Ringing in an Eventful Spring
Table of Contents

1. A Word from the General Manager ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .
"GM Update", Gary Taylor

2. Good to Know: Announcements & answers  ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 
April 6: Co-op Catering Launch Party
April 7: Edible Book Festival
April 19: Finan¢ial Meeting of Owners
April 28: Plant Sale Fundraiser
"Meet Our Operations Manager", Joanne Mierek
A Call for Family Recipes
Art Gallery Opening during Boneyard Arts Festival
Fresh Sushi at the Co-op!
Also New at the Co-op: Local Bison Meat
Chip Reader Rollback
April Deli Features

3. Food for Thought ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ...
"Reusing > Recycling", Andi Marietta, FOH Manager

4. Local Food  ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... .
Marketing's Q2 focus
On the Importance of Local Food
April 26: Join Us for Local Food Lobby Day in Springfield

5. Round Up for Good ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... 
April Round Up: R.A.C.E.S.
March Results

6. From Your Board ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ...
Charles Delman, Board Member

7. Keepin' it Class-y ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ...
Upcoming Classes & Events

GM Update
Gary Taylor, General Manager

Hello Common Grounders! 

Wow! It has been a whirlwind of a first month and I am so excited to see what is next! My amazing staff, owners, customers, and suppliers are definitely keeping me busy. Coming up in April I will be heading out to Raleigh, North Carolina for the NCG (National Co+op Grocers) Spring meeting where I will be able to network with many cooperative GMs from across the country! I look forward to speaking with new and seasoned leaders of the movement to share as much information as possible in the true cooperative spirit! 

Co-op Catering Launch Party
See you April 6 in the Mall Hallway 

Yep, that's right - we cater! Our Prepared Foods & Deli departments have worked hard to put together an impressive, delicious, affordable array of catering options for your meetings, parties, and events! See the new menu.

To celebrate the launch of this new, long-awaited, oft-requested program, we're throwing a party of our own.  Come to the  Co-op Catering Sample Party  Friday, April 6 from 5 to 7 pm for samples of our delicious catered foods, live music by Dewclaw, local beer for sale, and another big, colorful surprise we've been planning for a while that we know you'll enjoy.
Edible Book Festival
One of last year's most popular events is back April 7th

Join us for the 13th annual Edible Book Festival April 7th from 10:30 am to 1 pm. This quirky festival celebrates literature, gastronomy, and community. It is held on or around April Fool's Day every year, as it is "the perfect day to eat your words." This event is hosted by the University Library in collaboration with Common Ground Food Co-op and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Categories will include: 
- Best depiction of a classic
- Punniest
- Best entry based on a children's book
- Best entry based on a young adult book
- People's choice
- Others TBD by our judges!

Register here.
The Annual Financial Meeting of Owners is April 19th 
Hear from the GM and Board about the financial standing of the Co-op

Owners are invited to Common Ground's Financial Meeting of Owners, hosted at the  Urbana Civic Center  on Thursday April 19th, from 7 to 8 pm. 

Hear from our Board Treasurer, Magdalena Casper-Shipp, and our General Manager, Gary Taylor, on the financial standing of the Co-op.  Mingle with Co-op owners, hear about our community impact, meet our Board of Directors, and enjoy refreshments.

This is a private event for Co-op owners only. Not an owner? Become one today!
Common Ground's Annual Plant Sale is Coming Up
Saturday, April 28th is this year's big Food For All fundraiser

Our annual Plant Sale Fundraiser is April 28th from 11-3 pm! Start your garden with local seedlings grown by  BlueMoon Farm Sola Gratia Farm Delight Flower Farm Old Town Flowers Plant Mode PrairiErth Farm , Green Pantry Nursery, and many Co-op gardeners! We will have a wide assortment of tomatoes, greens, bell and hot peppers, herbs, veggies, flowers, succulents, black raspberries, seed packets, and unique varieties of seedlings to grow this year! 

All proceeds will benefit our Food For All Program that provides Co-op ownership grants, 10% discounts on produce and hundreds of pantry staples, as well covering all Co-op classes for our Food For All participants!
Meet Our Operations Manager
Joanne Mierek

It seems about time for me to let Common Ground owners know a little bit about me and what I do here at the store. For about 20 years, I've worked for a number of retail, wholesale and food service companies, all small independent businesses. My husband Jason and I met while working for an independent bookstore in San Francisco. (Subsequently put out of business by Amazon Books - remember when Amazon just sold books?) We moved to Champaign in 2002 after our daughter was born. I had been shopping at Rainbow Market in SF and was a member of a local CSA, so one of the first things I did here was become an owner of Common Ground.

A Call for Your Favorite Family Recipes
We are starting to compile a Co-op Cookbook!

Art Gallery Opening during Boneyard Arts Festival
Friday April 13th, 6-8pm featuring Yeong Choi and N.C. Stephens

Curious what Common Ground is celebrating during Boneyard Arts Festival

You are invited to an Art Opening for Yeong Choi and N.C. Stephens, the Friday of  Boneyard Arts Festival  April 13th, 6-8pm. Meet the talented artists, enjoy delicious co-op foods with wine and beer for tasting. Free to the public and kids are welcome! Join our Facebook Event!

