Get to know us: Chris
After 14 years at the Co-op, Chris speaks with enthusiasm and vision for the years ahead. Beginning as a cashier, he earned the respect of management and customers alike for his ability to listen to customers and follow through with their inquiries. At a time when cashiers were even more jacks-of-all trades than they are today, Chris would help with opening the kitchen and stocking all departments. With his hard work recognized, he eventually transitioned from cashier, to Bulk Assistant, to Bulk Manager. For the past seven years, Chris has maintained this work ethic and sought to expand the selection of organic and fair-trade bulk items that the Co-op offers.
While Chris stands behind all of the items that he orders, he is most adamant about the importance of choosing organic, fair-trade coffee. Non-organic, non fair-wage coffee not only underpays and undervalues hardworking harvesters, but the coffee plants are often sprayed with pesticides and covered with netting that entangles and traps wildlife.
At the Co-op, Chris orders from five primary coffee companies including Catskill Mountain, Equal Exchange, Tierra Farms, Pierce Brothers, and Dean’s Beans. All of these companies offer fair-trade and organic coffee and both Tierra Farms and Equal Exchange are worker owned, with Tierra Farm being nationally lauded for their commitment to being solar powered, gluten free, and peanut free.
For Chris, choosing fair trade is about valuing and respecting every life form, from the the human harvesting the coffee, to the coffee bush and the wildlife surrounding it, to our own bodies that we should seek to keep clean from pesticides.
For 14 years, Chris has looked forward to coming to the Co-op and participating in a community of customers and workers who all contribute to the feeling of connection and camaraderie that can be palpably felt when you walk through the door. Just as he values living in the Hudson Valley for how often he can traverse into nature and and feel connected to the earth around us, he seeks to continue contributing to the Co-op community one mindful choice at a time.
Oh, and his favorite coffee roast is Equal Exchange French Roast!
Thank you Chris for all that you do!