Fall is here, and as has become our custom, we celebrated last month at our much-awaited sixth annual Fall Food Fest! Rooty, the carrot welcomed dozens of people as they came to the Cedar Falls Community Center to enjoy food samples, a photo booth opportunity, face painting from the Hearst Center for the Arts, and lively music spun by DJ Jumpsuit.
Local food trucks, Kubo and La Calle, were outside selling delicious meals, while indoors local producers and other vendors provided food samples and some local food items for sale including the new Farm Shed Market with fresh fresh juice, squash and garlic from Kaiser Farm, and Yellow Table Farm’s lamb sausage and fresh garlic. In addition, guests sampled Homan Honey, sautéed mushrooms from Solstice Farm, crunchy cucumber and temporary veggie tattoos from Whistling Thistle Farm, and Country View Dairy yogurt. The UNI Local Food Program educated people about Greens to Go which provides fresh produce in areas of the community that don’t have easily accessible fresh grocery options. And no one could miss the popcorn smell wafting from Fitkin Popcorn who provided the popcorn cube given to our 1000th member-owner.
You read that right, we hit a huge milestone surpassing our 1000-member mark!!! In fact, the event ended with 11 new member-owners, for a total of 1001! Many attendees, including some of our newest members, walked away with door prizes provided by the following generous area businesses: Ananda Studio, Basket of Daisies, Blue Barn BBQ, the Brass Tap, Driftless Style, Hatchlings & Hens, Lark Brewing, Music Together, Oster Regent Theatre, the Runner’s Flat, Second State Brewing, Sidecar Coffee Roasters, SingleSpeed Brewing Co., and Vintage Iron.
Thanks to all who contributed items, food, time, and talent to make this another successful event. We couldn’t have done it without the dozens of volunteers who helped from the planning stage to the event itself showing once again the positive engagement within this community.
Five years ago, we welcomed our first members at what has become an annual festival. This year, new members included several who are new to the community, some who have been following our progress for a while, and gift memberships! As your community co-op continues to grow and work toward doors opening, we are grateful to be an active start-up in this region. This journey may be long, but we are working carefully to ensure we have a co-op here for future generations. Each step of this community-grown business is taken carefully and thoroughly by many hard-working, skilled volunteers as well as great support and advice from national consultants and other co-ops. This journey will ensure we are sustainable for many decades to come. Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm!