February 2021
In this month's newsletter:
  • A Word from the General Manager
  • A Word from Your Board
  • Events, Announcements, & Community Happenings
  • Online Ordering with Curbside Pick-up
  • Valentine's Day Meal Kit -- Order Yours Today!
  • Common Ground's New Link Match Program
  • Café & Grab n' Go Featured Items
  • Latest Beer & Wine Selections
  • Recent Blog Posts
  • Exciting New Products
  • Round Up For Good Update
  • Classes Canceled Until Further Notice
  • Thanks for Reading $2 Off Coupon
by Gary Taylor

"We are in the midst of winter, and I am so looking forward to this coming spring and summer. Since working here at Common Ground, one of the biggest reasons I look forward to the warmer months is so I can enjoy a much larger variety of our local produce! What I've learned, though, is that you don't have to wait for spring and summer to enjoy delicious local foods. Yes, I must wait quite some time for my most beloved garden harvest, tomatoes, to be ready, but until then, I am trying my hand at preparing dishes composed of available local and seasonal ingredients. I challenged myself this last month to cook a meal composed of [almost] all local and seasonal ingredients."

by Ming Kuo

"The Board recently had cause to review some of Common Ground’s management policies surrounding staff, and I was surprised and gratified to learn more about those policies and how they are carried out. Although the Board certainly wanted to know whether our policies meet legal requirements and industry standards (they do), what we discovered is that our management team aspires to — and meets — a much higher standard. 
“Treatment of Staff” is on the Board’s annual calendar as a topic for our February meeting (Feb 8, 6:15pm). What are our collective aspirations for what working at the Co-op should be like? I hope those of you with views on this topic will consider sharing your thoughts."
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!
We've added more than 2,000 items to the Co-op Shop -- and we're still growing! As COVID continues and the weather turns chilly, let us do the shopping for you!

Pre-order your customized, three-course meal kit
for a special Valentine's Day evening in!

We are putting together a customized meal kit for Valentine's Day! Select your favorite dishes from our three-course menu to make at home! You'll have the choice between three bottles of wine, two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts - or select them all! Each menu item is individually priced to suit your ideal meal and budget. We'll portion out all the raw ingredients for your kit and provide you with everything you need to cook your special dishes. Meal kits will also include pre-made Co-op sauces, herb rubs, and recipe card instructions! All menu items except the bread and wine are portioned with 1 serving in mind. 

Meal kits can be picked up in store or through our curbside service! To pick up curbside, please pull your car to the front of the store during your designated pickup time and call the curbside phone number (217) 202-8734. We will bring out your meal kit promptly! Meal kits are not available for pick up outside of the designated pick-up times.

Please note that this meal kit includes uncooked, raw ingredients for you to cook at home. These meal kits are not ready-to-eat upon pickup.

In partnership with The Land Connection & Winter Farmers Market, CGFC is part of a Link Match grant!
Common Ground is excited to announce that we are accepting Link Match vouchers this winter! In partnership with The Land Connection & Winter Farmers Market, any shopper who uses SNAP at the winter market will receive an equal dollar amount in Link Match vouchers. These vouchers can be redeemed at the Co-op on local produce!

How does it work?
Thanks to the Link Up Illinois grant, The Land Connection's winter farmers market in Lincoln Square Mall is offering Link Match vouchers for every dollar of SNAP spent at the market. For example, a shopper swipes their Link card fo $10 in market tokens, they will receive an additional ten $1 vouchers to be spent at the winter market or at Common Ground. To promote and support the local food system, these vouchers are valid only on local fruits and vegetables. There is a $20 match limit for these vouchers.
How do I know what's local?
Just look for our special signs! All our local produce is marked with a special green sign, indicating which local farm it was sourced from. Additionally, for the duration of the grant, all local produce will be tagged with a special "Eligible for Link Match with Voucher" signs.
Hear from our Beer & Wine specialist, Lisa,
on what's new in the store!
NEW Non-Alcoholic Selections:


Brave. Courageous. Dignified. Established in 2015 in Santa Ana, California, Bravus Brewing company is on a mission to use quality ingredients and brew the best tasting non-alcoholic craft beers available. We have in stock their IPA, Amber Ale, and the Oatmeal Stout.

