Chicago Food Stop

The Lempert Report
January 13, 2023

Phil: And one of those that I'm very excited about is a Chicago popup. It's called the Chicago Food Stop Popup. It's at 875 North Michigan Avenue. The, that's the old, not Transamerica building, but, oh I forgot what it is. Okay. But it's that old big black building that was there. And John Hancock building. And what they've done is they've created this pop-up store in the space of a Best Buy. So Best Buy's are big stores. So they've got a bunch of these companies that are out there. 

Phil: A lot of chefs are putting their product in there, and they're also telling the stories about all these products. And to be honest with you, I think that this is great. One of the vendors called Here, Here Market. It's an online food boutique started 16 months ago. What they have is they have over 40 products in there, and it's from well-known chefs from Mott Street, Monteverde, Kims Ski, Bang bang Pie and Biscuit. It has 160 different creators of foods. And you know, when I look at this pop-up, typically when we've seen pop-ups, it's been for a brand, if you would, or a couple brands, but they're really pushing Chicago and I just love this idea. And the other thing that they're doing that I think is significant, the staffing is using six kids who are 18 to 25 through a paid partnership with the Youth Job Center. So, you know, they're really not only helping the companies, helping the kids, but also giving some really unique foods to the people who live in Chicago. 

Sally: Absolutely. And you know, one thing we have been learning is that consumers want to hear the brand story. They want to know where it comes from. We've been hearing that for a few years now, that's been building. So giving, giving these entrepreneurs an opportunity to tell their stories. And it also sort of enhances the culture of Chicago food. And I would love to see this happen in all cities. 

Phil: Yeah, it would be great. And just the excitement, the enthusiasm in the food communities when they do this, is unparalleled. It's great.