From The Ground Up
Hear About Our Events, Classes, Sales for Shoppers & More!
Owner Deals
Meeting of Owners:
RSVP For the Owner Party on Sept 21!

We are so excited to host all of our Owners for our Annual Meeting of Owners Party, also know as The MOO!

Join us at the Urbana Civic Center on 
Thursday Night, September 21st from 7-9pm. We will have amazing tastes from all of our departments, special features from local producers and owners! Meet other owners, sample delicious wines, share your input and reasons why you love the Co-op. If you are interested in bringing a potluck item, you are more than welcome. We are looking for more recipes to feature on our Food For All recipe wall!

We love Blue Moon Farm!

We had a blast visiting local farm, Blue Moon Farm, just 6 miles away from the Co-op. The sweetest people growing the sweetest food. We are lucky to have produce from Blue Moon Farm, all season long thanks to their great knowledge of season extension. With the height of summertime produce ripening, we were in awe of how much they grow. Thank you Blue Moon for growing delicious food for our community. We appreciate all your hard work.

See the newest video slideshow of Blue Moon Farm

Owner Appreciation Days Coming Up: Sept. 14-17

We are excited to celebrate Owner Appreciation Days with you this month, starting September 14-17th!

Join our Facebook event and help us spread the word!

We will have amazing deals in store from every department including raffles, giveaways, and many events for Owners! Enjoy 10% off on one shopping trip during Owner Days! 

The 10% discount excludes alcohol, Co-op Basics, and items that are already on sale.

Walk with the Co-op in
the C-U Pride Parade,
Sept 16, 4pm

Want to walk with us in the C-U Pride Parade? We would LOVE IT!

We will meet at Main and Walnut in Champaign!

Contact Sarah, Outreach Coordinator, to let her know you are planning to attend. We will be making Pride signage on the porch from 2-3:30pm! Wear your Co-op shirt if you have one and we will march together in support of our wonderfully vibrant and inclusive community.

Join our Facebook Pride Parade Event to get updates as the Pride Parade approaches!

Free Yoga Class for Owners
at Amara, Sunday Sept 17th, 9-10am!

Owners! We have put together a free yoga class for you on the last day of Owner Appreciation Days!

Amara Yoga & Arts is opening up its yoga studio for our owners to enjoy a free yoga class taught by board member, Kristin Walters.

Kristin is a certified yoga instructor and teaches many yoga classes at Amara. Kristin will lead a beginner's yoga class, so even if you are unfamiliar with yoga, this is your day to shine! We're especially grateful to Amara Yoga & Arts for collaboration with the Co-op. What great neighbors we have!

Sign up for a space in the yoga class, today! If you can come 5 minutes early to class to fill out quick paperwork, we would be grateful!

2017 Candidates 
f or Co-op Board now available!

We have some great candidates for our Board! Read their statements here!

Read about each of our candidates and get ready for the Owner Elections, starting September 14-21. The Elections will end at the Meeting of Owners, at the Civic Center.

A specific Owner Election email will be coming with links to our Eballot!

Round Up For Good
Nominations Begin!

Do you love our Round Up For Good Program and want to be a part of the decision making for next year's featured local organizations? Now is the time!

If you are an owner, you can nominate up to 3 local organizations to be featured in our Owner Elections.The nomination period will run from September 1-13.  Starting Sept 14-21, our Owner Election Ballots for our Board of Directors and Round Up For Good will be available to all owners in good standing (having paid the full equity within 1 year). Just a reminder, one owner equals one voter.

We have paper ballots past the registers where you can write your name, owner number, and the three favorite local organizations that aligns with the Co-op's mission. We ask that you explain how that organization meet our Four Cooperative Ends.

Common Ground's Four Ends
1) The Co-op is the Center of Vibrant Inclusive Community.
2) The Co-operative Movement is Strengthened.
3) The Co-op serves as an Educational Resource on Food Issues.
4) Our Local Food Chain is Equitable, Robust, and  Environmentally Sound.

You are welcome to stop by in person to complete your nomination form or you can email in a filled out version of this form.

The Nomination period for Round Up For Good will go from September 1-13th. All nominations must be in by September 13th at 10pm.

Owners that sign up after September 1st, cannot participate in the Election due to our Bylaws. If you have any questions, feel free to email our Outreach Coordinator!

A letter to you from Tim, Interim  GM

The Case for Common Ground

Dear Owners,

I have just completed my 3rd week at Common Ground, and I'm starting to feel at home a bit. It has been a pleasure getting to know the staff, board, owners, and our producers. I have been amazed by the local food movement in the Champaign-Urbana area. The Saturday morning farmers market is great fun, and a terrific example of what the local producers have to offer. For my first edition of the newsletter I would like to share some of my early observations about local food and Common Ground.

