This piece was originally published in our “Fresh Bites” Spring 2021 Owner Newsletter.
A huge part of what makes the Co-op so special is its people, and with so many staff members in the decade-plus club, we wondered what magic keeps them around. Here’s what they had to say…
WHAT KEEPS YOU HERE?
How amiable everyone is. -Hugo
The flexibility of my schedule which allows me to take care of my son. -Alba
I love my work at the Co-op and I work with beautiful people. I love the ambience of the store, plus the most important thing is that when you enjoy what you do, that is what makes you stay. -Maribel
The Co-op is a form of business that to me is the most egalitarian that exists—one share, one vote for the Board of Directors, with no one person or entity having a controlling interest. It needs to make a profit, like any business does; but the driving force behind making that profit is serving its owners, as opposed to profit for profit’s sake. All the profits are reinvested in the Co-op or shared among the owners that patronize the store, keeping that money right here in the community. -Sheryl
Unlike many of my past career positions, at the Co-op I have been given the opportunity to try my own ideas and be granted autonomy in my work. When you have the ability to solve problems and work towards goals with the freedom to create, the personal growth is limitless. Working at the Co-op I have also gained priceless friendships with my peers. We have some amazing people working at the store. -Dacia
WHAT’S A SPECIAL CO-OP “SECRET”?
Jerome Lange [Casey County Organics] advised that the only reason he still has a farm is because of Good Foods Co-op. -Rob
Good Foods has been around for a while and has gone through a continual process of change. It still evolves. But it evolves with more consideration of its member/owners, staff and customers than other corporate competition. -Chuck
Others may not recognize that there are a lot of talented artists, comedians and musicians that work here. -Rory
The relationships that we have with vendors and farmers. We know each other by name and are practically friends. Also, there are so many talented people who work at the Co-op. -Paige
1) Good Foods started as a health food buying club (see Co-op History on the website to learn more). 2) At one time, the Co-op even had a play area for children so the parent(s) could shop while their children played. 3) When moving locations, we used grocery carts to roll load after load of stock from the old store to the new. 4) No one was laid off during this COVID pandemic. -Carole
Everything that is made in this kitchen is prepared fresh on a daily basis. -Mayela
So many big hearts work here/have worked here to keep our Co-op creative, viable and strong! It can be intense. -Kim
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CO-OP MEMORY?
Probably the best is working in the old Warehouse on Short Street, cashiering at the old brass cash register on Saturday mornings, after working the door at JDI til 1 am, and talking to the wide variety of friends who I met there. -Chuck
One of the best memories I have is working with my son side by side for so many years. There are recipes that he made that I am still trying to figure out. My recipes do not come out as good as his. -Maribel
Many memorable things have taken place over the years I have worked at the store. I’d say the memories that are my favorite have been seeing my son, who was born while I was Meat Dept. Manager, grow up in the Co-op family. When he was an infant I remember his father bringing him to nurse during my lunch breaks, him running through the store like he owned the place when he was a toddler and him hanging out in my office playing video games as a preteen. Much like the store itself, I have seen him progress and grow into the best version of himself. -Dacia
5 am dance parties in the bakery! The early mornings [when I was a baker] were tough, I would pick an energetic song and dance it out to start my day. -Shannon
Mike Rubey [my husband]. He was the operations manager for 9 years at the previous location and helped move the Co-op to our current location. So co-op love is my favorite memory. -Kim
WHY SHOULD FOLKS SHOP THE CO-OP?
We are constantly trying to figure out ways in which we can help our local community thrive and grow. I have never worked at a company that cares so much. -Paige
By choosing the Co-op, you’re not only getting great food and wellness products with the best local offerings around, you’re putting your money where your mouth is by supporting a truly locally-owned and operated business that keeps so much of your dollar right here in this community. -Sheryl