“Small and Strong” Food Co-op Conference Recap

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Four representatives of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op attended the “SMALL AND STRONG” Food Co-op Conference in Bloomington, MN, on November 7, 2015.  We learned from industry experts with organizations like Food Co-op Initiative, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, and CDS Consulting Co-op and networked with other Midwest food co-ops.  With topics like Financing the Startup Co-op and Designing an Effective Member Recruitment Campaign, we all returned with many new take-aways, but also with much reinforcement and encouragement.

For starters, we’re not in this alone: just in the Midwest, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate with food co-ops that are in startup mode, as well as great consultants who make helping co-ops their life’s work.  We are making a difference for our community; a co-op strengthens the entire community and is a source of pride.  And while much of the funding for a food co-op comes from its member-owners, ownership is more than just capital. It’s a pledge of support and an important source of leverage.

We thank the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation and the other conference presenters and sponsors for this opportunity to connect and learn with other co-op folks in our region.  We look forward to attending again next year!

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Crock Pot Apple Butter


Crock Pot Apple Butter

8 cups peeled and sliced apples -sweet varieties will make it sweeter of course (*apple peelers/corers/slicers are a good investment when doing big batches)

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/4 c. organic sugar (less or none if you want it less sweet, the apples are already sweet)

Put apples, spices, and sugar in crockpot with lid and turn it on high for 3-4 hours or until the apples soften. Use a smasher, immersion blender, or regular blender to purify the apples to a consistency you like. Put the mix back in the crock pot with the lid off and cook for 8-12 hours on low. You can do it on a stovetop in a large pan quicker if you want to stir more so it doesn’t burn to the bottom. The idea is to evaporate as  much moisture as you can, the longer its on the thicker it will get. When it’s ready, you can eat it, refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks, or *can it. 

*Apple peelers/corers/slicers > http://victorio.info/apple-peeler—clamp.html

*For canning instructions refer to a site such as this: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/apple_butter.html

From the Board President: The Fall Food Fest Delights All!

From the first few notes of Amelia and Melina’s opening set to the crew of volunteers from Green Iowa AmeriCorps helping clean up at the end of the evening, the second annual Fall Food Fest was a smashing success! If you haven’t seen photos from the event, check them out here.

Nearly 200 people attended the October 20 event held at the community center. They sampled food, watched cooking demonstrations, and many walked away with fantastic door prizes. The evening was a celebration of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op and our efforts to open a full-service grocery store. Many attendees became new member-owners at the event, helping us get closer to our total goal of 1,000 member-owners.

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New Member Incentive Program

How would you like to treat your friends (and yourself) with a coffee break, baked goods, or even an epic living room dance party? This November, your Cedar Falls Food Co-op Board members and committee members want to THANK YOU for supporting the Co-op by offering their time and talents. The offerings range from landscaping advice to knitting lessons to live dinner music, and many, many more! Your co-op board is a talented bunch, and you won’t want to miss out on seeing some of their passions as well as a chance to experience one firsthand. Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so you see these special incentives as they are posted. 

Here’s how it works: a couple times per week, the Co-op will post a new incentive on social media. The first person to join online after the incentive is posted wins it. Of course, all members who join, whether they win a giveaway or not, will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of membership. If you aren’t a member, this is a great time to join. If you are already a member, please help us out by sharing these posts and tagging friends who might be interested. 

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Meet Amy Andrews

The Cedar Falls Food Co-op is pleased to announce its first hire: Amy Andrews. Amy is the new Outreach Coordinator and she’s already proven to be a great addition to the Co-op’s team. “I’m really excited to join the Cedar Falls Food Co-op in supplying a readily available source of fresh and local food to the Cedar Valley,” said Amy, a recent graduate of Central College with a degree in environmental science and communications. “As a farm kid my interest in local food goes way back, and I’m still living on the family farm raising laying hens and dairy goats.” If you didn’t get a chance to meet Amy at the Fall Food Fest, you’ll be able to meet her at other upcoming events, including the Annual Member Meeting on November 10. Be sure to ask Amy about her international experiences in Wales, Romania and in Central America.


Membership Has Its Privileges

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Are you taking advantage of the savings that our local business partner program provides Cedar Falls Food Co-op Members?

If not, you should DEFINITELY check it out because you could EASILY earn back your investment into the co-op just by sharing your membership card with well over a dozen local businesses that have shared specials to all of our card-carrying members.

We are adding new businesses as often as we’re able to. And this month we’re excited to welcome Laughing Tree Café, Mulligan’s & Singlespeed Brewing Co. to our list of growing partners.

We are SO thankful for all the local business owners that believe in us, our business model & our mission enough to partner with us & pass along savings to our amazing family of owners!! Yes, that would be YOU! Not only do you get to own a grocery store with your friends, but you get to save money at many local area businesses that you’re most likely already shopping at…and if you’re not shopping there, please check out these places because these people believe in the culture & community of our wonderful town!

Click here to go to the entire listing of Business Partner Specials on our website.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Its time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu. If you are looking to try some new recipes to spice up your repertoire, we have tasty options featuring new flavors for you! Keep scrolling below to check out recipes for pumpkin cornbread and lentil stuffing. 

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A Co-op To Be Thankful For

Co-ops are valuable additions to the communities they belong to. Watch this quick video to learn what your Cedar Falls Food Co-op can bring to our town!

Win a Winter Getaway Package in October!

Winter Getaway Package:

If you are considering joining the Cedar Falls Food Co-op, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. October is National Co-op Month, so what better time to join? In preparation for the upcoming winter months, if you become a new member this month, either with full payment or by starting our monthly partial payment plan, we will enter you into a drawing for a Weekend Winter Getaway Package. You and up to five others can escape to the Big Woods Lake Cabin in Cedar Falls. This two-bedroom cabin comes with a kitchenette, living room, and bathroom with hot and cold running water. Head to the cabin on a snowy winter weekend and enjoy free ski and snowshoe rental for your whole crew. In addition, you will have a package of goodies to help keep your tummies warm and filled including hot chocolate, red wine, and some healthy snacks. Special thanks to Black Hawk County Parks, Europa Cycle & Ski, and the Runners Flat for their generous donations to make this package possible.



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From the Board President: What Does Cooperate Mean to You?

As I began writing my article for this month’s edition of The Garlic Press, I knew I wanted to talk about October being National Co-op Month. It’s a time to remind ourselves that co-ops enable people to work together to build businesses that are rooted in and accountable to their communities. And so I would, I had assumed, provide the litany of reasons why the Cedar Falls Food Co-op will be, once the doors are open, a great asset to the community.

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