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

Did you hear our news?

Chicago Market has put our hat in the ring for a potential site: the gorgeous, renovated Beaux-Arts style Wilson (Red Line) Station. Learn more about our bid here or check out the Chicago Tribune's article here. Add your name to our petition to help us show the CTA how many people want a great, locally-owned grocery store to open in this space. And if you're an Owner, join us for a special Owners Meeting on Tuesday, April 18.

Chicago Market, a community co-op
Chicago Market, a community co-op

On Saturday, April 29th from 2:30-5:30 p.m. join your co-op community and some of the region's finest growers and producers. Our market pops up at All Saints Episcopal Church at the corner of Hermitage and Wilson in the Ravenswood neighborhood. The event is free but you must RSVP.

Fire up your grill for meat and produce from lovely Laird Farms and Endless Greens, and sustainable seafood from new Owner #893 Marsh Skeele's Sitka Salmon. Owners #406 Kate Jakubas and Mike Mayer will help kickstart your spring cleaning and they'll have an exclusive Chicago Market-branded rosemary-scented body & bath bar, from their Meliora Cleaning Products. Satisfy your spring sweet tooth with Owner #883 Jeanette's Cookies, and some delicious Beelove Honey. Fuel your energy with ChopBox/Tea Squares and pop up some fun with Tiny But Mighty Popcorn. Our friends from Collective Resources will be there to help us recyle and talk to you about how to move to a waste-free lifestyle. and more. And returning this year: Master Gardener Bob Zeni's beautiful homegrown heirloom tomato seedlings (see more below!) for your garden plot!

These vendors and more will be there, and all align with Chicago Market's Purchasing Values. We'll have door prizes from generous local producers like Katherine Anne Confections and Gretta's Goats Soaps.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Empower yourself to make change in our foodshed and local economy by supporting the cooperative model. Become an Owner before or at the Pop-Up and you get $10 shopping credit. Recruit a friend as a new Owner and you BOTH get the credit! and more! PLUS, all new Owners before or at the Pop-Up will receive a 20% discount on tomato seedlings, and be entered to win an unlimited month of yoga from our friends at Bloom Yoga Studio.


RSVP and bring your friends and neighbors. See you soon!


Upcoming Dates


April 18

Owners-Only Site News Meeting is from 6-7:30pm, at the Uptown Branch meeting room of the Chicago Public Library, 929 W. Buena Avenue. Owners, join us to learn more about our bid for the CTA Wilson Red Line location and to share your input. More details and RSVP here.



Chicago Market Book Club will discuss American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It), by Jonathan Bloom. We're rescheduling from the original date; get update details and RSVP here.


April 26

Chicago Market Board Meeting is from 7-9 pm, at Business Owner #763 Café Chien. Meetings are open to all Owners. Click here for location update and to RSVP.


May 2

Info Session from 7-8 pm at Dovetail Brewery. Are you co-op curious? Got friends or neighbors who you know would be interested in greater access to local, organic goods in a sustainable community-owned store? Come meet Owners and Board members and ask questions, learn more, even buy a share of the co-op while we enjoy delicious brews. RSVP here.


May 2

Owner Meet-up from 7-9 pm at O'Donovan's Pub and Restaurant. Our new monthly meet-ups are your chance to eat, drink and socialize with other Owners. Join us and meet some new like-minded friends. RSVP here and we hope to see you there. Cheers!


May 16

Chicago Market Volunteers at Ravenswood Community Services. RCS provides outreach and resources to neighbors in need in the Ravenswood and Uptown neighborhoods. Among other activities, they provide a weekly community meal at All Saints Episcopal Church. Join Owner #8 Kelly Hewitt to help serve food between 6:15-7:15 pm. We're seeking twelve volunteers; click here for more information and to sign up. Interested in supporting RCS but unable to make this event? Stop by our Spring Co-op Pop-Up and make a donation of cash or food from our vendors there!


Hold the Date…

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


Volunteer Spotlight

Lee Herman

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Owner #490 Lee Herman brings almost four decades of skills in information technology to Chicago Market, and we are so lucky to have him. Lee started coming to Chicago Market Board meetings nearly a year ago and quickly signed on as a fully engaged volunteer. Here are some of the reasons he's committed to building this community co-op:

Why did you start volunteering with Chicago Market?

