Cedar Falls Food Co-op 2019: The Year in Review

As February commences, I’ve had time to gather statistics and reflect upon this past year of your Co-op and what a productive year it’s been! As with any business, there are highlights and challenges and I’ve provided my take on these below. While there is still much to be done, with everyone’s support and contributions, our goals are attainable. I’m grateful to all who have joined this journey.

– Melanie Drake, Outreach Coordinator

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I Love My Co-op Community

By Jane Markowitz

My partner, Max, and I moved to Cedar Falls in August from NYC. We didn’t know a soul in the entire state of Iowa and our first week moving here, we explored downtown Cedar Falls and stumbled upon the Saturday farmer’s market. While wandering around and checking out different stalls we encountered the Co-op booth. We were informed about an opportunity to volunteer at a local farm, Kaiser Farms, and were invited to come along. We showed up not really knowing what to expect and when we arrived we were met with friendly and welcoming faces. After that day I was hooked and quickly became immersed in the community.Continue reading

A Life-changing Experience – Volunteering for the Co-op

On a winter evening, I walk into the brightly lit home and already sense the energy. Greetings ring out from the kitchen where some are already gathering, filling their glasses with sparkling water or wine, placing delectable snacks on the table, and sharing their recent news with one another. As others arrive, the jovial noise in the room increases. Soon, Joy claps her hands together and calls out, “Let’s get down to business, shall we?” Slowly the chatter quiets down as people take their seats around the table, still glowing from the conversation, invigorated to start the meeting. The next ninety or so minutes bring lively discussion, idea-generating, lighthearted banter, and much collaboration. This is the membership (newly dubbed outreach and education) committee meeting held once a month, and I look forward to it each time. Who can say that about meetings they attend? But the common cause (to bring our brick and mortar cooperative grocery store to fruition in this community) which brings this group of volunteers together is really what motivates us all, and why participating in this way is so meaningful.Continue reading

Winter soup recipe: Posole

I have always thought that winter was a great time to make new soups and stews. My mother loved her chicken noodle soup. She made the noodles with a big wooden board and a rolling pin. Sometimes we got to help. My favorite soups are Posole and Hot and Sour Soup. Both of these soups end up being a kind of “everything but the kitchen sink” variety of soup. Here is my version of posole.Continue reading

Your Co-op Wants You!

Have you ever wondered about what’s going on with the Co-op and how to get more involved? The time has never been better.

Come on out! Mingle and learn – bring a friend for your chance to win this spring garden pack or other door prizes!

Come out to the Cedar Falls Public Library on Wednesday, January 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. to gain an in-depth understanding of your community Co-op and to learn about the many ways you can volunteer (one-time and ongoing). We’ll provide delicious local snacks and the opportunity to meet others interested in the Co-op movement.

We promise to greet you with hot cocoa upon your arrival, while sharing our excitement about our community-grown grocery store, and letting you know what is happening with the co-op RIGHT NOW. You’ll then be better informed as you help your Co-op spread the word. We will also help YOU find YOUR perfect niche so you can assist YOUR COMMUNITY in getting our co-op here soon. Most importantly, we’ll have fun because co-ops are community, and we love celebrating ours. We’ll even announce our Co-op Community Volunteer of the Month plus have a door prizes for some lucky participants!

Do I have to be a Co-op member-owner to come?
No, and you don’t have to join, but, of course, we’ll have member share forms available should you wish to do so that night.

I’m a member-owner, can I bring someone with me who is not yet a member-owner?
Yes, that would be super! In fact, that would be so super that ANY member who brings a guest on a cold January evening to the warm library Community Room for this event will be entered into a drawing for a door prize.

Your co-op is growing. Meet the movers and shakers behind this work, and become part of the Co-op movement. See you on January 22!

Celebrate Local Producers at the Annual Local Food Dinner on February 5

Enjoy delicious dishes featuring local foods while hearing about the local food movement in the Cedar Valley. This annual dinner, held at this time of year (off-season for farming so that local producers can participate), is a great way to celebrate the bounty we produce right here in this region. Sponsored by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education, this event is co-hosted by the Diamond Event Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Cedar Falls Food Co-op.

Mark your calendar and get your tickets soon! The Annual Local Food Dinner this year is on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. There will be a social hour from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. with dinner and program to follow (6:30 – 8 p.m.).Continue reading

From the Board President: New Year, New Changes, and New Energy

Happy New Year!

I know this might come as a surprise to a few of you, but serving as the Co-op’s president isn’t my full-time job! Just like the majority of the Co-op volunteers, we all have regular jobs, so we do our best to squeeze in Co-op work when we can.

I know that if it weren’t for the dedication of an amazing parade of volunteers since our first community meeting seven years ago, we wouldn’t be standing where we are right now. And where are we standing? We are doing quite well. Don’t take my word on it; consider the perspective of others:

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