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2020 Annual Report :

New Pioneer Food Co-op End Statement
A sustainable and forward-thinking local food marketplace, defined by:
Shared economics, community enrichment, and partnerships in the Corridor
Widespread and diverse participation
Identifying and meeting the needs of owners and future owners
Board of Directors
(year indicates when term expires)
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V P
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  | wannette@s
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() - |
Published by:
I C
 S. Van Buren St.
Iowa City, IA 
() -
 
Coralville, IA 
() -
C R
 Center Point Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 
() -
Editor Amy Hospodarsky
Design Meghan Kincade & Melanie Roling
Members are welcome to share their
views with the New Pi Board.
p. 5 Letter from the Board President
p. 6 Letter from the General Manager
p. 10 Purchasing Report
p. 11 Regenerative Farming
p. 13 Letter from the Brand Manager
p. 16 Financials
Missing grandmas cooking this year?
We’ll do our best to fill in.
Place your order this anksgiving for our house-made
family-style dinners for 5, a la carte and by the plate options.
 annual report
Friendly Farm
Nestled on the south side of Iowa City, you will find a 20-acre urban family farm owned
and operated by the Braverman family. Friendly Farm grows a variety of produce and
flowers on picturesque land found just within Iowa City limits. Founded in 1982 by Bob
Braverman, Friendly Farms mission is embodied by its name. Bob believed that the soil
was our most valuable commodity and nurtured his land with great consciousness and
passion. ough Bob passed away in 2011, David and Kathy Braverman have carried on
the family farming tradition.
“e aim of our Farm has always been to serve our
community and be environmentally friendly,
David Braverman said.
Friendly Farm is always trying to reduce their environmental impact and respect the land
they work. From their packaging to farm practices, they are constantly pushing to find
ways to reduce waste and become more sustainable. Since their beginnings, they have
been farming completely chemical-free. In recent years, they have added compostable
packaging for their cherry tomatoes to reduce plastic use.
Friendly Farm grows chemical-free heirloom tomatoes, multi-colored cherry tomatoes,
romaine lettuce, greenleaf lettuce, butternut squash and more for New Pioneer, and it's all
grown just five miles from the Iowa City store. In past years, you could even find David at
New Pi events or in our store sampling out his tomato varieties for members to enjoy.
“New Pi has been a long-time buyer and dear friend to our farm,
David said. “ey have helped us through both good and bad
times. We hope to continue this relationship for years to come.
Iowa City, IA
Produces Veggies & Flowers
Miles from the Co-op
Verve Kombucha
Waterloo, IA
Produces Kombucha Products
Miles from the Co-op
In 2015, Andy & Alex started brewing kombucha and
dreaming about a project that would see Verve bottles
and draft lines in grocery stores, restaurants, and breweries
across Iowa.
“We brewed in mason jars,” they said while remembering their beginnings. “e kombucha
was… not good. But we kept working at it.
In 2017 Andy and Alex submitted a proposal to start their brewery in a city-owned
building in downtown Waterloo that had been vacant for a few years, and by 2018, their
dreams were in motion.
“We moved up to five-gallon glass containers, started knocking out walls, and filling out
paperwork. About a year and a half after our proposal was accepted, we opened the doors
of Verve Kombucha.
Verve is now running a full restaurant and taphouse in Waterloo
and bottling kombucha you can find at New Pi.
"Verve Kombucha owners Andy and Alex have been really great to work with,” Alex
Gassman, New Pioneer Grocery Coordinator said, "and their kombucha has been a great
addition to our lineup."
e Year of the Essential Worker
Board of Directors Statement
Caitlin Slessor
New Pi Board President
First, to the New Pi team:
ank you for what you have done this year. 2020 has
ushered in more and faster change than we have ever
experienced. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,
you quickly shifted to nearly half of all sales taking place
online. is meant we saw you- our favorite cashiers, deli staff,
and others- taking on a new role and picking online orders.
During the months when we could not leave our homes,
and many were working from home, you donned your masks
every day and came to work. You worked even harder when
your co-workers had to stay at home because of health
concerns, or you yourself stayed home when you were sick to
make sure everyone at the store could stay healthy. You all
kept our grocery store up and running to serve
our community.
en, in August, Cedar Rapids was hit with a land hurricane.
Hurricane Iowa (as I have not so affectionately taken to
