Fall is here…Find out what local producers are offering Co-op member-owners this month

We are thrilled to partner this October with FOUR! local producers who not only provided free samples and information at our fifth annual Fall Food Fest last month, but also have each generously offered approximately $20-worth of their fall bounty to help us grow more member-owners in October. If you are not yet a member-owner, this is a great month to become one. Join by the end of the day on Sunday, and you’ll be entered into the drawing for that week’s incentive. Already a member-owner? Encourage a friend to join and, if they write your name in regarding how they heard about the Co-op, you’ll also be entered into the drawing.

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The Cedar Falls Food Co-op Book Club: One Way Community Is Thriving with Your Co-op!

For the past year, various member-owners have been gathering monthly to discuss the latest CFFC Book Club read. The book choices are not necessarily food related, but are titles suggested and voted on by the group. For the past few months, the group has been meeting at Overman Park to enjoy the outdoors while connecting over the latest read. One of their first outdoor gatherings ended in this unique story as related to us from Sharon Silva, one of the book club attendees:

“The weather was perfect for a meeting outdoors at Overman Park. The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis relates the true story of 13 women who went in together to buy a diamond necklace, how they decided how they would share it, and the ways it affected each one’s life. Prior to the entertaining discussion and keeping with the theme, the book club group of 11 women each brought the special story of a necklace which she wore. They shared many nods and smiles over each unique piece and remembrance. It turned out that one woman had not looked for her special necklace until the last moment, so she never found it. While she was looking, though, she found a long-forgotten tiny jeweled drawstring purse and brought it instead. When she hung it around her neck the group promptly accepted it as a creative, acceptable substitute. However, when she discovered three hundred-dollar bills tucked inside, also long-forgotten, cheers erupted. Who says procrastination doesn’t pay?!”

Spreading the Great News about the Co-op!

“There’s going to be a cooperative grocery store in or near downtown Cedar Falls? Sign me up!”

This was what was most often expressed several weeks ago at a Co-op gathering in the lobby of the 250 State Street building located in the heart of downtown Cedar Falls.

Hosted by Co-op member-owners Jim and LeAnne Sprau, who are residents of 250 State, attendees sampled delicious food and beverages the Spraus purchased from Second State Brewing and spoke with other member-owners along with Outreach Coordinator, Melanie Drake to learn more about this grassroots effort to bring a full-service locally-focused grocery store to the downtown area. While anyone can shop at the Co-op when it opens, there are many advantages to purchasing a member share and consequently becoming a member-owner, including having a vote and say in how this store will be run. Party attendees certainly realized these advantages, and we hit a record that night, signing up the most member-owners we have to date at a house party.

Are you ready to help your Co-op spread the word in this important way? Whether you want to host a small or large gathering, we are here to help. We will provide a co-op representative to present or just talk individually to attendees, such as we did at 250 State Street. Your gathering can be as informal as you wish; we just ask that at some point, we get a chance to provide information about this growing business and be able to take memberships from interested individuals.

And, if you are not into party-hosting, we can come to any regularly planned event you have whether a book club or other discussion group, present to an organization of which you are a part, or come to your work and do a lunch and learn. We have many ideas, so contact our outreach coordinator (Melanie Drake: outreach@cedarfallsfood.coop) and she can help you put your idea into action. Thanks to the many individuals who have already hosted house parties, and we look forward to many more successful events!

Do YOU Have What it Takes?

We are building a community-owned business. This is not something that happens every day. This is big news, and something to shout about.

And when we talk about a community-owned business, we’re not talking about a business that is run by a select group of shareholders. We’re talking about a business in which every owner has an equal vote. This is democracy at its finest (and one of the guiding principles of cooperatives).

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. And the members do this primarily by electing representatives to serve on the board of directors. Are you board material?

If elected to serve on the board, you will be part of the leadership of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op as it journeys through the single most important event in its history: The grand opening!

Take another step as an owner of the Cedar Food Co-op and submit an application for a position on our Board of Directors. This year three of nine seats are up for election. Ideal candidates share a passion for helping the Co-op achieve success. They have a clear understanding of what it means to participate as a member of a board. They bring skill sets from a variety of industries and other board or life experiences, combined with a strong desire to help the Co-op succeed.

