Readers of Chicago Market’s blog – and attendees at our Co-op events – often hear us refer to Chicago Market’s “Business Owners.” We’ve started to get questions about who they are, what they do – and what the benefits of Business Ownership are. To answer these queries, we’re taking the classic journalism approach to deliver everything you need to know about this great opportunity to support Chicago Market – and your business, too!
If you are the Owner of a small (or large) business or nonprofit organization, your establishment can become a “Business Owner” of Chicago Market. All that’s required is the following:
- Your organization aligns with the Co-op’s Mission and Values
- You agree to partner with Chicago Market on cross-promotions and events
- You support the “shop local” philosophy (which you demonstrate by becoming a Business Owner and helping Chicago Market reach its goals!)
There is no difference in Ownership costs or Ownership benefits between individual Owners (Founding or Cultivating) and Business Owners.
There is, however, a great synergy that emerges when Business Owners and Chicago Market co-sponsor events or otherwise collaborate. Business Owners and Chicago Market tend to describe it as “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Joining forces with other businesses in the community creates a unique, shop-local business support network that helps cement everyone’s success.
FYI: Being a Business Owner does not automatically guarantee that one’s products or services will be a shoe-in for the Co-op once it’s open. As with all decisions, our General Manager and buyers will follow our Purchasing Values, sales projections and customer demand to make those decisions.
You can become a Business Owner of Chicago Market at any time – even if you’re already an individual Owner. Let us know you meet the requirements and we can switch your Ownership. Just like that!
You might presume that just like Chicago cops, fire fighters and schoolteachers, a business or nonprofit needs to be located within Chicago Market’s established market area to become a Business Owner. Not true. No matter where you’re located in the city of Chicago, if you’d like to be a Business Owner, you can be!
Why become a Business Owner? Just ask our latest entrant in this category, Fat Cat Restaurant and Bar, owned by Cy Oldham. Curiously, Fat Cat became a Business Owner on August 20 – the very same night it hosted one of our Info Sessions! By doing so it created an object lesson for what Business Ownership is all about: Fat Cat helped Chicago Market by agreeing to host one of our Info Sessions…and our event introduced some Chicago Market-curious folks to their bar and restaurant!
Fat Cat Manager Cynthia (Cy) Oldman said she decided to purchase a Business Ownership for Fat Cat because she's "invested in Uptown, and I like supporting other businesses like Chicago Market who are doing so, too."
"Fat Cat has been here for 11 years," Cy says. "These are my people. This is my neighborhood. We're as close to a mom-and-pop shop as you can get, and I like hanging on to that. Becoming a Business Owner of Chicago Market is just one of the ways I can support all the hard-working people who patronize me."
If you’d like to talk to one of our Board members about becoming a Business Owner, just email! We’ll get right back to you.