Cheese samples from Milton Creamery were a popular item during the grand opening for New Pioneer's new Cedar Rapids store. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Cheese samples from Milton Creamery were a popular item during the grand opening for New Pioneer’s new Cedar Rapids store. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – When you say New Pi and “free food” in the same breath, you know it’s going to be crazy big.

I was at the opening celebration of the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Cedar Rapids and the store, at 3338 Center Point Rd. NE, was packed, so I’d expect nothing less during their upcoming Holiday Sample Fair.

If you haven’t had a chance to shop at the new store yet, this event might not be the best time, as the lines could be long, but if you’re looking to try some fantastic house-made, organic and local foods, you’re in for a treat.

See photos of the new store’s grand opening and read on for more from New Pi about their upcoming event:

Enjoy an early taste of Thanksgiving and get ready for a delicious holiday season at the New Pi Cedar Rapids Holiday Sample Fair at 3338 Center Point Road this Sunday, November 15, from 11AM-2PM! Stop in for free samples of a complete house-made Thanksgiving feast made with ingredients from local farmers and producers – everyone’s invited to join the celebration!

New Pi’s Head Chef Matt Steigerwald, previously owner & chef at 3-time-James Beard finalist Lincoln Café in Mount Vernon, will be offering samples of the great holiday menu he and his team are cooking up specially for the holidays at New Pi. New Pi’s kitchen and bakery will be serving samples from their Holiday Menu line-up including Local Free-range Turkey and Gravy, Organic Cranberry Jalapeño Relish, Local Maple Syrup & Pecan Local Organic Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole with Fried Shallots, pies galore (including Local Organic Sweet Potato Pie!), and plenty more!

Get an early taste of their delicious Chocolate Cherry Bread (only available the 2 days before Christmas), and sample their new limited edition Lion Bridge Brewing Spent Grain Bread, baked in cooperation with local Cedar Rapids Lion Bridge Brewery. Jason Peters has been baking bread for New Pi for over 15 years and will offer bread samples while discussing how New Pi bakes with local and organic flours, and other elements that make New Pi’s bread different and tastier than others.

Get in the running to win a New Pi Holiday Turkey Dinner for 10 prepared by Chef Matt Steigerwald (regularly $149.99)! Any order – desserts, breads, dinners, or party platters – from New Pi’s Holiday Menu gets your name entered in the raffle! Your order must be placed at the event or by 5PM Sunday at any New Pi store. Winner announced Nov. 17.

Sample a cornucopia of New Pi’s delectable house-made holiday dishes plus local goods from Sweet Raw Joy, Organic Matters, Great River Maple, & Mount Vernon Confections! Everyone’s invited.

Enjoy great deals on wine, beer, & throughout New Pi stores for all your holiday entertaining during the event! Find more details on the event’s Facebook event page.

New Pioneer Cooperative Society was founded as a natural foods cooperative grocery in Iowa City in 1971, opened its Coralville branch in 2001, and opened a third store in Cedar Rapids in December of 2014. New Pi is a thriving food co-op with over 33,000 members-owners. The stores provide local, organic, and natural foods to the Corridor and everyone is welcome to shop – owner or not. New Pi is located at 22 S. Van Buren St. in Iowa City, at 1101 2nd St. in Coralville, and at 3338 Center Point Road NE in Cedar Rapids. Please visit for more information.