So, will YOU become a candidate for the Board of Directors? Learn more about the role and responsibilities of board members here. And if you think you’re up for the challenge, submit a completed application by email by September 8. Be sure to brace yourself for an incredibly rich and rewarding experience!

Win a Kayak and Help Your Co-op Reach 850 Member-Owners!

June is here and your Cedar Falls Food Co-op is doing another amazing membership campaign. Current and new members could walk…errr…paddle away in a kayak!

We are on our way to 850 member-owners, which will bring us get closer opening the area’s only community-owned grocery store. Thanks to Crawdaddy Outdoors in Waverly, we got a great deal on a Heron 9XT kayak that some lucky member-owner will win!

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Three Great Reasons to Host a House Party in June (Giveaway Alert!)

1. Hosting a House Party is a great way to connect with your friends and community AND one of the most effective ways for the co-op to gain member-owners. Previous house parties have ranged from pie and wine to soup suppers to pizza on the patio. You decide what, who, and when, and the CFFC membership team will help you inform your friends and neighbors about the co-op. This is a low-pressure, short-term commitment–that truly is a lot of fun!
2. Any hosts of house parties booked in June will receive your choice of a pound of coffee or a growler of beer from one of our business partners for you and your guests to enjoy.
3. Hosts of house parties booked in June will be entered into a drawing for a pair of pillows generously donated by our business parter, Fosters Mattress. Rest easy knowing you’re doing your part to grow our co-op community.
For more information about house parties or to get your date on the calendar, email outreach@cedarfallsfood.coop.

Have you ordered your Proud Owner yard sign?

There are many perks to being a member-owner of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op; One of them is that member-owners have the opportunity to sport a Proud Owner yard sign from late May through July. If you are a member-owner living in Cedar Falls or Waterloo, you may sign up for a Cedar Falls Food Co-op yard sign….so what are you waiting for? If you haven’t reserved yours yet, send an email to outreach@cedarfallsfood.coop. Please provide your current address (if it’s changed recently), and we’ll be happy to have one of our volunteers deliver and place the sign.

Would you be interested in helping with delivery and placement or pick up later in the summer? Let our outreach coordinator know when you email requesting your yard sign. We still have room for a few more volunteers.

We’re calling for Owner Investment Campaign Volunteers!

Dear Member-Owners,

We’re calling for Owner Investment Campaign Volunteers!

The Cedar Falls Food Co-Op is growing and site selection for our grocery store is happening! As a site becomes available, we will kick off our Owner Investor Campaign and need your help in doing so. The Owner Investor Campaign Committee is seeking Builders and Communicators—two critical volunteer roles to assist with the Owner Investment Campaign. The Owner Investment Campaign will help the Co-op raise the money needed to open our store, and Builders and Communicators will play key roles in the campaign. A description of both volunteer opportunities is provided below:Continue reading

April 2018 Incentive

Spring represents new beginnings, and it’s appropriate that your Co-op is working toward its final stage of development. With 750 member-owners, we are now looking toward 800 and you can help us get there. Keep spreading the word and if you have not become a member-owner, we hope you will join this month. Together, we can get our store here sooner!

April brings Earth Day, and we are honoring our planet in a variety of ways this month. Keep an eye out for Rooty the Co-op Carrot who is emerging from a long winter nap and is excited to celebrate mother nature with you. Thanks to the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, we’ll have a membership to give away, so stay tuned. We are also highlighting some reusable, recyclable items this month that some lucky member-owners will receive. Be sure to keep tabs on all of these activities via our Facebook page where you can find the most updated details.


Happy Earth Day! Happy Spring! Happy Co-op Supporting!

Eat Seasonal in April

The weather is forever changing in Iowa. But this last snow storm was a pretty big one. Leaving us cold and wet with shovels in hand. These colder days can have us seeking a warm pot of goodness at the end of the day. Grab a big pot, add some chicken or vegetable stock, lots of fresh vegetables, a protein of your choice, seasonings, and enjoy! Continue reading