calling it) hit us without any warning on a Monday over
the lunch hour. What followed was chaos in a city without
electricity, cell service, or working internet. Going to bed
in hot, dark houses and waking up in hot dark houses, the
Cedar Rapids team kept coming to work to make sure Cedar
Rapids residents had groceries. As I write this- 3 weeks out
from the storm- I’m sure many of you are still displaced, or
without internet, or wondering if you’ll ever be able to see
your backyard or street again through all the broken trees.
So, thank you. ank you all for collectively being the
hardest working and most dedicated group in the Corridor.
is is the year of the essential worker.
To our members:
ank you for your loyalty and support. Not knowing what
2020 had in store for us, we fortuitously launched our Co-op
Cart online ordering program in 2019. You trusted us to
provide contact free grocery shopping when COVID hit. You
continue to keep our staff and each other safe by diligently
wearing masks whenever you are in the store. While we’ve
noticed that your shopping habits have changed (more
baking supplies, fewer prepared foods), you have shown us
your support by continuing to make our stores part of your
shopping routine. We all own the Co-op, so from one
member to another, thank you for ensuring we are here
for the next generation.
When the Derecho hit the Cedar Rapids store, you were
patient as we waited for the generators to fire up and for
power to be restored. We appreciate your ongoing patience
as we restocked the store and worked on repairing the
damage to the building.
As we continue to respond to the ever-changing retail
marketplace, we know you have our backs and will keep
providing us with support.
Finally, to our community:
ank you for trusting us to provide an essential service to
the Corridor. e support of our community allows us to
be a revenue stream for local farmers and producers, and an
employer to our dedicated team.
  5
When I wrote to you last year, we were renovating and
improving our Coralville and Iowa City stores. When fall
and winter arrived and we wrapped up those projects, we all
hoped for a new year full of stabilization. We had no idea 
what 2020 had in store for us.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March change
was set into motion once again. Our team quickly pulled
together to make swift effective changes to keep our
shoppers safe and our stores up and running.
e past six months truly raised awareness
around just how essential the work of our
Co-op is.
After two years of development, our online shopping
platform, Co-op Cart, launched just months before the
pandemic arrived. Our members and shoppers turned to it
to keep their families fed and safe. Nearly overnight, we went
from fulfilling a handful of online orders each day to fulfilling
over 100 orders each day. Almost every team member 
was involved in scaling up our Co-op Cart operation
to ensure we could meet the need as our community
stayed home to slow the spread.  
In May, when people started to emerge and visit our store
in person more often, we continually and consistently made
safe practices our priority. We have been a leader in safety
and transparency during these times, and I am proud of our
team’s thoughtful and incisive action. We were among the
first retailers, locally and regionally, to institute designated
hours for senior and at-risk shoppers and to require masks in
our stores. We have committed to upfront communication
with our shoppers each time a team member tests positive
for COVID-19 and offer paid quarantine time for any team
members who come in close contact with another team
member who has tested positive. We take our responsibility
to provide you with local, sustainable, and responsibly sourced
food seriously and will continue to adjust as needed for the
safety of our team, members, and shoppers.
I am so humbled 
By the pouring out of encouragement, kind words, and
support you have given us throughout this year. You have 
reached out via email, phone, social media, in person and
beyond to thank our team for their essential work. You have
continued to shop with us, reinforcing the belief that change
can be made through thoughtful purchasing decisions. Locally
produced products are still at the top of our most purchased
lists, and together we are providing much needed support to
local farmers and produces.
I am immensely proud of how our Co-op has responded
during these difficult times. ank you for continuing to invest
in New Pi’s mission and vision. We will stay steadfast in our 
commitment to meeting the needs of our members and
providing a market for local, natural, and organic foods. 
We look forward to serving you in the coming year
and beyond.  
A Letter From our
General Manager
I am immensely proud of how our Co-op has responded during these difficult times.
Matt Hartz 
New Pi General Manager
new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter6

