Burton’s Maplewood Farm, Tempel Farms Organics, Mint Creek Farm, Windrose Flowers, Seedling Fruit, Chopbox/TeaSquares, Bow Truss Coffee Roasters, Sitka Salmon Shares and more. Our friends at Collective Resource will provide and teach us about compost and recycling services, and once again we’ll invite contributions to Care for Real, an innovative food pantry in Edgewater.

There is no entry fee, but an RSVP is required.



In our August newsletter, we introduced the first of two architectural firms that Chicago Market has chosen to partner with for our store design and build-out. This month, we announce our second partner and our team is complete: Minnesota-based freshArc. Chosen for its expertise in the food industry, freshArc will collaborate with Wrap Architecture, the Site Selection and Architecture team, the board of directors and Owners to create the store of our collective dreams!

John Hatzung, LEED, AP, NCARB, freshArc principal, sat down with Owner #148 and writer Annette Mambuca to round out our two-part story.

John Hatzung, freshArc principal

Chicago Market: Let’s start with a question that’s no doubt important to our readers. Are you a member of a co-op?

John: You bet. I’m a member of the Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis, and I’m proud to serve on the board of directors there. I’ve always loved the whole idea of co-ops – from food stores to credit unions. It was actually my interest in co-ops and their market growth that led me to open my own firm.

Chicago Market: In fact, it was your design expertise and knowledge about all things food and co-ops that led to the invitation to collaborate on the store layout of the Chicago Market. Given that, take us on a quick tour of your career.

John: It started more than 30 years ago, when I was with a design-build firm and a former associate asked me to design restaurants. I really enjoyed the work, mostly because I enjoyed creating spaces for people to gather and enjoy good food.

Eventually the restaurateur stopped building, so I shifted to building energy-efficient homes. From there, I found an opportunity with the architecture department of SuperValu Inc., an industry-leading grocery retailer. I spent 16 years there, designing a variety of food stores, from large and medium-sized chains to mom-and-pop stores. I learned a lot about the food business and its complexities. And it was there that I began to be drawn to the idea that the best food stores are the ones where people truly come together to interact with the products and one another.

I left SuperValu to join a firm that specialized in food processing plants and food distribution, where I learned even more about the food system and how all the component inter-relate.

Chicago Market: What specifically led you to open your own firm?

John: freshArc grew out of conversation with P.J. Hoffman, who is now the Business Development Director at the National Coop Grocers Association. We were both concerned about the competition food co-ops face from sophisticated natural foods retailers. My partner, Paul Hannemann, and I wanted to bring the advantages and efficiencies of successful chains to non-traditional markets so they could be more competitive.

Chicago Market: Given all your store-design experience, what distinguishes your approach to a chain grocery store versus a co-op like Chicago Market?

Read more!


Esther Dairiam

Newsletter contributor and Owner #838 Maia Welbel stopped by recently and shared this great review of Read It & Eat: Chicago’s only “culinary bookstore,” dedicated entirely to food!

Chicago Market Owner #690 and former board member Esther Dairiam has created this special and wonderful new space. Inspired by a similar bookstore she once visited in Paris, Dairiam is committed to filling her shop with unique products and delicious experiences. Currently stocking 4,000 volumes and 3,700 distinct titles, most of the books at Read It & Eat are single copy. While customers seeking popular cookbooks are likely to find what they’re looking for, Dairiam also likes to share things that people haven’t come across anywhere else. She notes that online recipes and videos may have become ubiquitous, but they can’t replace the tactile experience of a physical cookbook.

Nor can they build community, but Read It & Eat is designed to do just that! The store’s layout includes a full kitchen complete with a double oven and plenty of shiny counter space. They hosts book signings, cooking classes, demonstrations, and pop-up dinners. Dairiam says her rule of thumb is that there should be good food involved at every event. Bookcases can be reconfigured to accommodate tables and chairs, transforming the store into a perfect spot for group gatherings.

The shop has become a destination for visitors to the city and locals alike. Stop by and say hi to Esther, who is often at the store. Check out the shelves full of colorful photographs, recipes, stories and breathe deep: more often than not, the air inside is filled with the aroma of cookies baking, olive oil sizzling, or fresh herbs and spices.

Read It & Eat is located at 2142 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park.


Chicago Market’s second annual Owners Meeting on August 28 was an occasion for our community to reflect on the tremendous progress we’ve made, the biggest goals ahead of us this year, and of course to share good food, drink and conversation with each other as we continue to build our honest food community. Thank you to all who attended, and especially to all those who volunteered and helped the event run so smoothly: Lizzy Appleby, Sara Calfee, Patricia Connolly-Crespo, Carolyn Kessler, Rona Pietrzak, Maria Rasche, Terri Reardon, Ann Scholhammer, Eric Wilson and Chicago Market's board of directors. We also thank partners Brobagel, Bow Truss Coffee Roasters, Collective Resource, First Financial Credit Union, Forbidden Root, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and Ravenswood Event Center.

We’ll share a recap email shortly with all co-op Owners – meanwhile, enjoy some pictures of the fun!

Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting
Owners Meeting