Strengthening Chicago's Local Food Ecosystem: The Common Market's Acquisition of Local Foods

In a significant development for Chicago's local food scene, The Common Market, our renowned nonprofit local food distributor, proudly announced its recent acquisition of Local Foods, a well-established local food wholesaler in the Chicagoland area. This strategic acquisition is poised to bolster the cause of local, sustainable food and enhance the resilience of the regional food supply chain.

Local Foods' Vital Role:

For a decade, Local Foods has played a pivotal role in connecting local farmers and producers with various stakeholders in Chicagoland, including restaurants, retailers, schools, and more. The company's commitment to supporting local agriculture has been instrumental in the growth of the local food movement. Common Market acquisition underscores the shared values and dedication of both organizations to empower local farmers and strengthen communities.

The Common Market's Vision:

The Common Market, founded in 2008 by Tatiana Garcia-Granados and Haile Johnston, operates as a dynamic nonprofit aggregator and distributor of local food. They specialize in connecting farmers who prioritize sustainable and ethical farming practices with underserved communities, schools, hospitals, and businesses in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Texas regions. With a mission deeply rooted in social and environmental equity, The Common Market operates at the intersection of climate, agriculture, food access, and community resilience. Their aim is to make fresh, healthy, locally sourced food accessible to all.

Impressive Impact:

Over the years, The Common Market has made a profound impact on local food systems, generating over $130 million in direct investments and supporting more than 30,000 acres of productive farmland. This acquisition is a testament to their commitment to furthering the cause of local food and expanding their reach to new regions.

Excitement and Commitment:

Haile Johnston, Co-CEO of The Common Market, expressed his enthusiasm about the merger, stating, "We are thrilled to unite with Local Foods in this endeavor to strengthen our local food ecosystem. We look forward to a very bright future, one that creates enhanced experiences for our customers, and deepens and diversifies opportunities for our farmer partners."

Dan Dahir, Director of Local Foods, shared his excitement for the collaboration, emphasizing the potential for a more vibrant, sustainable Chicagoland foodshed. "At the core of this decision is our shared commitment to delivering exclusively local food to positively impact our partners: our farms and our communities. We firmly believe that the synergies between Local Foods and The Common Market will increase our ability to drive more impact for farmers in our region and those in need of quality food."

Community Support:

The acquisition of Local Foods was made final on October 27, 2023, with law firm Ballard Spahr providing pro bono support, demonstrating their commitment to The Common Market's mission. Ballard Spahr has been supporting the nonprofit for over a decade and has also contributed funds to the Philadelphia Healthy Food Initiative, furthering community-driven healthier food solutions where they are needed most.

Seamless Integration:

Both The Common Market and Local Foods are working diligently to seamlessly integrate their operations, ensuring that there are minimal disruptions in service. They welcome new partnerships and urge institutions interested in connecting to local, sustainable food sources to get in touch through their website at

Are you a historic customer of Local Foods? Shoot us a note to reconnect!

The Common Market's acquisition of Local Foods represents a significant step forward in strengthening Chicago's local food ecosystem. This partnership between two organizations committed to sustainable, locally sourced food will undoubtedly have a positive impact on local farmers, communities, and the region's food supply chain. We can look forward to an even more vibrant and sustainable food scene in Chicagoland! To learn more about The Common Market and their mission, please visit

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The acquisition of Local Foods was made final on October 27, 2023.