My impression is providing local food is very important for our owners. From the local economy to earth care to health, not to mention quality and taste, there are many reasons to support local producers. We are fortunate to have a great and growing group of local producers in our area. Organic and local has been the fastest growing segment of the food industry for many years. The big grocery chain stores are all trying new formats with more emphasis on organic and local. The increased competition has impacted the likes of Whole Foods and Common Ground.

You are probably aware most of my career was with one of the big boys. In my short time here I have also toured most of our big store competition. I can honestly say no one does local food like Common Ground. My impression is that for the big chain stores local food is more of marketing opportunity than something they really want to do. It is not surprising because working with many local producers is way harder (and more expensive) than just ordering your meat or produce from your own warehouse. The typical chain store may get 4 trucks a week from their warehouse. They can order on Monday for their Tuesday truck and so on; it's easy. Ordering local food is way more challenging.

Let's use our meat department as an example. Some of our meat orders for example have to be ordered a week before it comes in. With some of our pork suppliers we order the whole hog, have it processed locally, and then sell the various cuts that hog supplied.  At Common Ground almost all of our meat sales come from local producers. I don't know the percentage in the big stores, but it is very small.

The economic impact of buying your meat at Common Ground is important. Take Triple S Farms for example. The farm supports two generations of their family (which is fairly common), they send their kids to school here, they pay taxes here, they buy locally, their animals are processed at a small locally owned processor and Common Ground is owned by our customers, so more of your dollars stay here. The way they raise their animals are better for the planet, better for the animals, and healthier for your family.

Common Ground lives local foods! As I walk our store I see local products everywhere; bread, beer, in our deli, meat, honey, cheese, lots in our dairy department, even in our wellness department. Produce alone at this time of year has over 80 different local products. No other store in our area comes even remotely close.

Can we do better? Absolutely! We are working hard to ensure our products are the freshest in town, reduce out of stocks, and reach out to new local growers. Already owners have talked with me about ways we can be the best we can be. I have never worked in a place where the customers love a store as much. They care about Common Ground, and want us to remain an important part of our community.

I encourage you to reach out to me as well, and if love your Common Ground Food Coop encourage your friends and neighbors to stop in and take a new look.

Thanks for your support!

September's Round Up For Good: The TIMES Center

For the month of September, we are raising money for Men's Transitional Housing Program, formally known as The T.I.M.E.S Center.

The Men's Transitional Housing Program currently serves and houses 20 men with insecure housing, giving them access to medicial care, mental health appointments, and a place to stay for up to 2 years.

The Men's Transitional Housing Program, (The TIMES Center) is owned by Rosecrance Health Network, as of early last year.

Have questions about how you can help? Call Sheila Ferguson, the Rosecrance representative for the TIMES Center at (217) 693-4601!

August Round Up For Good:
Planned Parenthood's Champaign  Health Center

Congratulations, everyone! We raised over $6,100 towards the local Planned Parenthood location! WOW! Our biggest amount we have collected so far in just one month!

This PP location provides access to affordable health care including birth control counseling, pregnancy and birth services, STI testing & treatment, information on health care providers & government assistance, annual checkups, and more.

Have questions? Call Planned Parenthood today: (877) 200-7745
Art Gallery Reception for 
David Riecks and Phil Strang, Sept. 22nd

Join us to celebrate our two featured local artists, David Riecks and Phil Strang!

We will be putting out a delicious spread of our best snacks, several beers to taste, and a chance to meet the two local artists in person. Stop by the classroom from 6:30-8:30 for the Reception!

Want to buy artwork featured in our gallery? See our Artist page for contact information!

Hear from Sam, our Promotions Coordinator

What can you do for your co-op?

The buzz is all about our competition these days because local products have become a focus at big box stores. Co-ops like ours, who've always focused on local, are losing the money that the "big boys" are raking in. In these trying times, it's ever more important that our community-owned store has community support.

So, what can you do? Here's a list to get you started.
  • SHOP here! Do as much of your shopping at the co-op as you can. It really helps. Our average basket size is down compared to years past, but our customer count is up. We have more people coming in, but they're spending less. While you're here, pick up just one extra item that you'd get elsewhere and the difference in our sales will be noticeable.
  • Use CASH at the registers! We spend over $100,000 per year in processing fees for cards. If everyone used cash or check, we could do a lot more to make our co-op better for everyone.
  • VOTE! Elections are coming up for the Board of Directors and Round Up organizations. Vote in store September 14-21 (and nominate Round Up organizations September 1-13).
  • Attend the MOO (9/21, 7-9p @ Urbana Civic Center) as your last chance to vote for the above AND because it's the most important Owner event of the year.
  • Attend BOARD MEETINGS! Learn about the inner goings-on at the co-op, and most importantly, LET THEM KNOW what you think! You can also email with any comments or questions.
  • TELL US what you think. We want to hear from you!
  • TALK about the co-op. Tell your friends about why you shop here. Spread the good word.
  • Help yourself. We have a FREE Yoga class for owners coming up during Owner Days, on 9/17 from 9-10am

Meet Mia, our Education

In my first month as the education coordinator, I have gotten acquainted with countless inspiring and enthusiastic people. I'm feeling so encouraged about my future with Common Ground and the potential of the education department. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a couple new education series we will be offering at the co-op each month.

