Business Partner Spotlight: The Runner’s Flat & Moo Roo

RunnersFlatSpring has sprung! It’s time to put away the winter boots and run (don’t walk) to The Runner’s Flat in downtown Cedar Falls. In addition to having a wide variety of shoes and accessories, their expert staff will take the time to find what is right just for you. They are also committed to building a community of runners through their run clubs, community events, shoe and gear reviews as well as their What’s Up Wednesday weekly talk show.
The Runner’s Flat is the Cedar Valley’s only specialty running store that is also locally owned and we are proud to have them as a business partner. Take advantage of your Cedar Falls Food Co-op membership by saving $10 off of a purchase of $100 or more at the best place to run into!


HansensDairyUpdatedMoo Roo Ice Cream Parlor and Dairy Store in Waterloo is a retail store for Hansen’s Dairy.  The items you can find for sale there are Hansen’s milk, cheese, butter and of course ice cream!  This store has the old-fashioned hard dip as well as soft serve ice cream and a variety of treats such as sundaes, shakes, ice cream cakes and the Polar Vortex – a mix of soft serve with candies.  In addition, Moo Roo sells high quality food items including meats, bread and produce from local farmers.  

Moo Roo also has seating for about 40 people, so it’s a great location for parties or meetings.  While you’re inside be sure to check out the mural that depicts a dairy farm through the four seasons.  

Moo Roo is a great supporter of our local farmers and entrepreneurs and we’re proud to have them as a business partner. Keep in mind that with your Cedar Falls Food Co-op membership you’ll receive an additional 5% off of milk.  

Members Make It Happen!

As the Cedar Falls Food Co-op’s membership continues to rise, more and more members are stepping up to help the Co-op grow. They’ve made the commitment by purchasing a share in the Food Co-op and now they want to have the store open as soon as possible. They know that the sooner we get 1,000 members, the sooner we can open. They are taking the concept of ownership to heart and are encouraging other members to join. Cedar Falls teacher and Food Co-op member Donna Mallin is among those who utilized one of the most effective tools to recruit new members: house parties.

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What is Natural Grocers and How or Will it Impact the Cedar Falls Food Co-op?

As was reported in the Courier (3/13/16), the national chain, Natural Grocers, is in the process of opening a store in Cedar Falls at University and Rownd. Earlier, representatives of Natural Grocers reached out to the Cedar Falls Food Co-op to explore the possibilities of collaboration and to share details of their plans. They noted that the Cedar Falls location would be one of four locations they are planning on opening in Iowa this year. (The first one has already opened in the greater Des Moines area.)

Rightfully so, Co-op member-owners want to know if this project will impact the efforts of the Co-op to open and to be successful after opening. The Co-op Board wishes to assure the member-owners and future member-owners that the addition of Natural Grocers to the area will be a positive influence on both the local food landscape, as well as the Co-op’s efforts to open its doors. Consider the following:

  • We acknowledge that Natural Grocers would be deemed a competitor, but the store demonstrates a growing interest in organic and natural food. Having more options for healthy, organic food in the area is a good thing for the residents of the greater Cedar Valley, and will help in our overall efforts to educate shoppers on the value of organic.
  • A recent market analysis conducted on behalf of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op showed sales forecast for the Co-op as being “above average.” In fact, the projections were just a few points shy of the “best” rating levels. This finding took into account having Natural Grocers as part of the competition in the area.
  • Natural Grocers will be a very different model than the Cedar Falls Food Co-op. For starters, their stores are heavy on vitamins and supplements. Additionally, these stores don’t have delis. The Cedar Falls Food Co-op will be a full-service grocery store that includes a deli for fresh, healthy prepared foods.
  • The Cedar Falls Food Co-op will have a strong commitment to the local economy. In addition to its commitment to carry food and products from local growers and producers, the Cedar Falls Food Co-op will be owned by the community and run by a community-elected Board of Directors. Natural Grocers is a Colorado-based corporation. A greater percentage of the money spent at the Co-op will remain locally.
  • Lastly, Co-ops are popping up across the U.S. in part because co-ops emphasize community as part of their business model. The efforts to open a co-op in Cedar Falls are driven not just by having the right products on the shelves, but by having a community-centric business that can serve as a meeting and education place, that can instill a sense of pride in the community, and that can serve as hub for community building.


The Cedar Falls Food Co-op is still committed to being in or near downtown Cedar Falls, and we will continue our dialog with representatives of Natural Grocers to explore possible partnership opportunities in the future. Rather than thinking of them as a competitor, we can think of them as a potential partner in making the greater Cedar Valley a better, healthier place to live and work.

Recipe: Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad on bed of greens

Add some zing to your rainy days this Spring with this lemon pasta salad.

Prep time: 15 min


Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon

1 carrot shredded or cut into small pieces

¼ red onion diced

1 box pasta (I used organic penne)

10-15 kalamata olives cut up (add a little juice)

A few pepperoncinis cut up (add a little juice)

Heaping spoonful of fermented sauerkraut (add a little juice)

Olive oil


1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained



Cook pasta as directed. Drain and rinse well in cold water until noodles are cool. Add to large bowl. Add lemon juice and zest, carrot, onion, chick peas, olives and their juice, pepperoncinis and their juice, sauerkraut its juice, olive oil and vinegar to taste.


*You may need to add more oil and vinegar or dressing of your choice as it sits, noodles will absorb moisture.

*You can add any veggies, herbs, or dressings you like. You can replace pasta with rice or other grains to have a gluten free delight. Get creative!


No Fooling…Barn Happy is Our Newest Business Partner!

barnhappyWhile we love to joke around & have a good time, we’re pretty serious about our Business Partner Program and all of the savings that local businesses share with our member-owners. We are working hard to grow the benefits of becoming a CFFC member-owner before we put doors on our very own full-service, community-owned, local farm & food-loving grocery store!

Barn Happy is a wonderful addition to our star lineup of local businesses that offer our members discounts & deals. According to the Barn Happy website, they “feel it’s important to preserve the agricultural heritage and values of the heartland. Iowa is a unique and valuable asset to the country. Barn Happy works to give customers and visitors a genuine snapshot of the state.” We couldn’t be more proud to partner with a business that recognizes and celebrates the importance of supporting local.

Stop in to Barn Happy. Show your CFFC membership card. Get a free bottomless cup of coffee…which will come in handy as you peruse all of the fun items that they carry from artisans across our great state! There’s lots to look at. Oh, and don’t forget to try their delicious homemade soups, baked goods & sandwiches!!

Up and Coming Food Co-op Conference Recap


Hand outs from the conference.

The Up and Coming Food Co-op Conference, coordinated by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center and Food Co-op Initiative, is an amazing opportunity for start-up co-ops to gather together, share their experiences, and learn from those who have succeeded before them. This event embodies a number of the 7 cooperative principles, including providing co-ops with a space for education, training, and information (P5); cooperation among co-ops (P6); and concern for the community (P7). Our previous attendance to this conference has helped us in our success thus far, and everything we learned from this year’s conference will help us go even further.

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