Most Valuable Products
during early months of COVID
  
Packages of
Toilet Paper Sold
New Co-op Cart
Garden Plants Sold
miles clocked
by personal shoppers
or 548 5Ks
Seedsaver Packets Sold
House-made Cookies
New Pi Cake Slices
Chocolate Bars
Organic Milk
Local Eggs
Whole Chickens
Grass-Fed Ground Beef
Sparkling Water
Co-op Cart
orders filled
-   
.    
 
 
 - , 
Shopping Shifts
during the early months of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Cleaners Sold
ank you, team New Pi
ank you just doesnt
seem to say enough.
- Chris and Ken Winslow
A HUGE thank you to all
those who remain working
and allowing us to continue
to receive fresh, healthy
food! You all make it easy and
convenient to get groceries
online. I’m grateful to all of
you, you all are heroes!
- Beth Faga
Dear Iowa City New Pi workers -
thank you all for your hard work
under such difficult conditions.
Not only has the Co-op Cart
crew kept me and my daughter
fed well, but you've also
contributed to our necessary
efforts to keep us all safer.
- Jen Buckley
I'm pleased to know your
hard-working team members
have received a much-
deserved bonus during
this trying time. What an
AWESOME group you are!
ank you all for everything
and stay well.
- Sher Ochs
ank you for bearing under
this burden and actually
risking your lives to feed us.
You will always remember
this time in your lives and the
heroes you became.
- Marc Abbott
Stay Awesome! at's what
Tevin always says when he loads
my order in my trunk. It makes
my day. ank you for keeping
us safe, well-fed and helping
us remember how lucky we
are to be among friends in this
wonderful community.
Stay awesome!
- Lydia Leidiger
I've ordered online and you
always get everything exactly
right and are so helpful! I've
always been a proud New Pi
member, but your actions and
efforts during this pandemic
have made me even prouder!
anks for working hard and
being awesome!
- Katie Giorgio
Your team made shopping in a
pandemic stress free and were
always careful and considerate.
ank you for being a bright
spot in this challenging time!
- Julie Bradley
ank you, thank you,
New Pi staff!
You're the greatest!!!
- Sara Rynes & Paul Weller
Even in these hard times I am
struck by the helpfulness and
friendliness of the CR New Pi
staff. ey have positive spirits
and always make US
feel appreciated.
ank you so much for being so
attentive and conscientious.
- Gary and Marilyn Langhurst
I cannot adequately express
my tremendous appreciation
for the Iowa City team —
they are THE BEST!
ank you, thank you!
- Karen Butler
You're all so amazing. We've only
experienced employees who are
kind, helpful, prompt, and who
make my kids' day by saying
hello. We normally appreciate
these things about the co-op, but
at a time when stress levels are
higher, those things haven't gone
away. It doesn't go unnoticed :)
- Elizabeth Dolter
Sam, Iowa City
Jared, Cedar Rapids
We love being able to have
our New Pi groceries delivered
directly to our car. ank you
to everyone who keeps New Pi
going through this crisis!
We appreciate what you do.
- Terry Pitts & Kathy Hall
I've been shopping at New Pi for
15 years now and it's my favorite
store of pretty much all time.
anks for the online/curbside.
at's brilliant, and impressive.
Good job.
- Brad Mowrey, Meg Hillie and
Violet Mowrey
To have such a well-stocked
store and be served by
caring, experienced staff
is extraordinary during a
ank you, thank you!
- Anonymous
Couldn’t make it without you!
anks for helping us
stay well :)
- Mary ompson
ank you New Pioneer
workers! You are all always
kind, helpful, and dependable.
- Marjorie Rahe
ank you everyone at
the Cedar Rapids location
for doing such a great job
during this health crisis.
- Charlie Hogue
I can't say enough about the
excellence of New Pioneer.
Team work, energy, kindness,
and great management make it
our favorite store. We've always
been loyal shoppers, but now
more than ever.
- Anonymous
ank you for being leaders in
our communities! Each of you
can take pride in knowing that
you are making a difference to
so many people every day.
- Bruce Smith
You guys are the best!!
anks for putting yourselves
on the line for us.
- Zuiko Redding
being such an amazing staff!
I'm so grateful for the smiling
eyes above the masks, and the
gloved "thumbs up" I see when
I pick up my orders. YOU ARE
- Jen Barr
Coralville Team, I can’t thank
each of you enough. You
really stepped up to a huge
challenge and just continually
do an exceptional job.
Please stay safe!
And again, ank You!
- e Goldman’s
ank you so much for your
hard work and dedication!
New Pi has the easiest and
best online grocery shopping
in the Iowa City area. e
staff is always friendly and
eager to help!
- Shirley Jacobs
Sheila, Iowa City
Shaun, Coralville
e Journey to our Shelf:
Local on Top
Purchasing Report
Linda Fritz-Murphy
New Pi Purchasing Team Lead
I was reviewing some sales data recently and it stuck out to
me how local items remain on top. It truly demonstrates why
local is a high priority on our shelves. Products made locally
are what our members seek, and we continue to recognize the
vital importance of the Co-op’s role in the local economy. As a
co-op, we are a manifestation of the community in which we
exist. Our health is intrinsically linked to the health of our local
economy. Purchasing a local product not only helps your
neighbor, but it is gentler on the environment as far less
fossil fuels are burned getting the products to our stores,
and often less packaging is needed when the commute
is short. ese are the reasons we remain committed to
featuring awesome local products in all areas of our stores.
