Today I discovered that the wheels are in motion to drum up support for a new food co-op in Chicago - specifically up in the Lincoln Square/North Center area. Check out this damn exciting vision from the Chicago Cooperative website:
The vision for the food co-op is that it will be a big, bright, beautiful store featuring organic, local, and natural produce, organic meat and dairy products, seafood, prepared foods, fresh baked goods, canned, dried, and frozen foods, bulk foods, local beer, wine and liquor products, dry goods and groceries. It will also have other services including true butcher service, a salad bar, juice and coffee bar, community workshops, and classes. Members will shape and further define this vision and the future of the co-op.
Yes please! As a long time member of the incredible Madison, Wisconsin Williamson Street Coop, I have long pined for an excellent, full service co-op here in Chicago. As a college student in Madison in the mid 90s, I belonged to the Willy Street Coop when it was in a small space. It was great, but magic happened when a group of visionaries there decided to push for and build a full service grocery using the co-op model. Willy Street has became integral to the community that surrounds it, it has benefited small artisans and farmers across the local region, it has nourished families and provided many important, sustainable jobs to it workers. The possibility of this happening here is daunting but I encourage anyone interested to please sign up on the website - attend an informational session. A co-op truly is owned by the community and it's only as limited or limitless as it's base of support.