Chicago Market's Vision includes the word "connected" and this spring the Board launched a new team that has the goal of connecting you with your food, even now before we're an open grocery store.
The To Market, To Market team is working to bring you local food and support our farmers and food producers at the same time.
We began our research about the time COVID-19 hit and reached out to many farmers and local food producers. We were able to connect with and interview more than 10 of them and learned a few things:
their CSAs filled up and they were not in need of additional sales outlets;
the farmers markets reopened fairly quickly and alleviated some of the initial concern farmers had about where to sell this summer;
despite lots of effort, Chicago Market was not initially able to find any farmers/producers with a need that we could fulfill - which is actually good news for our farmers/producers!
We were also paying close attention to the mid-term Firebrand feasibility report and learned that compared to other cities, Chicago does not have a great deal of local, accessible food, other than farmer's markets. Chicago Market can help fill that need NOW by connecting farmers and producers who may not currently have access to Chicago customers.
The team is building relationships now with two partners who we think can bring some exciting and delicious foods to you and we'll announce the details soon.
We also want your insight and connections! If you've heard about a farmer or local food producer who you think we may be able to help, let us know. Similarly, if you have an interest in being a volunteer for this (or any other) team, please reach out and we'll be in touch.
Stay tuned and stay hungry!