N/A beverages have been climbing in popularity for “dry” months, or if you simply want to have a beverage that tastes like the real thing. I like them for doing yard work. It satisfies the craving for a cold one, but you can still finish what you need to get done! They are all just over 100 calories, Gluten Reduced and VEGAN!
Now…onto the stuff with some ABV…
Perennial Artisan Ales, our January brewery spotlight, has released their much anticipated Imperial Stout. Drumroll please...

This is a tasty Mexican Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. Pouring deep brown with a thick head, this beer has a complex body with a delicious lingering roastiness. Abraxas is brewed with unique ingredients intended to challenge and excite the palate. It may be enjoyed right away or allowed to age in the bottle (3-5 years). Vertical tastings are fun if you happen to have previous “vintages” of this special brew. 11.5% ABV. Supplies are limited and will be $22.99 per 750ml. 


These guys are pretty modest for the fine brews they produce! Here’s their Facebook description: “Midwestern brewer of modern farmhouse ales, focusing on traditional methods and oak fermentation to produce a product that is a representation of the area.” Understated at best! So, I will wax poetic…I recently tried their double dry hopped IPA called “Get My Things.” I was wowed by the balance of this beer! I’m not a fan of huge IBUs and this one came in at a lowly 8…my taste buds applaud you, Transient! So, I am truly excited about the new one called “One More Wave.” I’ll try and have a rotation of at least one of their beers, as they don’t produce much. The current one is available by the 4 pack and singles!


I got a sweet deal on 6 pack bottles, so I am passing it on to YOU, our loyal customers! Six packs are $5.99, and cases are available for $21.99. Perfect for your Super Bowl party!
Lisa's Wine Pairings for Valentine's Day
I put together special wine pairings for the Valentine's Day Meal Kit (details about the meal kit can be found earlier in the newsletter!) I choose three specific wines to pair with the appetizer round, entree course, and dessert. These wines are delicious and sure to complement your special evening in the perfect way.

A great starter wine to pair with the bread, salad & even the pasta entree would be LoDuca Lambrusco for $12.99. Often overlooked and underestimated in its deliciousness, Lambrusco (the grape & the DOC) originated in Emilia Romagna, Italy. They can be as different a night and day. LoDuca is more off dry than semi-sweet and is a perfect pairing for the entire menu.

You can't really have steak without a great cabernet so my pick is Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State $23.99. This bright cab displays red currant aromas with a hint of coffee bean. The tannins are moderate, elegant and complex with notes of cherries and red fruits all the way through the lengthy finish. It would be lovely with the flourless chocolate cake as well.

As for the Vegan Berry Pie dessert, Pizzolato Paloma Sparkling Rosé would be a nice top off, and the bubbles will help if you are feeling a bit full from the feast! You can select a bottle for $18.00.

Santé and Happy Valentine's Day!

Wine Technical Information Binder
I just finished a book that contains tons of tech sheets for the wines, ports and liqueurs, sake, etc. It includes information on most everything that we carry in the store. If you want to look at how these products are made, this is your go-to for information, just in case I am not in the department to help you. This is a great tool for tasting notes, winemaking technique and (sometimes) organic certifications on these products. It will be located above the mix-a-six carton holder.
Try these new menu items & old favorites!

February's Drink of the Month is the Chocolate Covered Cherry Latte.

This decadent drink was created by our Cafe Manager just for the month of February! It's made with 2 shots of espresso, your choice of milk, cherry syrup, and Our Own chocolate syrup.

It can be ordered hot or iced!

12 oz : $4.00
16 oz : $4.50
Don't forget about us for a to-go breakfast and lunch throughout the week! Our Cafe & Kitchen are making fresh foods daily to keep you full & feelin' good!

Egg + Cheese Bagel

add bacon, ham, smoked turkey, breakfast seitan, or avocado!

