December 2020
In this month's newsletter:
  • A Word from the General Manager
  • A Word from Your Board
  • Events, Announcements, & Community Happenings
  • Owner Appreciation Days
  • Online Ordering with Curbside Pick-up
  • Introducing Radish Rewards!
  • Holiday Hours
  • Beer & Wine Holiday Features
  • Café Seasonal Items
  • Top 5 Wellness items
  • Latest Blog Posts
  • Exciting New Products
  • Round Up For Good Update
  • Classes Canceled Until Further Notice
  • Thanks for Reading $2 Off Coupon
"To express our thanks to owners, we have exciting news to share! We are going to begin an owner rewards program in 2021. This rewards program will start with a small-scale pilot program on January 1 to work out the kinks and make this program seamless for all owners! We will be testing it first with our staff in December (consider this the pre-pilot program), then we'll begin the real pilot program, open to a small group of owners. After a six month pilot program, Radish Rewards will be open to all owners! How can you be a part of the pilot program? Be among the first 100 to sign up! Just fill out this form, and you'll be enrolled. "

"We try to make the policies as general as possible to give the GM plenty of room to do what they feel is best. If the board sees things that are happening that don’t match up with the owners’ vision of the store, then we tighten up some of the policies to make that vision clear. 
This model has served us well and was critical in enabling Common Ground to emerge from the small shop in the basement of the Illinois Disciples Foundation to become the large, bright, successful grocery store we know today.
Be a part of the chain of authority. Let your board know about your concerns or delights as an owner of Common Ground Food Co-op. You are a critical part of our community!"
The Board of Directors typically meets the second Monday of the month from 6:15 to 8:15 pm in the Flatlander Classroom.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors meets online via Zoom.
Email [email protected] for more information!
Owner Appreciation Days are coming up! Mark your calendars for ONE WHOLE WEEK of amazing sales, 10% regular priced items, plus an owner exclusive coupon book!

Why are Owner Days a whole week?
Common Ground wants to celebrate our owners while staying committed to the highest level of safety for both shoppers and staff. With this as our highest priority, we extended Owner Days to a whole week to allow our owners to stop by during their regular shopping schedule in order to prevent crowds and congregating. We ask that our owners maintain their regular grocery shopping schedule during Owner Days. Masks are, of course, mandatory, and please respect our Senior & At-Risk Hours from 7:30am - 9:00am.

Not comfortable shopping in the store for Owner Days? No problem!
Owners can place an online order for curbside pick-up during Owner Days! Those placing online orders will receive the Owner Deals, an owner coupon book, and have the option to use their 10% discount! Just indicate in the "Order Instructions" box if you'd like to apply your 10% off.
We've added more than 1,600 items to the Co-op Shop -- and we're still growing! As COVID continues and the weather continues to turn chilly, let us do
the shopping for you!

Maintain social distance during Owner Days from December 8th - December 15th! You can receive our Owner Deals, enter giveaways, get our exclusive coupon book, and score your 10% off -- all from the comfort of your vehicle!

Introducing Common Ground's first-ever owner loyalty program, Radish Rewards! The program will be open to all owners starting on June 1st, 2021, but you can be a part of the pilot program! Learn more about Radish Rewards below, and sign up today!

What are Radish Rewards?
With Radish Rewards, owners can earn 1% back on their purchases. An easier way to think about it is this: You can earn 1 point per dollar spent. Those points can be redeemed as cash off a Common Ground purchase! Owners must accrue 200 points before redemption.

Why is Common Ground starting with a Pilot Program?
We are so excited for this program, but we need time to test it out. This pilot program gives us a chance to work through any complications on a smaller scale before making it open to all owners.

The pilot program is open on a first come, first serve basis. The first 100 owners to sign up will be enrolled in the program!

How can I sign up for the Pilot Program?
You can sign up for the pilot program though the link below! All you need to do is fill out the form with your name, owner number and contact information. Then you're done! Remember, only the first 100 owners will be enrolled in the program. Once the pilot program ends, all owners will be automatically enrolled unless they specifically opt out.

An update from our beer baroness, Lisa.
Looking for the perfect beer or wine for your winter holiday celebration? Look no further! Our beer & wine specialist, Lisa, has compiled a comprehensive list of some of Common Ground's newest offerings and seasonal favorites.

