“Part of my job as the General Manager at a food cooperative is spreading the word about what co-ops actually are and how we benefit the economy. This past Monday, I spoke at Penn State Brandywine to do just that.
It was a cold wintery day when I met with Dr. Laura Guertin. I was a bit early so Laura and I had the chance to talk about sustainability as well as how she is getting students involved with environmental issues. A big reason why I was so excited to speak at Penn State Brandywine was to get the youngsters turned on to co-ops and how we affect their futures, so, I was happy to hear that students are become more and more interested in sustainability and how they can do their part.
I spoke to an audience of about 70 people, a mix of students and professors. I began by answering the frequently asked question, “what is a co-op?” A Co-op is a community owned grocery store that offers an alternative to “big box” stores and food conglomerates that are popular today. Trace-ability and transparency is very important to co-ops too, hence why co-ops often source local food and employees to support the local economy. I made sure to stress how important our employees are to us and to co-ops in general. We believe in providing a livable wage and health care to all of our employees.
After the basics were covered, I talked a little bit about the Swarthmore Co-op, our history, and our future. I mentioned our 75-year mile stone as well as all of the changes we are undergoing, such as the Co-op Certified program.
A big thank you to Penn State Brandywine for having me and to those who came out to see me!”