Hear from new GM Gary Taylor

Dear Owners and Friends of Common Ground Food Co-op,

I cannot begin to describe the excitement I am feeling after my first few days at Common Ground! I have never before met so many people as committed to their beliefs as the ones I have met in the last two weeks. Thank you everyone, who has welcomed me with open arms and have been so willing to share their thoughts about the co-op, the food movement, and the future of both!

I was raised in the small farming community of St. Joseph, Illinois and worked for 3 area farmers from the age of 12 to 18, mostly walking beans and baling hay.  I started working in retail grocery after high school and have remained in the business ever since.  For me, working in grocery stores started out as a way to earn money while getting my degree in management at Illinois State University but I soon realized I had a passion for food and have never felt any desire to do anything else! I grew up in this area, have lived most of my life here, and I wish to not just show my support for the local economy, but also do all I can to help it thrive. A community is made stronger when its local businesses are supported by all who live in the surrounding area and we must endeavor to send the message to our residents that shopping local first is critical to the long term growth of the greater Urbana-Champaign region.  

I invite all owners, customers, and local vendors to drop by the Co-op so I can meet you and hear what you have to say. While I will make myself as available as possible on a daily basis, I have completely cleared my schedule on Saturday, March 10, during Owner Days, to devote to you! Please drop by and ask for me. I can't wait to meet you!

Thank you for all you do!

Gary