Local is not the only product attribute we
hold dear at New Pioneer. As I touched
on with local goods, sustainability is an
attribute we know our shoppers value and
an attribute we want to deliver.
When reviewing products, we are constantly looking for
new packaging innovation. We know our members want
to reduce their plastic use and we try to find products
that use alternative packaging, such as milk in glass bottles
from Crystal Ball Farms. We are also pursuing a reusable jar
program for some of our prepared and bulk food items. We
value products produced by B corps, who among their goals
work toward a mission of sustainability with their business’s
practices. To learn more about B Corps see their website at:
Another way we seek to impact change through the products
we stock on our shelves is by lifting up companies owned by
women and people of color. We are proud of the numerous
companies owned and operated by women on our shelves
and have continued efforts to expand our products founded
by women. In addition, the Black Lives Matter movement
shines light on the clear need for greater social equity
and justice in our country and has motivated us to take
a hard look at our shelves. e natural products landscape
has traditionally been very white, and the ownership of our
product mix is no exception.
We are determined to improve that and
are setting goals to more than double our
offerings from companies that are owned by
people of color over the next year.
A few new offerings we've added are Partake allergen-friendly
cookies (may I humbly recommend the birthday cake),
Me and the Bees Lemonade, and Honey Pot personal
care products.
We remain committed to offering great everyday value
products through our Co-op Basics program and Member
Rewards program. rough our rewards program, members
earn free product on frequently purchased household staples
like milk, bread and ground beef. In addition, we proudly offer
an everyday 10% discount to members who meet our criteria
for economic need.
We give great thought and consideration to our product
mix. We continue to keep our ear to the ground for member
feedback and follow sales trends to be sure we’re providing
products you like to buy. ank you for your support of New
Pioneer and the products on our shelves that embody the
change we want to see in the world.
new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter10
Cannon Falls, MN
Produces Grass-Fed Beef
Miles from the Co-op
Regenerative Farming
ousand Hills
Cattle Company
Since their founding in 2003, ousand Hills has made
it their mission to nourish the soil, the plants, cattle, and
people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime. Over
the years this mission has evolved into fully embracing and
implementing regenerative agriculture into their business.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Unlike conventional agriculture practices which are built upon a model of extraction,
regenerative agriculture uses a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to
rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm.
Soil health is a large part of regenerative farming, and one way that ousand
Hills applies this model to their farm is through the use of rotational grazing. Instead of
allowing their cattle to graze in the same area day after day, they rotate them to different
sections of their land. is not only provides plants and soil with important time to
rest and regenerate, but it still allows them to feel the positive impacts that come with
animals grazing like natural fertilizer and hoof action. Without this break, these areas can
lose the ability to reestablish new growth and unsavory weeds can quickly take over.
ousand Hills applies the rule of thirds for their rotational grazing - graze a third
of their land, trample a third, and leave a third. is process promotes photosynthesis
within the plants. As they pull carbon from the air to create carbohydrates, these sugars
move down through their roots and help feed micro-organisms, who then use that fuel
to build soil. e soil stores this carbon, which not only removes some of the excess
found in our atmosphere, but also creates a healthier soil that can hold more water and
grow more resilient crops.
ousand Hills is actively combating climate change and helping to bring balance
back to our atmosphere by looking at the way we farm and working to improve it.
  11
Whoa Nelli
Iowa City, IA
Miles from the Co-op
While Mary Paoli was living in Bozeman, Montana, she
started taking community education classes to help pass
the time during the harsh winters. When she enrolled in
a natural skincare and DIY home cleaning workshop, she
had no idea that a great instructor would spark a deep
interest to find and create better alternatives.
When she decided to start Whoa Nelli, she called on inspiration from her
grandmother. “I had an Italian grandma who crocheted beautiful tablecloths and who
loved sharing her homemade gnocchi, breads, and pizzelles with friends and family
members,” Mary said. “Like her, I get a lot of joy from creating and sharing, and that’s one
of the motivations behind Whoa Nelli.
She also drew from her past work as a public relations professional for a B Corp.
manufacturer to push to find more sustainable ways to do business, like her plastic
free packaging. Earlier this year the Environmental Working Group reviewed Whoa
Nelli’s laundry soap and all-purpose spray cleaner. Both products in all scents
scored 'A' ratings indicating a very low hazard to health and the
environment in addition to robust ingredient disclosure.
"Whoa Nelli is everything that the Co-op looks for in a product,” Alex Gassman, New