I was looking for a way to help get Chicago Market off the ground but I'm not in a position to make the sustained commitment of being a Board member. I was attending a Board meeting when there was discussion of some web-related topic. It became clear there was some frustration at lack of progress in making some changes to the site, since the same people doing that work were on the Board and had other things that took priority. As a longtime IT professional, it looked like I could make a contribution.

What is your background, professionally?

Almost 40 years as an IT professional in operational, programming, system administration and leadership positions in a variety of companies and industries. Currently I'm a Senior Technical Architect and Consultant for SAS Institute, Inc., an industry-leading Big Data and Analytics software company.

What work have you done with the co-op so far?

I'm now the Chicago Market Webmaster, working to improve our website for a better user experience, make it easier to show more information and change it quickly to keep present and prospective owners informed and plugged in to the latest happenings.

You attend many of the monthly Board meetings. What's your sense of Chicago Market's progress so far?

It was an education to me to discover the complexity of starting a grocery co-op at this scale: a genuine alternative to other groceries with the scope and selection to be your primary shopping destination. As a former owner of a small leather shop, I already knew there was a lot to starting up a business. The Chicago Market Board has done an amazing job of pulling together all the financial, organizational, legal and business aspects needed to launch. Site selection has been the biggest challenge, to find the right combination of location and space, but there are dedicated efforts by the Site Team with Aldermen, developers and realtors and I know we'll get there.

What do you wish you could tell other people about Chicago Market?

When I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I did 99% of our grocery shopping at Mountainview Market, a 40-year-old grocery co-op. While I love Chicago, one of the things I miss most is having a nearby co-op to shop at. People who have not shopped regularly at a co-op grocery literally don't know what they are missing. For anyone committed to healthy eating and improving the experience of living in Chicago, joining Chicago Market is an investment in your home city and your future health. It will be amazing! Join now to help make it become a reality!

What else would you like to add?

There are opportunities to help in many ways. Joining is the first way and payment plans are available to spread out the $250 ownership fee. Volunteers are always needed, whether for an ongoing role or just from time to time. Chicago Market is a community and the members are a great bunch of people to be around and work with. I feel like I'm at home with this group.

We love Lee, and all our terrific volunteers! And there are so many different ways to get involved - email us to learn more!

Chicago Market, a community co-op

Chicago Market's vision is to build a better food community and we are powered by our Owners. Last month, we launched our Owner Insider email, the first of a new series of regular updates just for Owners, highlighting key progress on site search, growth and funding. If you're an Owner and you missed it in your email box, let us know. Stay tuned for more and as always, please share your questions and ideas with us. Better yet, share your energy by becoming a volunteer (email us)!

Meanwhile, we're not waiting for the bricks and mortar to build our community! Co-op Owners are sharing our values and sharing good times through regular events like those listed above; movie screenings; group visits to restaurants, yoga studios, road races; last month's Wine Tasting; and our recent Owner Knowledge Swap (click here for Owner #55 Sofia Jouravel's terrific recap!).

We're connecting in our Owners' Facebook group!

You can share your Owner Pride in these other easy ways:

- Get your Owner Card (we'll send you a pdf to print out, with your Chicago Market Owner Number!)

- Did you know Owners are entitled to a free Chicago Market totebag? Pick yours up at the Spring Co-op Pop-Up or another upcoming event, or email us.

- You can buy additional totebags, or get a water bottle or yard sign to share your co-op love, here.

Got another idea? Come to our next Board meeting or Owner Meet-up and be a co-op community-builder.

Chicago Market, a community co-op

About Those Tomatoes…


Chicago Market is delighted to welcome back Master Gardner and tomato-growing fanatic Bob Zeni to our Spring Co-op Pop-Up market. Bob's tomato seedlings were super popular at our market last year, and this year he's offering even more tasty heirloom varieties, grown from seed and ready-to-transplant! Plants are free of pesticides, herbicides and growth treatments. Check out all his varieties and find out more here.

Chicago Market, a community co-op
Chicago Market, a community co-op
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