"Gluhwein (pronounced GLOWWEIN) is a Holiday tradition that started in Germany. Warm the bottle in a water bath to about 120° and get your glow on! PROSIT! 1 Liter bottle for $6.99 

New AND exclusive to the Co-op! La Cantina Pizzolato M*USE Prosecco and Paloma Rosé!!! I tasted these with the Marketing Team a few weeks back and we fell in love! Not only are the bottles beautiful, but they are also delicious. They are both brut (dry) in style and full Spumante (fully sparkling rather than frizzante, or half sparkle). They are made from organic grapes and are certified vegan. $16.99 Everyday…On sale through the holidays at $14.99."

"2018 Domaine des Tilleuls Muscadet Sèvre et Maine from Loire Valley, France -- organically farmed, this wine is a must if you are serving fresh oysters, shrimp or anything from the sea! 100% Melon de Bourgogne with lovely salinity, the wine displays lemony notes with a generous mid palate.

2017 Le Clos Rouge Sainte Eugenie VdP from Languedoc, France is a blend 45% Merlot, 30% Syrah & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine displays notes of pie spices, autumn woods and tobacco, subtle nuances of toast, vanilla and roasted coffee beans. It has a soft mouthfeel of striking silkiness with fresh, tangy acidity. There's a wonderful balance and well-structured, yet elegant, with fine tannins and multiple layers of flavor. Regularly $10.99 On Sale for $9.99 while supplies last.

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive!! We purchased a limited amount of Joseph Drouhin’s (a name you can trust!) Nouveau Beaujolais. Maison Joseph Drouhin was a pioneer when, in the early fifties, they were the first to bottle and ship Beaujolais Nouveau. This bottling is a harvest celebration and a “bird’s eye view” into what the vintage will produce. This wine only sees Carbonic Maceration, or whole berry fermentation so the ABV is only 10% and is meant to be drunk fresh and young…perfect for the myriad of flavors on your holiday table! $11.99 per bottle while supplies last!

As always, if you purchase 6 bottles or more, you will get 10% off of your wine purchase!! As a side note, if you do not see it and you want it, I’ll get it for you! Just reach out to me via email ([email protected])."
Now, for the Beers. While the beer set has many favorites year round, we are always getting tasty seasonals that our local & regional breweries create to celebrate the time of year. Fall & Winter are super fun with the different styles such as stouts, porters, barrel aged, collectibles, etc! Most are allocated and in short supply, so I never know how much will be available at the Co-op. So come early, come often to see the latest! And wear your mask…beer doesn’t pair well with COVID-19.

BEER SPOTLIGHT for DECEMBER!! 18th Street Brewery
I am pleased to offer some selections from this Black-owned brewery, owned and operated by the AMAZING Drew Fox. His passion for beer matches my own experience where I, too, said goodbye to macro brewed beers upon experiencing beers from Belgium. According to an article from the Beer Advocate, he was visiting Bruges and said that “at an abbey around the corner from his Bruges hostel, an unfiltered wheat beer opened his eyes to what beer could be” Follow this link to the full story by the Beer Advocate:
Read more about 18th Street Brewery here:
For any questions or special orders in our Beer & Wine department, feel free to contact Lisa at [email protected]
Try these new menu items & old favorites!
Our Drink of the Month for December is the Candy Cane Mocha. It's got 2 shots of espresso, choice of milk, Our Own chocolate and peppermint syrups, and whipped cream (if desired). The 12 oz. is $4.50, the 16 oz. is $5.00. 
Check out this old favorite: Spinach, Basil, Garlic pizza! Order a whole pie ahead for $14.99
Staying well during the winter is important, especially during this winter! Check out these top selling products from our Wellness section to keep you healthy, happy, and cared for!
Dr. Bronner's Hand Sanitizer Spray), $4.39
  • Available in peppermint or lavender, this alcohol-based sanitizer is the perfect size for your car or your purse.
Zum Bulk Goat's Milk Soap, $1.39 an oz
  • You can cut the bar to be as big or small as you want, with variety of colors and scents. It leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Jarrow D3 5000 IU, $11.99
  • This is an excellent supplement to take in the wintertime! It helps improve mood and aids in calcium absorption.
Rainbow Light Super C, $11.49
  • This is a great general immune booster at an affordable price!
Back to Africa Shea Butter, $6.39 for 8oz & $10.99 for 16 oz
  • Available in 3 different sizes, shea butter is super moisturizing and can be mixed with other carrier oils or essential oils.
Don't forget the Champaign Farmer's Market brought back the winter market! Social distancing required and located inside Lincoln Sqaure Mall. It runs from November 7th - December 19th.
Take a look at our latest blog posts!
"Make your holiday desserts extra special with local black currant, rose, and creamy chocolate mini cheesecakes with a simple gluten-free pecan crust. This recipe uses cupcake tins and divides up the cheesecake filling to make three distinct flavors to delight every family member!"

