September 2023 newsletter

Chicago Market Newsletter — September 2023


Annual Meeting

We're excited to host our Annual Meeting in person this year. RSVP so you don't miss it.

We'll cover many important topics of interest and highly encourage ALL Owners and household Owners to attend.

We'll give fiscal year-end and construction status updates, introduce candidates for the Board of Directors, and host guest speaker Marty Travis of Spence Farm and Down at the Farms, LLC.

Board members and General Manager Dan Arnett will be on hand to answer questions before, during, and after the meeting.

Want to be featured in our meeting slideshow? Click here to tell us why you became an Owner of Chicago Market and upload a photo!

September 24, 2023, Wilson Abbey, 935 W. Wilson
1:30pm: Doors open for pre-meeting info tables and Q&A
2:00pm–3:30pm: Annual Meeting
3:30pm–4:00pm: Additional Q&A and info table time
4:30–6:00pm: Optional post-meeting social gathering (cash bar; Uptown Taproom, 1265 W. Wilson)

Impacting Grocery Throughout Illinois

Everyone deserves access to fresh, healthy, affordable food, right in their community, and Chicago Market will deliver on that with our SNAP/Link Match programs as well as our Ownership Grant Program discounts and more. But we also work to advocate for other areas that need access, and we had an opportunity this spring to sit down with Illinois State Representative Mary Beth Canty and others to inform a bill she was leading. We're excited to share that on August 18, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 850 into law, which establishes the Illinois Grocery Initiative. The Illinois Grocery Initiative is a multi-pronged policy designed to address food deserts across the state. It will support existing grocers and encourage new grocery stores to open through incentive opportunities.

Our Board President, Matthew Ruffi, represented Chicago Market at the bill signing ceremony near St. Louis.

"A lack of access to healthy, fresh food contributes directly to higher rates of heart disease and diabetes, as well as increased frequency of anxiety and depression. These problems hamper economic growth, so when communities anywhere struggle with food access, we all pay the price,"
- Rep. Mary Beth Canty

Meet Your Board Candidates

Several of your fellow Owners are running for a seat on our Board of Directors. They have answered a series of questions to help you make an informed decision when you vote. We encourage you to read their Candidate Statements here.

Our election will take place through an online voting tool and begins on Friday, Sept. 22 at 12:00am. You'll receive an email from Chicago Market with the link to vote. Voting will be open until Thursday, Sept. 28 at 11:59pm.

Foodshed Champions

Foodshed Champions raises up the activists, advocates, and organizations in our foodshed who are making a difference. Learn more about them and support any way you can.

Gardeneers works with Chicago’s South- and Westside schools and communities to contribute positively to the larger food system. They do this by supporting youth in school garden and farm programs to build their own knowledge, skills, and habits to become leaders who care for themselves, their environment, and their communities.

Chicago Market is proud to have Gardeneers with us as long-time Owner #761.

Get involved as a volunteer or donor to support the continued programming Gardeneers offers. 

Your Board and GM are shepherding the construction process forward as diligently and quickly as we can, but we want to let you know of a few delays that are out of our control.

Two key factors need resolution from outside agencies — financing and permitting.

Our final bank loan is being backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is terrific and lets us borrow enough for our project. But it is a government agency that moves at its own pace. Everything is submitted and underwritten at our bank; we just await SBA's final approval.

We'll submit all our detailed construction drawings to the Department of Buildings and they'll need time to review and approve our work and issue permits. Our construction timeline remains solid at 7-8 months in duration, and we're pleased to report that supply chain delays on equipment have been resolved and we expect no delays as we order equipment.

But construction cannot begin without permits in hand from the City and we understand that department is backed up.

Our construction drawings are nearly ready to submit for permits. We are just working with Peoples Gas on site selection for some of their gas line equipment (that also needs approval from historical review agencies). Once location is settled, we can make last adjustments to our drawings and submit them. We do have a permitting expeditor on our team.

We had hoped to open in spring 2024, but we've revised our Timeline to reflect our current understanding.

A project of this magnitude has a LOT of moving parts and we're overseeing them mindfully for you, but some items rely on outside forces. Thanks for your understanding and we'll keep updating you with forward and backward shifts in our progress — they are a natural part of building the grocery store we all love and look forward to shopping!
Follow along on the process of your store with this visual of our Timeline.
Here are the most recent progress steps:
  • We completed a site survey as required by the Department of Buildings for our permit submission. 

Uptown Farmers Market Community Corner

Our farmers market celebrates organizations in our community by providing them a booth at our market. Be sure to visit them. Upcoming Community Corner participants are:

September 13 — Alexis Zimmer State Farm
September 20 — Cornerstone Community Outreach
September 27 — Uptown Branch, Chicago Public Library
October 4 — Institute of Cultural Affairs


Get Involved

Your Co-op is a nationally recognized project that will have incredible impact on our local economy and the local food system. Invest in Preferred Shares now—you benefit and your Co-op can lower its reliance on bank debt. 

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Not up for investing but want to help your Co-op financially?

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