Upcoming Dates


October 26

Monthly Board Meeting at 7:00pm at Beermiscuous. 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.

November 5

Several Chicago Market Owners are planning to attend Chicago Public Library’s One Book One Chicago book discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle at the Bezazian library on Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm. We may meet for lunch first or beverages after…interested? If you’re an Owner, go to our Facebook event page, or email [email protected] to let us know you’d like to join us!

November 16

Our November Monthly Board Meeting is from 7:00-9:00pm, location still TBA. Meetings are open to all Owners – click here to RSVP.

November 19

Our Thanksgiving-themed Co-op Pop-Up – see below in this newsletter for more information! Join us at Wilson Abbey. When you RSVP (it’s free!) you’ll also have the chance to pre-order fresh, organically-raised turkey from Meadow Haven Farm.

Are you a Co-op Lover?

October is National #CoopMonth! Watch our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram feeds for all kinds of fun information about how #cooperativesbuild a better world.

Cooperatives Build a Better World

We're looking to talk with Chicago Market Owners who’ve been part of other co-op communities. Shoot us a quick email?

We’ll include you in a drawing for a free Chicago Market water bottle.

Where will we Pop Up next?

Chicago Market’s second Thanksgiving Co-op Pop-Up will be even bigger & better than last year’s! We’ll be at Uptown’s beautiful, historic Wilson Abbey on Saturday, November 19 between 2:30pm and 5:30pm. Join some of our favorite farmers and friends and shop for all the goodies for your holiday table. RSVP now and you’ll be able to pre-order your fresh, organically-raised turkey from Meadow Haven Farm. We’ve got a big, friendly space and we’re adding new vendors every day.

Thanksgiving Co-Op Pop-Up

Pro Tip: Bring your cooking, carving and holiday table knives with you, and our friends from Sharpening by Dave will sharpen them while you shop.

You can also share your gratitude for the season by making contributions of market goods or money to Care for Real, an innovative food pantry in our Edgewater community.

The most important thing every Owner can do to help Chicago Market’s store open our doors is to help find and sign up more Owners. Inviting your friends and neighbors to come to this free Pop-Up market is an easy way to show them the kind of community our co-op is building! So talk about it, share the RSVP link, post it to your Facebook page or Twitter feed. (psst! If they join between now and the Pop-Up, you’ll each get a $10 coupon to spend there).

We hope to see you there!


Chicago Market Isn’t A Place

As of this month, over 850 Owners have joined Chicago Market, and we're so excited about our growing honest food community. But as we've shared before, our co-op will need a lot more Owners before we can open our doors. Our planning work tells us that it will be difficult to secure a loan and site without 1,500 Owners. Market research says there are more than enough likely joiners in our target area. But we need your help finding them and helping them understand why they should join, now. We hear a lot that one thing that makes it hard for Owners to recruit their friends, family, neighbors is that "we can't tell you yet where the store will be." Our Board and Site teams are working hard on that! Meanwhile, Board President Grant Kessler offers another way to think (and talk) about what Chicago Market is all about. Here's his story. What's yours?

marrow beans

Chicago Market isn’t a place.

Chicago Market is the recognition that the word agriculture contains the word “culture”. Chicago Market is you and I working together to reinvigorate our foodshed with culture, with community around food and around growing. We are working together to rebuild the connections between eater, farmer and soil.

The work will be complicated, but the idea is simple – you and I working together – because we want food culture, food with story, food with intense flavor, food with soil clinging to it and a farmer with a name bringing it to us.

Short story:

At the farmer’s market recently I ran into a friend (and fellow Chicago Market Owner!). Eric was very excited to have gotten 5 pounds of something called a marrow bean from Tracey at Three Sisters Garden. He told me passionately and reverently about how delicious these beans are and that he buys so many because they freeze well. “Really, if you like beans, you have to try these,” he urged.

Read more!

Meet Hillary Stifler

Chicago Market Owner #523 Hillary Stifler is one of those people who does so much, and all of it with such a calm, smiling demeanor, that it makes the rest of us wonder what her secret is. Having completed her fourth (!) triathlon this summer, she took a few minutes to let us shine our Volunteer Spotlight her way.

Hillary Stifler

Hillary grew up in Kalamazoo, graduated from Miami of Ohio, and then moved to Chicago for a career in Market Research and an MBA from Loyola. She’d been a shopper at grocery co-ops…but not an Owner, until she found Chicago Market. “A friend sent me something online about it and I decided I could spring $50 a month (for a payment plan). I signed up right away.” She lives in Uptown’s Sheridan Park, and she’s a big proponent of the neighborhood. “I like that Chicago Market is itself a community-based group, that supports other community-based groups! It connects a lot of people and local business owners which I think is great.”

Since then, she’s found herself more interested in the co-operative model, and even following other co-ops on Facebook. Given her interest in yoga, biking and running, she was intrigued to learn from us that outdoor retailer REI is a co-op, too: “I shop there, so I checked out their story and I joined!

Hillary began volunteering for our MORE team (Marketing, Owner Recruitment & Engagement, Events) last year. “She’s amazing,” says board member Kelly Hewitt. “She brings her ideas, energy and skills to the team in so many ways we’ve lost count.” She’s frequently at events including our Pop-Up markets – helping to answer questions and sign up new Owners. She’s helped scope out event locations. She’s used her analytic skills to help us understand “what’s working” in events and marketing. Recently, she’s been a strategic leader in helping us think about new ways to reach and engage specific groups who have great potential to join a food co-op, but who may not have found us or heard enough about us yet. “At the beginning, I joined because I think healthy, organic food and sustainable resources are so important,” she says, “but now, I’m also part of this team coming together to make it a reality and it’s exciting to see other people’s passion for the same things I have passion for.”

