June 2019
What time is it? Summer time!
In this month's newsletter:

  • A Word from the General Manager
  • Board Visioning Update
  • First Friday Chill & Grill
  • June Meal Kit: Penne Pasta with Chicken & Asparagus
  • Ice Cream Social Fundraiser
  • Solar Power Hours at Common Ground Food Co-op
  • Changes at the Registers
  • New Featured Artists
  • New Items
  • In the Media
  • Round Up For Good: Eastern Illinois Foodbank
  • Upcoming Classes
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read Gary's May piece on how his attendance at a National Cooperative Grocers' seminar encouraged a change in the way he thought about healthy eating and sparked a change in his diet.
Board Visioning Update
An update from Board Member Kathleen Moreno
June 2019

New Board Member

Please join us in welcoming your newest Board Member, Colin Dodson. Yusuf Hermes recently resigned as a director of the co-op, leaving us with a vacancy on the Board. In the case of an unexpected vacancy, one of the options available to the Board is to appoint a new director until the next election. We are happy to report that Colin Dodson has accepted our offer of appointment from June 2019 through September 2019.

Colin began at Common Ground in 2013 as a Grocery Stocker, became Scan Coordinator in 2014, and served as Interim IT Coordinator before becoming IT Coordinator last year. Colin has been very engaged with Common Ground, cooperatives as a whole, and with the Board. Colin currently serves as the Vice President of the Independent Media Center’s Board. Colin served on a visioning working group and attends Common Ground board meetings and board events regularly. Welcome aboard, Colin.

Field trip to Tucson Arizona’s Food Conspiracy Co-operative

My Dad used to tell us “You can always learn something new from anyone.” So when I had the chance to spend a few days at the Food Conspiracy Co-operative in Tucson, Arizona, I learned a lot!

Tucson’s Food Conspiracy Co-op has its own pesticide-free garden with fig and lemon trees, lots of herbs, and a compost area and rain-catching system to water the garden. The building is on a main drag (4th Avenue) and is sandwiched between two buildings with one entrance/exit. As you walk in, you are immediately greeted by the changemakers with a view of the sitting/eating area to your right, and a cold case of “grab and go” items with beverages and prepackaged foods, along with a small cabinet filled with breakfast baked goods (croissants, scones, muffins etc.). Directly behind the changemakers is an L-shaped food bar with coffee, two soups, four casserole-sized items on a hot bar, and a cold salad bar. In the center of the store is a plant fountain and to the left is the fruit and vegetable refrigerated section. Walking up a small ramp lined with shelves containing house-made breads, you enter an area with wellness items on the left. On the right are chips, sauces, canned goods and at the end of that aisle is a water filtration system. How cool is that?! Next to the water filtration system was the bulk section of liquid cleaners, soaps, etc. We were so excited about the end cap that featured the local Prickly Pear business owner and her products to help diabetics that we forgot to check what the back wall contained.

For lunch on Friday, my sister and I had the Mongolian beef with brown rice (incidentally, they had a Mongolian seitan in the hot bar too) for lunch. My sister purchased a share at the co-op for $180. The new owner packet/folder had a welcome letter, an invitation for an orientation, the Spring 2019 newsletter, her certificate of owner equity and a magnetic strip card with her owner number She hasn’t scheduled the orientation tour yet, and I’m curious to hear what it entails.

For breakfast on Saturday, my brother-in-law and I sustained ourselves with the ham, egg and cheese strata with roasted rosemary potatoes and the breakfast burrito as we were unable to locate my beloved prepared steel cut oats! 

The Food Conspiracy Co-operative’s newsletter comes out quarterly and was filled with their values, principles, ends, Board bios and a really good article about zero waste (written by a long-time staff owner). I also noticed the mention of a strategic 5-year plan for expansion. As much as I enjoyed being a “co-operative tourist” it was comforting to come home and have my beloved Steel Cut Oats and Page Roasting coffee at our Common Ground Co-operative.


The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Monday, June 10th, from 6:15 to 8:15 pm at First United Methodist Church of Urbana located on Race Street near the west entrance to Lincoln Square. Owners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please use the entrance with the maroon awning, on the east side of the church.
First Friday: Chill & Grill
Triple S Farms Sliders & Black Bean Veggie Burgers
The warm weather is back and so are the Co-op Chill & Grills! Join us on the porch during First Fridays for $5 meals, live music, beer & wine, and a good time. 