Co+op Explorers Cooking Classes
Having worked in public elementary schools for the last few years, I really miss teaching and working with students. With few opportunities involving kids at Common Ground, this gave me the push to expand our children's programming. I have planned two age-appropriate cooking classes. In these classes, we'll be learning more about the co-op, nutrition, and kitchen safety, all while exploring and preparing new foods. These classes will be offered once a month and capped at 10 kids. If your child is interested in cooking or needs an after school activity, check out "Team Tomatillos" for 1st and 2nd grade, and "Team Artichokes" for 3rd-5th grade. You can register in store or through Eventbrite!

Self-Care Series
We are also partnering with Mary Wolters, owner of Green Yoga Spa, to offer a new series of classes. So often, we rush through our day, trying to cram in as much as possible. These classes are an opportunity to slow down, release some stress, and focus on self-care. In order to open this opportunity equally to the community, there will be free child care for the parents/guardians who attend our self-care classes. I'll have activities in the Lincoln Square Mall hallway for the hour and a half that class is in session. To sign up for these classes, see our cashiers in store or visit

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me to the Common Ground community. Again, I'm feeling very hopeful about the education we offer. We have incredible instructors, and I want this department to continue developing, offering a great range of classes and truly creating a vibrant, inclusive culture. But I need your help to do that. This space is for all of you. I am here to help you share your talents and spread your passions. Do you have a favorite family recipe? Or maybe you created your own masterpiece. Share it. Teach it . Are you knowledgeable on food issues? Turn it into a class. Do you can, ferment, preserve your fresh foods? Share your skills. Do you follow a specific diet? Showcase your favorite recipes! Nervous or unsure how to do this? That's what I'm here for! Call (217-239-8108) or e-mail me ( ).

I strongly encourage you to consider getting involved in Common Ground education. We are here for you, because of you.  

You can sign up for this class at our registers or  buy tickets now!

$5 owner/ $10 non-owner

To receive a Food For All Discount on this class, email us
Hear from Charles, 
Co-op Board Member

Promoting and facilitating participatory democracy is a high priority for the CGFC Board, especially as our co-op wrestles with defining itself,  recovering financial health,  and adjusting to a changing food retail environment.  To move forward and build the best co-op we can for the future, we not only want the full participation of our community of owners as a matter of democratic principle, we also need the wealth of ideas and insights that our dedicated owner community can provide.

The annual Meeting of Owners (MOO), which takes place on Thursday, September 21 st , from from 7-9 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center, is a natural opportunity for a large number of owners to get together and discuss the state of Common Ground and the important issues before us.  Along with fostering social interaction and providing a time to enjoy ourselves together -- things  we should not neglect in these serious times for both the co-op and the world, that discussion is indeed a primary purpose of the MOO.  We want to make sure it is really a discussion and not just a one-way delivery of reports with a question and answer period at the end.

To that end, all those in attendance at the August meeting of the CGFC Board of Directors, which drew the largest number of owners in recent memory, engaged in a lively discussion of how to facilitate focused and productive owner input at the MOO.  The following is a compilation of suggested questions that resulted:

  • What makes people feel connected to CGFC?  How do we enhance the sense of community?  What would get you to spend more time at CGFC or make an extra stop?
  • Are the ends of CGFC adequate?  Does anything need revision?  Are there ends we are not fulfilling?  How do we live up to our identity?  What makes CGFC relevant?
  • Why do you love CGFC?  What are our strengths?  Our weaknesses?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of owners?  How does CGFC membership differ from membership in other groups?  How do we foster ongoing communication and a "two-way" relationship?

The MOO will also provide an opportunity to meet our interim General Manager, Tim Sullivan, and the current candidates for the Board of Directors.  Yes, democracy is about elections, too... but it is much more than that.  To paraphrase Woody Allen, 90% of participation is showing up!  We hope you will join us at the MOO!  (Save the date, time, and place:  September 21st, 7-9 p.m., Urbana Civic Center.)

-Charles Delman, Board Member

Memorial Service for 
Richard Antisdel, our dear owner

Our community is mourning the loss of Richard Antisdel, a longtime Co-op owner, Common Ground board member, and big supporter of the Champaign-Urbana community. Richard, always looking to serve others, had a big part in moving us from the church basement to our current location. We will miss seeing him in our aisles each week and we are thinking of his wife, Barbara.

The Memorial Service will be on September, 9th at 11am at Heath Vaughn Funeral Home. Read Richard's Obituary here. All are welcome.

We are proud to have had such an amazing person in our active community and we deeply appreciate all the life that Richard put in to help support our community. Thank you, Richard. We think of you.


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Thanks for reading!
Common Ground Food Cooperative | 217-352-3347 |  | 
300 S. Broadway Avenue Suite #166, Urbana, IL 61801

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