December 2018
Owner Days, baby
In this month's newsletter:

  • GM's notes on shopping local for the holidays
  • Board update on 2018-19 priorities
  • Owner Days samplings, sales, and events
  • Staff article: Striving Toward Workplace Democracy
  • Humans of the Co-op: MJ & John
  • Bonus: MJ the Co-op Composter
  • New items
  • Delight wreath orders
  • Round Up for Good: Crisis Nursery
  • Upcoming classes
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read the December update from Gary here, with some reasons to celebrate the season by shopping local.

" As we get into the midst of the holiday season I would like to remind everyone about our values here at the coop in terms of supporting our local suppliers and community..." Read on!
2018-2019 Board Priorities
An update from your Board of Directors
"At its annual November retreat, the incoming Board of Directors established five priorities for its work during the 2018-19 year: the visioning process, by-law and policy revisions, owner engagement, monitoring and support of our recently-hired General Manager, and enhancing the relationship between staff and the Board..."

  • Owner Days is almost here! See the rundown of local producer samplings, pop-up events, and hot deals.
Owner Days sales include:
  • 99¢ avocados
  • $2.99 blueberries
  • $2 local microgreens
  • 75¢ Honest Teas
  • $1.25 Organic, Fair Trade Endangered Species chocolate bars
  • 25% off local personal care products
  • 40% off the salad bar
  • 40% off local Miller Amish Chicken Breasts
  • 50% off local Ropp Jersey Creamery cheese
  • 50% off Co-op Made cookie 6-packs
And that's literally not even the half of it! Stay tuned for more.
Plus, owners save 10% on anything that's not on sale, Co-op Basics, or alcohol. Not an owner? Great time to sign up or learn more .
Art Gallery Reception
Friday, December 7, 5-7 pm in the classroom
Join us for a free Art Gallery Reception to celebrate our two newest featured local artists, Robert Nagel and Erica Rae Stark! Meet the artists, enjoy a spread of delicious co-op foods, and taste local beer samples courtesy of  Big Thorn Farm & Brewery !
Striving Toward Workplace Democracy
Staff article
Staff are really excited about the opportunity for greater participation in the co-op!

MJ (Co-op Composter, owner of Mulberries Farm, owner #1732)
"Oranges are gone in a year, easy. Citrus doesn’t take that long to decompose. By the time that I toss this pile, do the lasagna layering of straw, compost, and straw, then give it a little toss and six months later, you can’t find a peel. Seriously. And in the middle of winter, when it’s below zero, in the compost pile, it's about 75 degrees. There is thermal mass even in that cold, but really 130 is ideal for municipal composters. I try to spread things out. Composting isn’t rocket science but what it takes is persistence and a place that is more or less protected, that’s why the farm is so nice. We get nice nutritious compost for our beds and all of this food from the Co-op doesn’t go to the landfill."
Bonus Article: MJ, The Co-op Composter
By Sarah Buckman, Outreach Coordinator

"This newsletter, we’d like to honor the dedicated work of our dear Co-op owner and longtime Co-op composter, MJ Walker. We are so grateful for all of the efforts she has made for improving the Co-op’s environmental footprint and we wanted to share a little more about why she is so special to the Co-op."

John (owner of Red Crib Acres, Sola Gratia Farm Manager, owner #11066)
Photo credit: JP Goguen, owner #12769

"I’ve been an owner since the first year I came back to Central Illinois to do farming which was four years ago. For me, becoming an owner, it’s being a part as much as possible in the local food system. I think that being a part-owner of Common Ground or Green Top gives power to our community to make good food choices and really makes the small scale farming a lot more viable for more people. The big food grocers don’t really want to deal with us growers that can really only get them 100-200lbs a week of product. Common Ground will because they want to support local. They’re willing to put in the extra effort to work with someone who can only supply small amount of food each week. So it really opens up a lot of doors.

I think Champaign-Urbana, without Common Ground, would be a completely different place in the food scene and not only with where you can buy your groceries but it would probably change how accessible locally grown food is in restaurants and places like that. There are probably some restaurants that come in to grab two bunches of kale that they run short on and that opens the door to introducing local foods into restaurants. It's a good model to be fully invested in good food."
New Items Around the Store
  • Produce will soon have Fair Trade roses as singles & bunches.
  • Did you know that our Deli sells made from scratch frozen pizzas?! We now have vegan and wheat free options available as well as our regular frozen pizza offerings.
  • We're excited about the new weekly Fresh Fish Program (click to learn more).
  • Our cheese case has moved and expanded. Our charcuterie, cheeses, and olives are now located right next to beer & wine and across from the aisle 6/7 endcap, conveniently right next to the honey and crackers.
  • We've added 5 Spoke Creamery cheeses made from Grass Fed Cows milk. 5 Spoke is family-owned, 100% solar-powered, and Kosher certified.
  • Punk Rawk Labs vegan "cheeses", a women-owned & operated small business whose products are made using simple and natural organic ingredients free of dairy, gluten, and soy. We carry two of their vegan nutmilk "cheeses": Herb & Cashew of the Woods

  • The Candy Cane Mocha is back! With Co-op Made Fair Trade chocolate syrup, Co-op Made whipped cream, and peppermint syrup. 12 oz: $4.25, 16 oz: 4.99
Order a Delight Holiday Wreath by 12/9
Handmade with local flair
The time is now to order a Delight Flower Farm wreath through the co-op! Each wreath is unique, handmade with locally-grown fresh evergreen, dried flowers, and bows. They're freshest when displayed outdoors, but can be used inside.

Choose from:
  • $30 for a 12" frame (more like 20" diameter when finished)
  • $40 for an 18" frame (more like 25-30" diameter when finished)

Order online here ! Ends 12/9.
Together, we raised over $4,100 for Courage Connection in November!
December: 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 open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. Besides safe shelter for children, ages birth through six, we also provide family support and parenting education to strengthen parent skills and confidence. We believe that asking for help is a sign of strength.”

Donations are accepted at Crisis Nursery during administrative office hours, Monday-Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Crisis Care Line: (217) 337-2730
November Classes & Events

See what's new for the month of December in our classes email.

You can always sign up online or in-store and classes are listed on the class calendar.
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through end of December. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.