Sunrise Bagel
Eggs + Cheddar Cheese + Arugula Pesto + Spinach + Caramelized Onions + Tomato + Avocado

Farmer's Bagel
Eggs + Ham + Cheddar Cheese + Spinach + Caramelized Onions + Tomato
Curious what will regularly be available in the Grab n' Go? Here's February's entree rotation:

  • Tofu & Veggie Brown Rice Bowl
  • Curried Cauliflower & Yellow Rice
  • Tofu Pad Thai
  • Indian Butter Chicken
  • Cincinnati Chili 4 way
  • Beef Goulash
  • Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Watch for theses closer to Mardi Gras!
  • Smokey Red Beans & Rice - with local andouille sausage & local smoked bacon
  • Veggie Jambalaya with housemade seitan sausage
Take a look at our latest blog posts!
"Shake up your lunches with new spice blends that will transform your meals for the upcoming week! Your future self will thank you."

"Common Ground Food Co-op has existed since 1974. Since its inception, the Co-op has been a small, independent entity serving the Champaign-Urbana community. It’s been around for 47 years, but so many in the area aren’t familiar with Common Ground. Most notably, there is still a lot of confusion about what a cooperative business even is. "

Click here to read more about co-ops!
"Pongal or Makar Sankranti is a festival celebrated all over India. It goes by different names in different parts of India and the customs in celebrating the festival vary too... This festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in farming communities in villages across India with kite flying, bon fires, dancing, and feasts... Sweet treats using sesame seeds and jaggery, Pongal (both sweet and savory versions), and rice pudding are a few of the treats made during this festival."

what's coming to produce in February?
After a few-month absence, our seed friends will be returning in February. Our first order has been place, and normally, we'd have an idea of when they'll arrive, But, like most other seed companies, Seed Savers is delayed in shipping seeds this year. This is due to both safety measures for their workers, and last year's unprecedented demand for seeds carrying over into this year. But once they get here, we will have plenty of seeds for you to choose from!
take a peek at what we're stocking now!

Our Own
Smokey Ancho Chile Hummus

Garden of Life
Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Our Own
Irish Soda Bread

Our Own
Roasted Garlic & Artichoke Pasta Salad

Our Own
Flourless Chocolate Cake
2 packs available
between Feb. 7th - Feb. 16!

Our Own
Vegan Mixed Berry Pie
2 packs available
between Feb. 7 - Feb. 16

Garden of Life
Liquid Baby Vitamins
these favorites are finally back on our shelves!
  • Glow by Lola Skincare Products
  • Dried Garbanzo Beans (bulk)
  • Local Brian Severson Cornmeal (bulk)
  • Frozen Vicolo Cornmeal Pizza Crusts
  • Cascadian Farm Multigrain Square Cereal
  • Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch Cereal
  • Field Day Pretzel Sticks
January Round Up For Good Update: Daily Bread Soup Kitchen
In January, we rounded up over $3,300 for Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. With January’s Round Up funds, Daily Bread Soup Kitchen is able to continue to provide meals-to-go (packaged in biodegradable clamshell containers!) to some of CU’s most vulnerable residents. Daily Bread is also directing your Round Up donations to provide bottled water (did you know public drinking fountains have been shut off to prevent the spread of COVID?) and face masks to those in need. 
February Round Up for Good: Champaign County Humane Society
In February, we are rounding up for Champaign County Humane Society The Human Society's mission is to instill respect, kindness, and compassion for animals as community values. They work to "prevent cruelty to animals, to promote animal welfare, to educate the public about the humane care and treatment of animals, to increase public awareness of the companion animal overpopulation issue and to provide solutions, and to provide high quality shelter, medical, and adoption services for animals when necessary."

With February’s Round Up money, the Human Society will fund surgical sterilization (spay/neuter) of feral or free-roaming cats. With this service, cats receive sterilization surgery, FVRCP vaccine, rabies vaccine, and flea treatment. The Human Society will use Round Up funds to provide this service at no charge to members of the public and partnering cat-rescue groups who are struggling to manage feral and free-roaming cat populations in their communities.

Be sure to stop by Common Ground to Round Up for Champaign County's Humane Society this month!
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 February. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.