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Changes for EA

June 29, 2015 by admin

We appreciate you.

Edible Alchemy is going through exciting changes this summer!
After much deliberation, we have decided to take a hiatus from our beloved shareprogram through the summer and into the fall.  The last day for EA shares will be May 30th.  Our plans are to re-evaluate where we are in late September and decide whether or not to continue.
We value your support, excitement, community, and dedication to EA over the past 6 years.  This is not an easy choice for us, but it will allow Edible Alchemy to develop & evolve in new ways.  We need the space to grow and focus.  Our workshops, community dinners, mobile kitchen projects, chef’s collective and rooftop garden are asking for more of our time nowadays, and we’re ready to give it to them!
Keep your eyes peeled for our workshops, dinners, brunches, events, and more happening throughout the summer and blooming in the fall.   We’re not going away, but rather changing how we do things.  We will continue to stock pickles, kimchi, jams chocolate, cold drinks, kombucha, and such for purchase during workshops & events.  You are welcome to stop by Eco by appointment to pick things up (email to arrange this).Our Feastival Fundraiser will be Saturday July 25th at Eco, still!  Save the date, and keep your ears and eyes out for how to participate and be involved.  We’ll have an underground dinner, music, dancing, workshops, performances, and special speakers. We’ll be splitting all funds raised with the Eco Collective for our community house repairs and upkeep.  Edible Alchemy funds raised will go into :

-a workshop scholarship fund (to cover tuition for anyone to apply.)
-free workshop days with guest teachers & hands on food workshops (funds to cover material expenses)
-community event hosting
– our food scholarship program (even without the shares we always have extra veggies & pickles)
-have an idea?  let us know where our funds can best support the community!!!

To continue on your healthy vegetable train:
Consider a CSA
-Our friend at the Urban Canopy have an amazing locally focused CSA called the LUCSA.  Including bread, kombucha, baked goods, canned goods, and other locally artisan made goodies.  Available weekly delivered for $40/week or a half share for  $25/week.  Contact them for more information
-Check out the Local Beet’s CSA guide.  The 2015 guide isn’t yet up, but the 2014 guide has great resources that will be very similar to the 2015 guide.
Check out Chicago Farmer’s Markets
-Our weekly Sunday Pilsen market has amazing vendors in the Byline Bank parking lot at Halsted & 18th on Sundays.
The Green City Market has a huge variety, and most of the vendors that we source from for EA.  Located at Clark just south of Lincon, each Wednesday & Saturday through October.
the Chicago Farmer’s Market Guide has lots of information for whatever neighborhood you’re in.
Support Local Grocery Stores & Local Economies!
Belli’s Juice Bar : 1223 W 18th Street :
-Plenty Good Food : 2036 W Division Street, just west of Damen :  773-270-1509
-Open Produce : 1635 East 55th Street:   (773) 496-4327
-The Green Grocer : 1402 W Grand Ave :
-Newleaf Natural Grocery : 1261 W Loyola :
Join an established or a budding Chicago land Co-operative
-The Dill Pickle Food Co-op is well alive and kickin’ in Logan Square. 3039 W Fullerton Ave
-The Chicago Market Co-op is in the toddler stages of getting things up and running.  Become a member now to support their endeavors as they grow!
-The Oak Park based Sugar Beet Co-op is building it’s grocery location now.  Education, grocery, deli, and more on the way!
Once again, we value YOU, and your dedication to your health, local economies, local food systems, healthy organic food, and to Edible Alchemy.  We thank you deeply for helping us to grow and learn as we built this project from idea infancy to maturity.  We couldn’t have done it without each and everyone of you.  Thank you for lending your hands, lending your energy, well wishes, good intentions, celebrations, helping us sort & drive & decorate & organize & clean & cook & eat.  You are what inspires us within EA, and you are what we are working towards deepening and developing events & experiences for in the future.
In the light of being fully transparent with you all we’d like to share our thoughts in what went into making this decision.
-It’s hard for us to keep our prices down & coordinators compensated with infrequent volunteering by our members.  Our financials are structured assuming all members will lend a hand to keep coordinators work load lower, thusly more of a a cooperative model.  We’ve moved away from this volunteerism and cooperation in past years and more towards a normal business, which we never intended to do.
-Running a grocery store has never been our intention, and we recognize that the amount of time we’re able to put into the store/share program is hindering our ability to pursue other avenues of EA that we want to develop.
–There are many more CSA share programs, farmers markets, local stores, big corporate stores, and home delivery programs that offer very similar services to EA.  We have found that our share sales have suffered with the advent of these (exciting and awesome) other services.  We don’t believe in putting EA funds into large scale marketing, thus our share sales and reach has diminished.  Spending our time looking for sales & scrambling to disseminate losses with preservation is stressful and not the best use of our time, we have decided.
-We need a break.  We’ve been doing this for 6 years now, and have found it hard with our once a week pickup to consistently employ other individuals for more than a few months at a time.  Constant training and reteaching of our method takes much of our time.-Our other projects want to take priority in our lives: Andrea’s dance performance career is taking off, Dietrich’s yoga teaching is soaring, and workshops on food & preserving & hooping & anatomy are being asked for much more than we can give them.  Extra time will allow us to pursue workshops & events, education & community to a greater level.

In short, this has been a very, very hard decision.  But one that we ultimately knew was coming.  We want to thank the food pod at Alchemist‘s Anonymous for getting us on our feet, and each and everyone of you who has come to volunteer and support this beautiful project.  We hope that you continue to co-create with us in the future!  The best is yet to come.

with love,
Andrea & Dietrich

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