"These potato pierogis are an exciting dish to make with a partner, kiddo, or your quaranteam. The filling incorporates gorgonzola cheese, giving it the perfect level of saltiness. The onion, garlic, and peppers boost the filling to add a bit more color and flavor to each bite. Make one batch and you'll have decadent pierogis for days!"

As we bid adieu to much of our local produce for the winter, we welcome the arrival of citrus. All manner of round orange tasty things will become available over the next month. And why not combine that tasty citrus with our lovely local produce? Carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach all pair nicely with our citrus friends. So be on the lookout for more delicious fruit arriving over the next month, but don't worry if you don't see blood oranges just yet; they're most likely to arrive in January. 
There are several limited-time items for the cheese lovers in your life! Pictured above is a Castello mini cheese wheel that pairs great with a white blend; the D'Arenberg Hermit Crab is our go-to recommendation.

Other Castello mini cheeses include Edam and Smoked Gouda.
Only while supplies last!
Mitica Orange Blossom Honey, 7 oz jars $5.79
Mitica Marcona Almonds in Rosemary Honey, 4.6 oz $7.50
Mitica Fig & Almond Wedge, 5.3 oz $4.49
Mitica Torta de Aceite Almendra, 7.4 oz $5.55

Some returning holiday favorites:
St. Angel Fromagerie Guilloteau $14.99/lb
Mitica Figs in Sherry $7.50
Keep an eye out for Our Own decorated sugar cookies coming to the bakery case mid-December! Always made from scratch, always fresh, and always delicious!
November Round Up For Good: Crisis Nursery
In November, we rounded up over $3,500 for Crisis Nursery. Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility in Champaign County that is open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. 
December Round Up for Good: Immigrant Services of Champaign-Urbana
formerly CU FAIR
Since the pandemic outbreak, we have focused on the weekly delivery of food to 300-400 families (bringing it to the clients' homes with our own van) and the provision of rental and utility assistance to some 50 families.

Since our clients continue to suffer under high rates of unemployment, we would use the RUFGG funds to continue this work during the coming year:
  • fund 3-4 rental assistance payments ($600 on average per check)
  • fund 20-30 bags of food for weekly deliveries ($60 per bag).

The Round Up For Good Grant funds would significantly increase our capacity to help immigrant families in need during the coming year.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, ISCU's level of assistance and outreach to immigrants has increased significantly, as the level of donations we receive has also grown. But even before, we were increasingly active: organizing a celebration for Central American Independence last fall (attended by 300), routinely taking our clients to appointments with Immigration Court and ICE in Chicago, and with doctors in C-U, organizing ESL classes for immigrants, providing free home furnishings, etc.

Donation Pick-Up Schedule (Champaign-Urbana metro area only):
Mondays, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Wednesdays, 2-4:30 p.m.
Thursdays, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Fridays, 3-4 p.m.

If you feel up to donating, take a peak at their wish list below!

Immigrant Services Store Wish List 2020

Please note: ISCU only accepts gently-used items that are clean, in working order and free of stains, rips or holes. Thank you for your understanding.

Mattresses (Full, Queen)
Sheets (Twin XL, Full, Queen)
Blankets (Twin XL, Full, Queen)
Comforters (Twin XL, Full, Queen)
Kitchen Supplies of all types, but especially:
  • Pots & pans
  • Baking dishes
  • Stew pots
  • Small appliances (mixers, crock pots, etc.)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Colanders
  • Pizza pans
Baby & Toddler Items:
  • Diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, 6)
  • Baby Cribs
  • Infant Car Seats
  • Toddler Car Seats
  • Toddler Booster Seats
  • Cribs
  • High Chairs
  • Strollers
  • Baby & Toddler Clothing (Sizes 0-6)
School Supplies for K-12 students:
  • Backpacks 
  • Pencil cases
  • Pencils (Ticonderoga only, please)
  • Pens (black, blue, red)
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Rulers
  • Erasers
  • Glue Sticks
  • Wide-rule paper
  • Notebooks
Due to COVID-19, all classes and events have been canceled until further notice.
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of December. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.