Her passions extend beyond Chicago Market. She’s a knitter and just learned embroidery. She loves cooking and she gardens with the Montrose Metra Community Gardens. She’s an active volunteer at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. She’s an enthusiastic world traveler who has spent time teaching English abroad, and this summer, began mentoring an immigrant Syrian family through Uptown’s RefugeeOne. “I meet with a woman weekly and help acclimate her and her family to American culture and English language. I’m taking her kids to the zoo!” Hillary laughs.

She’s also part of Chicago Market’s Book Club and of course, has a long list of favorite books. One recommendation? "Sand County Almanac, written in the late 1800’s about sandhill cranes and changes in the Wisconsin landscape they inhabit. Fascinating!"

We still wonder how she does it all…and we’re grateful that she’s made a commitment to Chicago Market one of her priorities. “People on the board take on a lot,” she explains. “I jump in and help where I can commit to doing it and where I know I can be helpful.” She smiles, “I’ve just kinda formed my own role.” Want to form your own volunteer role? Email [email protected] and help Chicago Market grow our amazing co-op community.

Pork, Apple, Sage Hand Pies
from Hoosier Mama

Chicago Market board member, Owner #17 Heather Lalley’s Chicago Homegrown Cookbook features recipes from farm-to-table local chefs, including Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama Pie Company. Here’s a fall favorite for you to try!

hand pies

Pork-Apple-Sage Pie Filling

1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. onions, halved and sliced thin
2 c. 1” cubed russet potatoes
1 lb breakfast sausage, e.g. C&D Family Farms
2 c. of 1” cubed firm tart apples (Granny Smith, Empire, Mutsu)
2 tbsp. grainy mustard
2 tbsp. finely chopped sage
6 tbsp. crème fraiche
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

Prepared pie dough (recipe below)

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add onions and sauté until soft and just starting to brown. Add potatoes; reduce heat to medium low and sauté until potatoes can be pierced by a fork. Transfer potatoes and onions to a medium bowl. Place sauté pan back on heat and add sausage, breaking it up with a spatula. Sauté until it is lightly browned and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl of potatoes and onions. Add cubed apples, mustard, sage, crème fraiche, salt and pepper. Mix it to combine and let cool thoroughly before using.

This mixture can be used in hand pies or to make one 9” classic two-crust pie.

(For hand pies, follow assembly instructions under dough recipe, below)

For the 9” pie, using your favorite pie dough recipe, roll out two 14” rounds of pie dough. Place one round in a 9” pie pan, pressing it down into the bottom corners of the pan. Mound filling mixture in center of pan and smooth to the edges of the lip of the pie tin. Center the second round over the pie filling. Working around the pie, roll the edges of the two pie crusts under and tuck up onto the rim of the pie pan. Next crimp the edges between your thumb and fore-finger. Brush the top of the pie, including the crimp, with a beaten whole egg. Cut 4- to 6 steam vents and place in freezer for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (350 degrees F convection). Place pie on cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes. When done, pie crust will be baked to a medium golden brown and filling should be heated through with some bubbling through the vents.

Serve warm.

Cream Cheese Dough (for hand pies)

"We love this dough and use it all year long to make hand pies with seasonal ingredients from the farmers’ market. At the pie shop, we have an attachment for our 30qt mixer that works just like an old fashioned pastry blender. At home you may use either a stand mixer or food processor. But be careful: The dough can be rough on non-commercial mixers. The directions below apply for either."

1 1/4 lb. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
1 lb. unsalted butter cut into 1” cubes
1 lb. cream cheese cut into 1” cubes
1-2 egg whites
parchment paper

Combine flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl with the cream cheese and butter and toss until the butter and cream cheese is coated with the flour mixture. Chill the entire mixture for 1 hour.

Transfer to the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. In a food processor, pulse until the butter and cream cheese is are the size of large peas and the mixture is sandy. In a stand mixer, combine slowly by turning the machine on and off.

Next, if using a food processor, process just until the mixture forms a ball. If using a stand mixer, turn the machine to a high speed and mix for 20 to 30 seconds. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Divide into two balls and flatten into discs. Wrap each disk in plastic and rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.

To assemble: Take one disc of dough out of the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Working quickly, roll dough 1/8” thick. Using a pastry cutter or jar lid, punch out the dough into 4”-5” diameter circles. Transfer to parchment -lined sheet pan or cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Repeat process with the other half of the dough, placing circles on a second cookie sheet.

Take the first cookie sheet of circles out of the freezer. Prepare a third parchment-lined cookie sheet. Transfer a few circles at a time to the new cookie sheet and brush lightly with egg whites. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of the circle. Fold the dough in half over the filling to form a half moon. Crimp the edge with the tines of a fork to seal.

If the dough becomes too soft to work with, return first cookie sheet to freezer and switch to circles from the second cookie sheet. If the circles are too cold to be pliable, warm them between your hands for a few seconds or let stand at room temperature until workable. You may have to do this several times before all the pies are filled.

Return assembled pies to the freezer for at least 1 hour before baking.

To bake: Preheat oven to 400° degrees F (350° degrees F in a convection oven). Arrange hand pies 1” apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan or cookie sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until pies are golden brown.

Let stand on the baking sheet for a few minutes to firm. Transfer to a plate with a fork or offset spatula. Pies should still be warm. Serve warm.

Makes approximately 40 hand pies.