New Year + New Faces + Hopeful New Spaces!

An Exciting Year in Review!

We've had an exciting year here at the Food Shed, from Goat Yoga sessions to successful fundraisers, winning contests, fabulous outreach events, fun-filled co-op community nights and parties, the addition of more than three dozen new owners to our community, the start of a great relationship with McHenry County College, and an amazing year-end holiday celebration!



Thank You

The Food Shed community is made up of many socially-conscious owners, local businesses, supporters and volunteers who've generously given their time and donations throughout the past year. Here are a few highlights of our community's generosity in 2018:

  • More than 500 pounds of food donated to food pantries all over McHenry County, thanks to holiday party attendees’ donations and local farms who donated to the Empty Bowls fundraiser at MCC!
  • Our $200 Founding Owner holiday party winner donated her prize back to the Food Shed Co-op!
  • Dozens of Food Shed owners and supporters volunteered their time at more than 35 outreach events, including helping nonprofit organizations like McHenry County PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter), committee meetings, board meetings, and administrative work (thank you Pam for your newsletter proofreading and copyediting!)
  • More than 400 Food Shed community owners and supporters took the time to complete our important Store Vision Survey!
  • More than 50 Food Shed owners & local business supporters donated local food, products, and services multiple times and made our special events even more special!

All of you made this past year memorable, while paving the way for new developments in 2019!


Let's keep the momentum going in this new year by continuing to tell our friends and neighbors about the Food Shed Co-op. Let them know the benefits of building our community-owned grocery store -  a store that's sure to be full of great local food, smiling faces, and many years of meaningful experiences!


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Holiday - Celebrate - Let's Get To Eight!

Holiday - Celebrate - Let's Get to Eight!

Treat Yourself This Holiday: OWN It!

Join us Sunday afternoon, December 9th, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm for the most wonderful time of the year at Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen. Enjoy delicious appetizers, drinks (cash bar), raffle prizes, silent auction and live music with local musician Julie Gibson, while catching up with your Food Shed friends! Holiday Party Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance, on our website Event page.

If you've been thinking about becoming an owner of a grocery store that will offer more locally-sourced, nutritional food products, now's the time! You'll be welcoming a new year soon, and be that much closer to helping get YOUR grocery store open for business!

All new owners will receive a FREE Food Shed Co-op T-shirt, yard sign, and bumper sticker, so you can start showing everyone your co-op pride!

Chance to Win $200!

We’re offering any new owner who signs up from TODAY up until party time on Sunday, December 9th at 4pm to have their name entered into a raffle to win $200! That’s the value of a Founding Owner membership!

Invite Friends to Become Owners!

Bring 'em to the party! In fact, bring everyone you know who's ready to sign up and become Food Shed Co-op Owners! Now is a great time to celebrate and wrap up an amazing year of getting closer to opening our store. But we need to reach our goals to make that happen. Our next goal: 800 owners before the end of the year!

Give the Gift of Ownership!

It's the perfect time of year to purchase Food Shed Co-op ownerships as a gift for a friend or loved one. If you bring a non-owner to sign up, you'll get an extra raffle ticket!

Silent Auction + Raffle Prizes!

Don't miss out on your chance to win fun, delicious, and relaxing raffle prizes from local merchants, including multiple high-value gift baskets, Terra Vitae Farms gift pack, Golf for 4 with Golf Cart at Chalet Hills Golf Club in Cary, Jewelry from Triskele Moon, Fused Glass Art Classes from Glassworks by Kim, Massage Therapy Gift Certificate from Tarja Anchor, Riverbottom Ice Cream gift cards, and more.

Canned Food Drive!

We'll also be collecting quality canned goods to be donated to the Crystal Lake Food Pantry and the Woodstock Food Pantry. Please contribute if you can and help those in our community who are food insecure this season.

NOTE: Holiday Party Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance on our website Event page. Increase your chance of winning prizes by purchasing additional raffle tickets at the party! A cash bar will be available at an additional cost.

Exciting Next Steps!

Since making our proposal to McHenry County College's Board of Trustees in August, we continue to receive positive feedback from their board, the MCC community, Food Shed owners, and our surrounding local community in pursuing this path to plant our store.

In fact, we have continued our conversations with the MCC leadership team during the past month and will keep you updated with any new developments in the near future.

We're optimistic about this direction for our location, which brings us to our next stage of success: We need 800 owners to secure our site. Though we've grown to 631 proud owners, we’ll need more Food Shed Co-op owners and money to successfully come into this next phase and announce our home base for our cooperative grocery store.

WE CAN DO IT,  just like hundreds of other co-ops across the nation who have successfully gone before us! Here's an infographic to help visualize our exciting next steps:

Food Shed's Stages of Success Roadmap

(Disclaimer: Infographic is tentative and may be subject to change)


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Happy Co-Optober! Fundraising Success + Events

Happy Co-Optober!

Celebrate National Co-op month with us by becoming a Food Shed Co-op owner! Be the first new owner in October, and you'll get a $25 gift card to 1776 restaurant in Crystal Lake; 1776 is known for incorporating locally-sourced ingredients into their delicious, high-quality dishes.

Already an owner? Great, you can refer a friend or someone you know to the Food Shed, and if they become an owner, we have a surprise gift for you too!

Empty Bowls Fundraiser Success!

We are excited to share with you that our partnership with McHenry County College’s Empty Bowls fundraising event raised more than $3,000 for MCC's new student food pantry! A portion of the proceeds were also given to Crystal Lake's food pantry, which included money raised from the Food Shed Co-op’s "pop-up" style food store, full of products from our valued locally-sourced farmers and food artisans.

Thank you to MCC's team, including Tracy Champion and Chef Tina, and all the Food Shed Co-op volunteers and board members who made this fundraiser a success: Carina Vowels, Jenn Feeley, Eva Bee, Scott & Kim Brix, Rusty Foszcz, and Martie Gorman. Thank you also to our amazing musical acts, who donated their time and talent: Jim Green (, Trillium the Band (, Woodstock HS Chamber Orchestra featuring Lyndra Bastian (, and the Woodland Spirit Flute Circle (

A big thanks to our local farms and food artisans for their generous food donations: The Paulsons of Brad & Cindi's Produce (Brodhead, WI), Bushel & Peck's (Beloit, WI), Sue Rekenthaler of Natural Farm Stand (Richmond, IL), Lisa Faber of Sunshine Preserves, Loyola Farm at Loyola's Retreat & Ecology Center (Woodstock, IL), and Nichol's Farm (Marengo, IL).


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