New Pioneer Co-Op: An Iowa City Staple

newpioneer3If you haven’t visited the New Pioneer Co-Op, I’m hoping it’s only because you just recently moved to the area.  If not…then what is your excuse? Seriously! “New Pi”, as they like to be called, is truly a staple in the Iowa City/Coralville community.  As the name suggests, New Pioneer is a “co-op”, meaning they are owned by their customers and members of our community.  However, you do NOT have to be a member of the co-op to shop there, which is an awesome added bonus!

As noted on their website, New Pioneer Co-op is “always on the lookout for hard to find unique, ethnic, and local foods to share with our shoppers…we have the crunchiest carrots and the tastiest roast beef in town!”.  To be honest, I have never been disappointed with a purchase from New Pi, and therefore when I was offered the opportunity to do a little “shopping spree” and review them on our blog, it was like Christmas in July!  I knew right away who would join me on this trip:  my mom.  While I was in college at the U of I, she and I would always try to make a trip to the co-op when she visited me, because we loved walking through the aisles and looking at the new selections, picking out a yummy treat from the bakery, and taking home some ingredients for some delicious homemade meals.

Since many of my family members came out to our Health Fair & Family Day in Coralville, I decided to make a day of it and we loaded in the car and headed to the New Pioneer in Coralville.  We left the kiddos with Daddy and Grandpa, which meant the ladies had full reign on the shopping spree:  me, my mom, my “aunt” (good friend), my niece and her friend.  We spread out and searched the store for the best goodies, and met in the middle to share our finds.  Let’s just say, the cart filled up quick!  After drooling over the deli counter and the bakery for about 20 minutes, we finally headed to the check-out.  Many of the items did not even make it to the car (literally) because we were eating them while walking, and even more were devoured on the ride home (pathetic, I know!).  So, that’s why I only have a few “real” pictures of my good buys, and the other photos are just generic photos of the location, because those items were already gone by the time I remembered to get my camera out!

newpioneerVegetarian/Vegan selection:  This is one of our favorite perks about New Pioneer Co-Op.  Many of my family members are vegetarian, and some vegan, and as you all know, it is NOT easy to find variety in the vegetarian section of the average grocery store, and much less if you are vegan!  New Pi hosts a MULTITUDE of vegetarian/vegan options, and we spent much time browsing and choosing our favorites.  So much fun to plan recipes and meals that our family can enjoy without meat!

newpioneer2Drinks, drinks, and more drinks!  Don’t get me wrong–I’m talking about juices, sodas, and a wide assortment of lemonades!  As a non-drinker myself, I enjoy any opportunity to find a selection of non-alcoholic beverages that can be poured into a fancy cup and drank with my friends!  However, I did browse through the humongous supply of beer (many locally-made) and picked out a six pack for my husband.  As someone who only drinks a beer once or twice a month, he may as well enjoy a wide selection (and better yet, from somewhere local!) when he has one!  New Pi prides themselves on their beer selection, and they have an entire section of their website dedicated to helping you find the best one for you!

newpioneerdeliDeli, Bakery, and Bread Selection:  We hit up the deli BIG TIME.  New Pioneer offers a huge selection of freshly made salads, pasta salads, quiches, and more!  We purchased three or four varieties of pasta/quinoa salads, as well as two types of quiche (which were consumed on the spot!).  My niece and her friend picked out some scrumptious raspberry cheesecake cups from the bakery (also eaten in the car), and I myself ran straight for the bread aisle for my favorite: a big, crunchy baguette (you guessed it…I ate it in the car, and made a HUGE mess of crumbs!).


As you can see, I could rave about the New Pioneer Co-op all day long, but I will stop now, I promise!   Just promise me this:  if you haven’t stepped foot in one of their two locations (Iowa City and Coralville), put it on your to-do list now!  And in the meantime, check out their new blog, “New Pi Eats“, where you can find awesome recipes to make using items found at their store!


WAIT!!!  Did you think I would end this post without sharing the love?  Of course not!  New Pioneer has graciously given us a $25 gift card, and it could have YOUR name on it!  To enter to win this awesome giveaway, be sure to do ALL three of the following (which will get your name entered THREE times!):

1. Comment on this blog post: Tell us what you love about the New Pioneer Co-Op, or why you want to go there!

2. “Like” New Pioneer on Facebook:  Click here to do it!

3. Re-tweet this on your own Twitter:  “@ICMomsBlog is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to @NewPioneerCoop! To enter, click here: ”

**Be sure to comment here after you do steps 2 and 3; we need to know that you did it! 🙂

Good luck! Giveaway ends Wednesday at noon, and the winner will be announced at 1pm on our Facebook Page!


This is a sponsored post; however I only recommend products or services I personally believe in. I have received compensation in the form of a gift, payment, or something of value to write it, but the opinions are my own.



Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


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