Prints of the artists' work will be available for purchase! Read more about the artists
Fresh Sushi at the Co-op!
Locally made every day

We have proudly partnered with LL Sushi and local sushi chef Lal Lian who delivers a delicious variety of freshly made sushi and dumplings every day. All the fish is certified sushi grade and there are no artificial color or flavor ingredients. Come in and try some for lunch or dinner! 

Lal sampling at the co-op
Looks great - tastes better
Also New at the Co-op: Local Bison Meat

We now carry local, 100% grass-fed, free range, antibiotic- & hormone-free American B ison meat  in 2lb packages with our frozen meats. Lieb Farms is a 5th generation family farm only 26 miles away from the co-op in Monticello, IL. They feed their  bison  grass and hay grown on their farm, free of GMOs.
Chip Reader Rollback

As you may know, the Co-op switched over to chip readers for card purchases at our registers several months ago. While we have been working hard to ensure a great customer experience, the transition hasn't been seamless and continues to have some problems. Until the companies we use have fixed the issues we've been experiencing, we feel the best option is to go back to the swipe method of card reading, which was much easier for customers and staff alike to use. We will continue to review the process and will try the chip reader once the issue have been resolved. Thank you so much for your understanding.
April Deli Features

For April's feature sandwich we are introducing a Brie & Pesto Grown Up Toasted Cheese. Served on our Local Great Harvest Dakota Hoagie, with Co-op made Arugula Pesto, Organic Spinach, Tomato, & Caramelized Onions and Champignon's Triple Crème Brie (vegetarian).

Call in your order! (217) 239-4525
Reusing > Recycling
Andi Marietta, Front of House Manager

Every year the city of Urbana offers a recycling program to people living in single-family homes up through four-plex housing units through a contractor. This contractor generally serves about 8,500 such domiciles per week. The items for recycling are placed in a large container and taken to a facility to be sorted by type of item (cardboard, steel, glass, #1 plastic, etc). Once sorted, the items themselves are baled and shipped to different facilities to be recycled. Some of those facilities are here in town, some are as far away as Georgia ( 1) . The items are then recycled and turned into new products.

While recycling is a great thing to do to help reduce these sorts of items going into a landfill, you can see that recycling requires further energy and resources to get the items recycled. What can make a bigger impact environmentally is to reduce the amount of items you need to recycle. This is where reusable items come in.

Marketing's Q2 Spring/Summer Focus: Local Food
April, May, & June we will be celebrating what makes CG special

One of the Four Ends of Common Ground Food Co-op is "Our local food system is equitable, robust, & environmentally sound". Building the local food system is a continued focus for food co-ops like ours. Thank you for supporting Common Ground Food Co-op - when you buy local, you're not just helping the co-op, but your community, the local economy, and the local environment, too (more on that here).

On the Importance of Local Food
Revisit some articles by Co-op staff

by Sam Ihm, Marketing, June 2017

by Sam Ihm, Marketing, November 2017

" The Cost of Foodon what it takes to do "local food" well
by Tim Sullivan, former Interim GM, January 2018
Join Us for Local Food Lobby Day April 26 in Springfield
We are lobbying with Illinois Stewardship Alliance for local food issues

Every year, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance organizes a Local Food Lobby Day. This year, there are four focuses: industrial hemp farming, SNAP (food stamp) match at farmers markets, fully funding the Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and clarifications to the Illinois Food Freedom Act. Read more here.

Want to carpool? Email [email protected] and we can talk logistics.
April Round Up For Good: R.A.C.E.S.

"The mission of Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services is to challenge the rape culture and empower victims and survivors of sexual violence through advocacy, counseling, education, crisis intervention, and activism.
RACES also works with non-offending significant others, allied professionals, and the community at large to end all forms of sexual violence.
RACES believes that working to end sexual violence, a widespread form of oppression that primarily victimizes women and children, is essential to building a world free of all forms of oppression."

March Results: Prairie Rivers Network

Together, we raised over $4,000 for Prairie Rivers Network in March!
Board Update
Charles Delman, Board Member

The CGFC Board of Directors has recently been focused on three things:
  • Welcoming our new General Manager, Gary Taylor, and building a strong, effective working relationship with him,
  • Planning the Financial Meeting of Owners (FinMoo), to be held on Thursday, April 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center, and
  • Improving the Board's governance process, effectiveness, and responsiveness.
The next board meeting is: Monday, April 9 from 6:15-8:15 pm, Urbana Civic Center
Check out all our new seasonal classes & events, along with some Co-op favorites

See the classes email here for the full list! 
For details on our classes, check the  calendar .

Register online or sign up in person with our staff at the registers. Unless indicated otherwise, all classes and events are located in the Flatlander Classroom at Common Ground, 300 S. Broadway in the Lincoln Square Shopping Center. 
What would you like to see in the newsletter? Email [email protected].
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Thanks for reading!

Common Ground Food Cooperative | 217-352-3347 |  www.commonground.coop  | 
300 S. Broadway Avenue Suite #166, Urbana, IL 61801

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