Giving Thanks for Our Business Partner Program

With all of the businesses that have stepped up to support the food co-op & our membership base, you could very easily make back your one-time co-op member-owner equity share payment in savings from these wonderful, local companies in a very short period of time AND own a grocery store that shares your values of community, education & fresh, healthy foods to boot!  This month we are adding two new local businesses to our ever-growing line-up of partners offering our member-owner base  specials. If you take advantage of their offers, you’ll be more relaxed & sleep better than you have in a very long time!!

dvinespaWith twelve treatment rooms, d’vine Medical Spa® is a world class, wine inspired spa. The philosophy at d’vine Medical Spa® is to touch you beyond the physical layers of the body, embracing all of your senses and welcoming you on your journey to wellness.  Unwind in their private men’s and women’s relaxation rooms as well as experience the steam rooms and floor to ceiling water walls.  As a Cedar Falls Food Co-op member-owner, you’ll receive 5% off of all normally-priced day spa services. How divine?!!

waysonchiroEvery function of your body takes place because of a message from your brain traveling down your spinal cord. When a vertebra is out of alignment, this misalignment causes irritation to the adjacent nerves carrying your vital brain messages! Like a kink in a hose, the message does not fully transmit to the organ or tissue it innervates. That’s like operating at 0-50% all day! Over time or immediately, you may feel specific pain or symptoms like indigestion, high blood pressure or allergies. What To Do? Contact Wayson Family Chiropractic! And after they’ve helped you determine the best plan of care for you & your needs, be sure to pick up a Chiroflow pillow to help improve your sleep! They’re offering co-op member-owners 20% off these amazing pillows!! You’ll have sweet dreams & healthy sleep with that deal!

As always please be sure to visit our Business Partner Specials page on our website to see all of the businesses that offer our member-owners specials & the full details of the offer. Happy fall & many thanks!

Member Spotlight: Eric Giddens

image by Dan Phillips Photography - Cedar Falls, Iowa

image by Dan Phillips Photography – Cedar Falls, Iowa

Eric Giddens, his wife Kendra, their 11-year old son Henry, their “son” Alan, an international student from Honduras, and cats Nemo and Skippy John currently reside in Cedar Falls.  Eric is a Program Manager at the Tallgrass Prairie Center and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI.  Kendra, a Cedar Falls native, is the music teacher at Southdale Elementary School. Continue reading

Save Room For Pie



How many Thanksgiving meals have you heard this? This November we are living this mantra, because if you join the Co-op as a new member-owner, you will definitely have to save room. That’s because there is a homemade pie for each person who becomes a member-owner between November 1 – 20*. And the giving doesn’t stop there – our business partner, Fosters Mattress has generously agreed to match each new member-owner share purchase with a $10 donation to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

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Butternut Squash Soup


Photo: Squash soup garnished with beet kimchi, greek yogurt, apple peel, dulse flakes, and roasted daikon radishes.

Feel warm and full this fall with this lovely soup.

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Board Happenings: October 2016


– We visited New Pioneer in Cedar Rapids and had an excellent time. They’re a wonderful store and we can’t wait to learn from all of their Co-op experience. 

– Keep an eye out for ThanksGIVING: Co-op Style. Anyone who joins the Co-op between November 1-20th will receive a free pie AND Foster’s Mattress will donate $10 to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank for each new member. 

– We’ve agreed to pledge to become Blue Zone Certified once our store opens, meaning we’re even more dedicated to bringing you healthy, sustainably sourced food options. 

– Did you see the Rooty while trick or treating on Main Street? Share your artwork on our Facebook page for everyone to see!

– We have a great contingent of Co-op Board and Committee members who will be attending the Strong and Small conference on November 12th, and we can’t wait to share all that we learn. 

From the Board President: Thanks and an Apology


In October, the Co-op hosted its second annual Member-Owner Meeting & Social. The annual meeting, a sort of share holders’ meeting in which a “state of the Co-op” is presented, is a big deal. It’s the one event we’re required to host as per our bylaws, and it’s a signature event for food co-ops across the U.S. Our social, held at the Oster Regent, was full of conversations and good vibes (helped in part by generous donations of cookies, mini muffins, beer, cider, and mead!). Yet even with all the generosity and positive conversations, I was unprepared for the email that showed up the next day from Co-op member Randy S.:

[My wife] and I decided to donate a $40.00 gift certificate that can be used to purchase tickets at the Oster Regent Theater, so you can use as you see fit for a membership drive. The gift certificate is good until January 2018.

Thanks for all your hard work.

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Welcome New Board Members




At the annual Member-owner Meeting & Social, the Cedar Falls Food Co-op wrapped up its election season for positions on the Board of Directors, and it is pleased to announce the results of the voting.

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Board Happenings: September 2016

Take a minute to see what our Board of Directors has been up to.

  • We received our first report from our new Outreach Coordinator and everything has been going great! If you haven’t had a chance to hear from Melanie yet, you can be sure you’ll hear from her soon.
  • We have some great event coming up, including several house parties, drinks at Miss Wonderful, and a field trip to New Pioneer! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates about these events.
  • Our annual Member Meeting is October 18th! This is your opportunity to get a thorough update on the state of the co-op, plus we’ll be announcing the results from our Board election and the name you chose for our Co-op Carrot!
  • Speaking of Board Elections, they’re happening now! The polls will be open until 7pm on October 18th. All members who are paid in full will have received an email with a link for you to vote. If you haven’t received this yet, be sure to contact Dan Heit, the Co-op’s Vice President, at
  • We continue to participate in conference calls with other start-up co-ops so we can all share our experiences and be stronger together.
  • A number of our committee and board members will be attending this year’s Strong & Small Conference in Bloomington, MN in November. These conference are a great way for us to grow our knowledge and learn from other co-ops that have been where we are now.
  • We love being able to be a part of this amazing community, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without our members! If you want to know how you can help grow our co-op, you can reach us at

Member Spotlight: Patty Cutts


Patty Cutts has lived in the Cedar Valley with her husband Ken for over 40 years.  Both are currently enjoying their retirement from careers involving education.  After teaching at Helen Hansen Elementary in Cedar Falls, Patty worked at (then) AEA 7 as a technology consultant. Ken taught graduate courses for UNI and the University of Wisconsin. After retiring from educational roles, Patty worked at University Book & Supply as an Event Coordinator.   Patty and Ken love the friendly atmosphere of the Cedar Valley, the good educational systems as well as the caring organizations that build the community and make it a wonderful place to live.  Patty describes the Cedar Valley as “a large metro area with a small town attitude”.  She then added that the people here care about each other and always help in a time of need. 

Patty and Ken enjoy traveling, hiking and reading in their retirement.  In addition, both serve the community through volunteering.  This includes serving on the boards of  St. Luke’s Episcopal, the Boys & Girls Club of the Cedar Valley, the Food Bank of Northeast Iowa and serving on the committees at the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

Some of Patty’s favorite places to shop are Hanson’s Dairy and the farmer’s markets for grocery items.  She and Ken both love the fresh food that is available, in particular, anything that is in season is “always delicious”.  Patty very much enjoys cooking and making dishes from scratch with fresh ingredients.  Patty says that her “day at the beach is a counter full of fresh ingredients, pots and pans, a hot oven surrounding my recipe laden iPad”.  Patty and Ken are also both coffee lovers and enjoy visiting Cup of Joe’s, Cottonwood Canyon and Sidecar Coffee for their favorite brew.

Regarding the Cedar Falls Food Co-op, Patty is looking forward to one place where she can shop for food that is made fresh or grown locally.  In addition, she likes that the Co-op will provide jobs and support local businesses, therefore growing and benefiting the Cedar Valley.   Overall, the Cedar Valley is a very special place for Patty and Ken.  Their home is located on the border of Hartman Reserve, and Patty says that “our heart is there as well.  The ever-changing woods are our source of renewal”.

From the Board President: The Cedar Falls Food Co-op Celebrates National Cooperative Month

Being part of a cooperative means being part of something special. The Cedar Falls Food Co-op is celebrating National Cooperative Month in October, along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people nationwide.

“Cooperatives Build” is the theme of this year’s National Cooperative Month. It’s also a great time to host the annual Owner Meeting & Social. Consider these ways that co-ops build:

Cooperatives Build Trust

Most co-ops strive to adhere to seven key cooperative principles, which combine to help build trust between the co-op, its members and the community. For example, the first principle is Voluntary and Open Membership, which means that we are a voluntary organization open to all people to use our services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership. The second principle, Democratic Member Control, gives members a voice in the cooperative’s policies and decisions. If you haven’t yet voted in the board candidate election, you have until 7:00pm on Tuesday, Oct. 18. More details here.

Cooperatives Build Community

The seventh cooperative principle is Concern for Community. Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through employee involvement in local organizations, through charitable contributions to community efforts and through support for schools. Here locally, a team of Cedar Falls Food Co-op board members and friends helped with flood clean-up on October 1. We’re also participating in Girls’ Night Out on Thursday, Oct. 6 (we’ll be providing drinks at Miss Wonderful), and the John Deere Health & Safety Fair on Oct. 19.

Cooperatives Build Jobs

Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities, keep profits local and pay local taxes to help support community services. Cooperatives provide more than 850,000 jobs, providing $74 billion in annual wages. Once open, the Cedar Falls Food Co-op will generate many jobs, and will ensure the wages are fair while providing health care benefits to as many employees as possible. The Co-op also values local economic development, and as such, we’re a proud supporter of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.


Cooperatives Build a Better World

Through all of the above ways, cooperatives build a better world. Help the Cedar Falls Food Co-op celebrate National Cooperative Month in October. If you haven’t yet become a member, join today!

In cooperation,

Tom Wickersham


P.S. We’re proud to partner with area credit unions during National Cooperative Month, including (as of publication of this newsletter) Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, Collins Community Credit Union, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, and Veridian Credit Union. We’ll be posting information about the Seven Cooperative Principles at select locations—watch for them!