From the Board President: Don’t Miss Out: The Window of Opportunity to Become a Founding Member is Closing

New Pioneer Food Co-op started in Iowa City in 1971. Oneota Food Co-op began in Decorah in 1973. And Wheatsfield Food Co-op traces its roots in Ames back to 1974. Nearly 50 years later, all three of these food co-ops are still thriving. They have each grown and expanded over the years. But most importantly, all of them have become an integral part of the fabric of their respective communities. These stores are icons, not only in Iowa City, Decorah, and Ames, but also across the U.S. (Check out this picture of a New Pioneer T-shirt I found on display last summer at the Brattleboro Food Co-op in Vermont!)

A 1994 New Pioneer staff T-shirt is part of a quilt at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

Right now, people in Cedar Falls and the surrounding communities are joining together to build a similar legacy here, a business that’s owned by members of the community for the community. With each new member of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op, we get closer to opening the doors.

But when those doors open for the first time, the window of opportunity to become a Founding Member closes.Continue reading

Guest Article: Paola Castillo

Do you wish you could find more nutritional options for children’s parties? Cedar Falls resident, Paola Castillo shares her recent party plan.

Most birthday parties you have probably attended have served candies and a cake saturated with sugars. But my daughter’s birthday party was no typical birthday. My main goal was to serve some organic fruits and vegetables so our little ones could get the best nutrition with friends.

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3 New Businesses Partners are providing great deals for Co-op Member-Owners

Local supports local: almost 70 businesses across the Cedar Valley have partnered with the Co-op by offering discounts and other specials to member-owners. Read on for the latest additions:

Recently opened in downtown Cedar Falls, the Brass Tap provides a wide range of beers, cocktails and delicious food for customers. Co-op member-owners will receive 10% off of Iowa Brewery-of-the-Month beers. Stop in and check out this lively place.

Currently relocated to Ginger Thai (another business partner) at 111 W. 2nd Street in Cedar Falls, Crepes by Nida has both sweet and savory options that will leave you craving more. Enjoy 10% off of your order if you bring your member-owner card (this is the same discount you’ll get if you order from Ginger Thai too). What a mouth-watering deal!

What’s not to love about a business with a carrot theme? We can certainly relate and are thrilled to welcome Wild Carrot as a new business partner. Since 2011, Wild Carrot has offered downtown Waverly visitors delicious homemade locally-sourced breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a gift store, and Co-op member-owners will get 10% off their dine-in meal as well as gift store items.

March Co-op Connections & Potluck

Co-op Connections
Thursday, March 8 from 5 – 6:45 p.m. at Urban Pie (Cedar Falls)

Join the Co-op outreach coordinator and others to hear about Co-op updates, get your questions answered, as well as connect with others in your community. Urban Pie offers a discount to co-op member-owners, so bring your card.


Co-op Potluck

Monday, March 19 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Second State Brewing (Cedar Falls)

We continue to have great food and friends at these monthly events. Bring a dish to share and if possible, your own table ware. Our potlucks are family-friendly and just all-around fun! Second State is a business partner, so bring your card if you are a member-owner to get a discount on beer draws. All are welcome!

We are not Alone: Together, We are Making this a Reality

From the Outreach Coordinator
We are not Alone: Together, We are Making this a Reality


Did you know that there are more than 125 new cooperative grocery stores starting up across the U.S.? Did you know that even more than that are already open and running? Throughout the nation, cities understand the value of this community-grown enterprise and are experiencing the countless benefits that come their way when co-ops form and become full-fledged businesses.

Wild Root Market member-owners discuss their vision of their future storefront.


Recently, Wild Root Market (Racine, WI) hosted a “Dream UP” event, inviting Jacqueline Hannah from the Food Co-op Initiative to work with member-owners in planning their vision for their future store. This co-op has a site selected and are now eager to get underway with their bricks-and-mortar establishment. What do they want in their store? How do they want the store to be set-up? The voice of member-owners is crucial for the future of a co-op. This past month, our member-owners had the opportunity to fill out a survey to start this dreaming process, and we are grateful to those who gave us their opinions. Co-ops are vibrant places within communities BECA– USE their communities create them.

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Member Spotlight: Jacquelyn Berggren

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Berggren and her husband Kevin live in Cedar Falls. Jackie is one of the newest Co-op board members and has also been a member of the Communications Committee since she became a founding member/owner about a year ago. Jackie has been attending Huntington College of Health Sciences for the last two years and will graduate in March with her AS in Applied Nutrition. She recently became an Independent Sales Consultant with Norwex. She is interested in Nutrition coaching and is studying with a Reiki Master Teacher. Kevin works at Aramark in Waterloo. Kevin and Jackie dated in High School and reconnected some years later and married. They just celebrated their 20th anniversary together. They have two daughters, a daughter-in-law, one son, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren (three boys, and one girl). About five years ago, they rescued a sweet little Jack Russell Terrier mix from the Cedar Bend Humane Society and named her Macy. She is adorable and loves to go for walks with Jackie. Kevin is an avid golfer, so spring cannot get here fast enough for him!Continue reading

Eat Seasonal: March

The birds are chirping louder, the temperature is a bit milder, and the sun has been shining! March brings spring, and this year spring begins on March 20, 2018. What better time than to start thinking about fresh produce? Think green. St. Patty’s Day? Nope, in season green produce! There are definitely some other gorgeous fruits and vegetables popping out this time of year, like oranges, radishes, lemons, mushrooms, and leeks.

Eating fresh produce in season offers healthy sources of vitamins and minerals at the best price. When produce is allowed to ripen naturally, it brings out the full flavor and nutrition, which means it’s healthier for you and the environment. Eating seasonally helps support local producers and is better for the environment because the food doesn’t have to be transported from another part of the country or imported. Supporting local keeps our food dollars local. Here’s the list of fresh produce for March.


Photo credit: A Healthy Life For Me.

For a more extensive list of produce by season visit:

Board Happenings: February 2018

– We had a great turn out at our Member Mixer in January, and we even gained 4 new members that evening!
– We’ve really enjoyed hearing from you! We’ll be taking this input into account as we work through the decisions of designing our store.
– It’s that time of year when we start putting together our budget. It’s not the most exciting work, but rest assured that we carefully plan our year in order to use your investments as responsibly as possible.
– We’re sending 4 representatives to the Up and Coming Conference this year. This is the largest conference for startup food co-ops and each year we learn so much! Be on the look out next month for a conference update.