Pioneer Grocery Lead said. “It is incredibly sustainable with its glass and refillable bottles,
it is made right here in Iowa City, and it works really well without using harmful chemicals."
Produces Cleaning Products
Locally Grown.
Community Owned.
Amy Hospodarsky
New Pi Brand Manager
At the beginning of 2020, New Pioneers marketing team set out to discover
how our members and shoppers perceive New Pi, what they value, how we
can improve our communications, enhance our shopping experience and
serve them more effectively.
We reached out to members with a survey, talked to team members, and did external fact finding. We were
overwhelmed with the response! ough we have mounds of feedback to use moving forward, a few themes stood
out above all others:
Commitment to the Mission
Across the New Pi footprint, our members reiterated their commitment to living sustainably, supporting local food
systems, being socially responsible and knowing where and who their food comes from. ese values are core to
our mission and our shoppers resonance is no surprise, but it helps to reinforce our commitment to supplying our
members and shoppers with the highest quality locally and responsibly sourced food in the corridor.
Locally Grown
When we analyzed our most popular products, talked to community members, and asked our members why they
shopped at the Co-op, commitment to local farmers and producers stood above all other attributes. Shoppers come
to New Pi to find local produce more than any other segment of groceries.
Community Owned
Community ownership and being part of a like-minded community continues to be a high priority for our shoppers,
team members, and Co-op. ough connecting with our community may look a bit different in this season, our team
will work to continue to build spaces where our community can connect with food and connect with each other.
In the coming weeks, months, and years, you may notice us focusing on these areas even more. We will use our
research findings to help us connect with you and build a better Co-op. ank you to all of you who took the
time to answer our survey and reach out to us with feedback. Together we will build a Co-op to serve us now and for
many years to come.
  13
annual report 2020
2020 annual report Published by   NEW PIONEER FOOD CO-OP Iowa City 22 S. Van Buren St. Iowa City, IA 52240  319  338-9441 ...
Financial Report
Ramji Balakrishnan
New Pi Board Treasurer
e fiscal year, which concluded in June, can be divided into
two distinct phases: pre and post-COVID.
Like others, we had to reconfigure our
entire operations for the second portion of
the year, starting March 2020.
Briefly, as in prior years, revenue growth and operating
cashflow were negative in the first portion of the year.
e disruption from the simultaneous remodel projects
of our Iowa City and Coralville stores did not help this
pattern. A sales surge with the arrival of COVID produced
positive revenue growth and positive operating cashflow
in the second portion of the year. Co-op Cart, an online
shopping initiative that went live in December 2019 (and
on which we had worked for a year or more), was a big part
in this resurgence. Indeed, at times, sales via Co-op Cart
accounted for up to 40% of total sales, although the
proportion has leveled off at a lower value.
From an accounting perspective, relative to the prior year,
we experienced a revenue growth of about (2%). However,
the reported loss increased by about 22% because our
costs do not decrease proportionately – we have a base
level of “fixed” costs that we incur to operate the stores.
ese costs have been aggressively managed over the prior
years, and we do not have much more room to trim these
costs. As such, increased sales are the only way forward.
ese numbers do not tell the whole story, however.
Managing cashflow is the biggest challenge for businesses
like ours because we have thin margins and have
experienced several years of negative sales growth. e
good news is that our cash position improved substantively
for the year, increasing by a bit over $1 million. Digging
deeper, operating cashflow was about ($200,000). at
is, we had a negative cashflow from just running the
store. is outflow was magnified when we add in the
approximately $740,000 that we invested in upgrading
the facilities, remodeling the stores and such. Financing
cashflow of about $1.98 million is comprised of the net
change in member equity shares as well as long term
liabilities. ere are two main components to the financing
cashflow. First, we took out a loan for about $900,000
from Hills Bank to fund the store remodeling projects.
Second, we received a loan of $1.24 million from the
Payroll Protection Program (PPP) administered loan from
the Small Business Administration. is loan supported
the Co-ops liquidity at a time of tremendous uncertainty.
Based on current guidance from our bankers and auditors,
we estimate 80% or more will be forgivable and recognized
as income in this new fiscal year. is PPP loan funded a
$2/hour bonus for all our team members from spring into
this fall which we would not have otherwise been able to
economically support.
We enter this new fiscal year in a stronger financial
position than we were in a year ago. e two drivers for
this optimism are the major changes to our operations
(including Co-op Cart) and the receipt of a forgivable loan
under the PPP loan. Despite the great uncertainty in the
external world currently, we remain optimistic that
New Pioneer will be here to serve our community for
years to come.
new pioneer food co-op’s newsletter16
annual report 2020
 