The first Chill & Grill of the season is happening on June 7th from 5-7pm on the porch. We will be having Triple S Farms sliders and black bean veggie burgers. They will be served with a side of roasted potatoes with herbs & lemon basil pasta salad. Find the complete line-up of this summer's Chill & Grills here.

A special thanks to Triple S Farms, our sponsor for the Chill & Grills this summer! 
June Meal Kit: Penne Pasta with Chicken & Asparagus
orders must be placed by Tuesday, June 11th.
This is the final month of our trial-run for the Meal Kit program. If you would like to see the Meal Kit program continue, please let us know! We would love to hear recipes you'd be interested in purchasing or any other suggestions to make it successful. If interest continues, we will consider picking it up again in the fall!

This month’s recipe features penne pasta with chicken & asparagus.

Pick-up date is Wednesday, June 12th, during store hours in the Flatlander Classroom. Just let a cashier know that you're here for your Meal Kit.

Ice Cream Social Fundraiser
The Ice Cream Social is Saturday, June 29th
Common Ground Food Co-op is hosting the annual Ice Cream Social Fundraiser on June 29th, from 11-1pm, to benefit Eastern Illinois Foodbank. Join us on our porch and donate what you can. Our goal is to raise enough for over 10,000 meals! Groove with New Souls, eat delicious local ice cream and local vegan gelato, thanks to our sponsors, Red Bicycle Ice Cream and Kilgus Farmstead!

We will have face painting, bubbles, a build-your-own sundae station, and more. Invite your favorite people to join us for this special fundraiser!
Solar Power Hours at Common Ground Food Co-op
Solar Urbana Champaign is back in 2019 with version 4.0!
Offered by the City of Urbana, Prairie Rivers Network, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, home and business owners throughout Champaign County and Piatt County may participate in this program to help pool their buying power to secure discounts that make installing solar more affordable.

Start by attending a Solar Power Hour. Our free information session teaches you the basics of solar, its financial implications for your property, and how the Solar Urbana-Champaign 4.0 program works. Then, get a free, no obligation site assessment from our competitively-selected installer. You have until September 30, 2019 to decide whether to get solar through the program. The Solar Power Hour calendar and program updates will be posted on this page on an ongoing basis.

Learn more here.
Changes at the Registers
Chip reading capabilities are on the horizon!
As you've probably noticed, we haven't been accepting chip-card transactions for quite a while now. This is going to change soon. We have been working through a migration process over the past several months to get new PIN Pads installed and set up to accept chip cards. We've run into several complications throughout the process, but it looks like we're almost out of the woods. We are expecting to have the new PIN Pads and processing configuration set up by mid-June and a couple of things are going to change in the way we accept card payments.

Chip Cards will be accepted using the chip instead of the magnetic stripe.  
On a temporary basis, we will be processing Gift Cards on a separate card reader. If you wish to pay for a transaction with a Common Ground/Stronger Together branded gift card, you will need to hand the card to your Changemaker instead of swiping it through the new terminal. We will change our gift card processing later this summer, and more information will follow as we get closer. Existing gift card balances at that time will be transferred to the new system, so you will retain any value you have on gift cards issued from Common Ground.
New Featured Artists
Check out the new artwork in our Flatlander Classroom
The newest installations in our Flatlander Classroom feature local artists Chibi Levi aka Kymberlie & George Hardebeck.

Kymberlie is a 21 year old who LOVES to draw. She first started drawing as a hobby, when she was only 2 years old. She would spend hours drawing with her older sister, Danyielle. Like her sister, she is entirely self-taught. Kymberlie’s late great-uncle, Junior, was especially talented. Perhaps she inherited some of his talent genetically! (Although her mom can’t draw a circle, she likes to say that at least SOME of her daughters’ talent comes from her!)

As you can tell from her “artistic identity,” Kymberlie loves anime’! But, it doesn’t stop there. She loves the entire Japanese culture, from the way people respect one another, to their foods, and their music. She’s been to two of the concerts given by her FAVORITE Japanese rock group - One Ok Rock. Nico Touches the Wall and Yuya Matsushita are also on her playlist. Kyuhyun is just one of the many Korean artists that she listens to. Attack on Titan is one of the anime’ shows that she tries to watch WITHOUT following ahead in the manga! Regardless of the media type, she prefers to listen to it in it’s original form. She can sing and write in Japanese and Korean. In fact, most of her artwork features words written in Japanese (&/or Korean). In her “down time” she enjoys gaming with her PS4 Pro. Some of her favorite games include ANY in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Ark, Destiny, & Spider-Man.

To learn more about the artist and contact them, visit their artist page here.
Since attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the early 1980's, George Hardebeck's more personal art in illustration, cartooning and lettering, has been for concerns needing attention, and inspiration for healing in culture. His artwork is titled "For Healing Life, on her terms."

To learn more about the artist and contact them, visit their artist page here.

New Items Around the Store
At the Cafe:

June Café feature:
  • Iced Caramel Latte ($4.99)

Lemonade is back! You can find it at both the ice table and the cafe counter.
Strawberry lemonade will be available June 10th.

New items in the meat & cheese department:
  • Wensleydale cheese w/ lemon & honey  ($14.24/lb)
  • Challenger IPA cheddar ($14.99/lb)
  • Capricho de Cabra ($12.99/lb)
  • Smooth, creamy, flavorful cheese
  • Produced from Murciana goat milk
  • Has a mild, tangy flavor with a sweet finish
  • Green Peppercorn & Fresh Herb available

  • The Smokin' Goat smoked goat cheese ($16.25/lb)
  • Made with local Majorero Goat milk
  • Smooth & semi-soft, velvety texture
  • Smoked over beech wood, adding toasted notes
  • The rind pattern is a nod to the palm leavers historically used as cheese molds

  • Moore Family Farm's pork spare ribs ($6.95/lb)
  • Expected mid to late June 
  • Kilgus Farmstead pork mini links ($9.99/lb)
  • Triple S Farms pork bratwurst ($7.99/lb)
  • Expected mid to late June
  • Thousand Hills-Beef 100% Grass Fed Beef
  • Beef-Hickory Andouille ($8.99)
  • Beef Stadium Bratwurst ($8.99)
  • We will have fresh chicken from Whistling Hen Farms June 13th

An Update on Local Produce
Local season is here!
Things are starting off a little slow this year, because of all the rain that we have been getting.There’s been so much, in fact, that fields have been under water, field work has been held up, and some crops have been delayed as well. Weather always plays a major factor with local produce. If nothing else, we can usually look forward to hothouse tomatoes starting near the end of June.

Let’s hope there are more sunny, dry days in store for our local produce! We’ll keep you updated on the exciting things that come in.
Co-op Bakery & Prepared Foods:

New Item:
  • Wheat-free Lime Sugar Cookies >>
Seasonal favorites returning in June:
  • Gazpacho quarts (vegan)
  • Lemon Basil Pasta Salad (vegan)
  • Burrito Bowls (vegan)

Our Co-op Bakery is located in the Co-op Kitchen, where all of our delicious Co-op foods are made from scratch, with love, with local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
Smile Politely features where you can find free summer meals for children in C-U
Below is an excerpt - you can  read the full article here .

"Summer can be a time of food insecurity for students who count on breakfast and lunch at school through the academic year. Fortunately, there are several locations throughout Champaign and Urbana that provide free meals for kids 18 and under during the summer months. Champaign Unit 4 Schools, Urbana School District 116, and CU Public Health all participate in this program, sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Times and dates differ depending on the location." 

Food For All: Our Food Accessibility Program
An update on the May Round Up

In May together we raised over $3,800 for Food For All: Our Food Accessibility Program and contributed towards its efforts to help our customers eat healthy and save money by providing equity grants, food discounts, and education grants to those in need. The plant sale was also a huge success, its proceeds contributing almost $3,000 to the program in addition to Round Up For Good.

Round Up For Good is a call-to-action inspired program, which began in February 2010 when Common Ground owners expressed a desire to help fund the relief of the earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the program has transformed into a community-focused ongoing effort to help fund local organizations that are selected democratically by store owners.

June Round Up: Eastern Illinois Foodbank
Eastern Illinois Foodbank serves as the primary food source for food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other programs working to feed our hungry neighbors. The Foodbank acquires millions of pounds of food and grocery product through purchase or donation and distributes it across our network of more than 160 feeding programs. The Foodbank also operates programs targeted to children, seniors and veterans. Learn more about our programs here.

EIF fights hunger in communities throughout these 18 eastern Illinois counties:

Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Livingston, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt, Vermilion, & Woodford

June Classes & Events

See what's new for the month of June 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 the end of June. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.