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What is Southside Market? 

Southside Market is a neighborhood micro-grocery and cafe on the Chicago South Side owned by community members and employees. Through cooperative ownership, we invite you to invest in our mission and engage with us in building a vibrant, healthy food hub. As soon as June 2024, Southside Market will officially become a cooperative corporation under Illinois law.


What is a co-op?

Imagine a grocery co-op as a store where the community is in charge. Instead of a big corporation owning it, the people who shop there own it together. This means the community makes decisions about what products to carry and how the store is run. So, when you shop at a co-op, you're not just a customer but part of the team making it all happen. It's like having a say in your shopping experience and being part of something bigger than buying groceries.


When will the store open?

We are hoping to open in the Summer of 2024!


What kind of products will the store carry?

We aim to offer a diverse range of products to meet the needs and preferences of our community. You can expect fresh produce, pantry staples, dairy products, baked goods, and specialty items. Additionally, we'll prioritize sourcing locally and sustainably wherever possible to support our community and the environment.


Does the store accept SNAP, WIC, and LINK payments?

Yes! Once we are open, we will gladly accept SNAP, WIC, and LINK for in-store purchases, and you can get double or triple rewards for shopping with us.

How do I become a community member owner?

During the interim period before the store opens, you can become a “Founding Owner” by filling out this Community Member Ownership Application. This application will ask for some basic information and will also require you to indicate how many shares you'd like to purchase to become an owner (minimum 1 share). Once you've completed the application and paid for your share… “Congratulations! You're officially a Community Member Owner of our co-op, and you're part of the team shaping our community-owned grocery store!” 

What are the different tiers of member ownership in the co-op?

We have two tiers of member ownership, with an additional title for those who purchase shares between now and June 2024:

  1. Community Member Owner: If you purchase 1 share of ownership, you become a Community Member Owner. You're an essential part of our co-op community.

  2. Legacy Owner: If you purchase 2-5 shares of ownership, you become a Legacy Owner. You're not just a member; you're leaving a lasting impact on our co-op for generations to come!

What is a "Founding" owner?

A "Founding" owner is someone who purchases ownership shares between now and June 2024. This special recognition is added to their membership title, regardless of whether they are a Community Member Owner or a Legacy Owner. For example, if you purchase 3 shares before June 2024, you will be known as a "Founding Legacy Owner."

How do I pay?

In the Community Member Ownership Application, you’ll see that we offer three convenient payment options for purchasing your ownership shares:

  1. Venmo: You can Venmo the amount based on the shares you are purchasing to @chisouthsidemarket. Make sure to include your Full Name and Southside Market Ownership in the comment section.

  2. Zelle: You can use Zelle to send payment to Again, don't forget to include your Full Name and Southside Market Ownership in the comment section.

  3. Cash: If you prefer to pay in cash, we'll be hosting an in-person signing event in May 2024 where you can pay onsite.

Additionally, we understand that everyone's financial situation is different, so payment plan options are available to make ownership accessible to all members of our community. If you are interested in a payment plan, simply indicate your request on Community Member Ownership Application, and our team will follow up with details.

How much are the shares, and how many can I buy?

Shares are $50 per share, and you can have up to 5 shares total. 

Why would I want to be a community member-owner?

By joining as a community member-owner, you get perks like discounts when you shop, invites to special events for members, and even a patronage refund based on how much you support the store(often called a “dividend”). Plus, you get a say at Southside Market by voting on important decisions at board meetings. Each community member-owner receives one (1) vote, no matter how many shares they have.


What do I need to do to retain my ownership?

In a word, participate. There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved with Southside Market, whether it be shopping at the market, volunteering, attending board meetings, or voting as an active community member-owner.

Who can become a community member-owner?

Any Illinois resident can become a member of Southside Market. 


What is the best way to help the co-op?

Firstly, consider becoming a community member-owner. It's a way to invest in the co-op's future while gaining ownership benefits. Secondly, simply by grocery shopping at the store, you're contributing to its success. Every purchase counts towards sustaining the co-op's mission. Lastly, volunteering is another invaluable way to pitch in if you have the time and inclination. Whether helping out at events or lending a hand in-store, your support keeps the co-op thriving


What if I move or don’t want my share(s) anymore?

We appreciate you being a part of our cooperative and will miss you! You can notify Southside Market by emailing to buy back your membership share. You cannot sell your shares to another person.


What is a dividend?

A dividend is like a bonus or a share of the profits that the co-op returns to you because you're a member. It's a little thank-you for supporting the co-op by shopping there. Your payout, based on your support, is at the discretion of the board. The dividend size and payout timing will be calculated and distributed based on the organization's financial state and your patronage and volunteer hours.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! We welcome volunteers who are passionate about supporting our community and co-op mission. Whether you're interested in helping out with events, assisting in-store, or contributing your skills in other ways, we'd love to have you join our volunteer team. Contact us or visit our store to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved.

I have a question that isn’t listed here.

Please contact us with questions at

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