on bread
 
on milk
 
on salad greens
 
on hot coffee
 
298 .
of FREE grass-fed ground beef
 
on ground beef
is Years Member Savings
 
9,933 loaves
of FREE house-made bread
 
1,169 gal.
of FREE local milk
 
3,307 cups
of FREE coffee
 
2,522 pkgs.
of FREE salad mixes
 
in coupon redemptions
Last October, New Pi launched a new member benefits program allowing
members to earn free product on select purchases. Check out our members’
savings from Oct. 2019 through June 2020. All members are automatically set up
to receive these benefits and each purchase is tied to their member account.
Visit to learn more about this new program.
  :
 - 
 
on bread
 
on milk
 
on salad greens
 
on hot coffee
 
298 .
of FREE grass-fed ground beef
 
on ground beef
is Years Member Savings
 
9,933 loaves
of FREE house-made bread
 
1,169 gal.
of FREE local milk
 
3,307 cups
of FREE coffee
 
2,522 pkgs.
of FREE salad mixes
 
in coupon redemptions
Last October, New Pi launched a new member benefits program allowing
members to earn free product on select purchases. Check out our members’
savings from Oct. 2019 through June 2020. All members are automatically set up
to receive these benefits and each purchase is tied to their member account.
Visit to learn more about this new program.
  :
 - 
 S. Van Buren St. Iowa City, IA 
() - |
Locally grown.
Community owned.
Everyone welcome, membership optional.