Update: The Scoop from Our GM on the New Market Study

Hello, Cooperators!

Chicago Market commissioned a new market study recently by G2G – a firm that largely specializes in food co-op market analysis. While we have had two other studies in the past, the market is always evolving, as are our plans and opportunities. We also need to have fresh data to aid in our capitalization efforts. That data is in – and it looks very promising!

Due to the competitive nature of our industry, I will refrain from openly advertising our proprietary data. What I can share is that our study confirms the viability of the Gerber Building site for our food co-op. Not only that, the study projects our opening volume to be among the highest ever achieved by a new food co-op! While studies are no guarantee of performance, our analyst has a very strong predictive track record for food co-ops like ours. There is every reason to be confident in our site (the building and grounds) and our location (the neighborhood and connected areas). We benefit from very strong public transport access and good parking for our dense, urban area. There is a diverse population with compatible needs and aspirations relative to our cooperative. We also have great pedestrian and bike access. Add to that a sufficient square footage for retail in an iconic building, and you have the makings of an unusually good forecast for a start-up food co-op.

After over twenty years in food co-op management, I have seen many startup efforts. I cannot say any have had a better opportunity to serve their communities from a specific piece of real estate than we have in front of us. In fact, I think we have a generational opportunity. Our market study backs this up. The best part of this, other than the amazing chance we will have to make positive impacts across our community, is the security we will likely have in weathering the early periods of operation. Our pro forma was built to handle a sales shortfall from prior projections in an effort to be prudent. As the potential for the Co-op has apparently grown, the proforma has become even more promising – and it already had projected remarkable resilience. 

We all know that the Co-op has been in development for a number of years, and perhaps some of you have had some doubts about our future. It is worth considering that, from the point of active organizing to opening a store, start-up food co-ops presently take 7-10 years to materialize. With full funding achieved, including the necessary capital to be raised from our Owners, we should open by summer 2023 or earlier. 

Our market study gives us credible reason to believe in this project as it is developing. Our values give us compelling reason to be hopeful that our Co-op will live up to our best intentions. We have a site, a manager, a farmers market, and many other excellent indicators of momentum at this stage of development. I could not be more excited about the future of Chicago Market. GO CO-OP!!

In cooperation,
Dan Arnett
General Manager

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