An Interview with Board Member, Emmet Moeller
With years of involvement in Co-ops in New York City, Emmet now brings his enthusiasm and knowledge to his role as HFFC Board Member and Director of the Communications Committee. Read on to learn more about Emmet and why he values the Co-op model! Please join Emmet and other members at the next Communications Committee meeting on Monday, January 14th at 5 PM at the Marbletown Community Center!
Have you ever been a member of other Co-ops?
I was a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op for over 10 years, and was part of the Greene Hill Food Co-op when they first got started in Brooklyn. I've also lived in a housing cooperative with 10 roommates.
What made you decide to join the HFFC?
I love the High Falls Food Co-op! One of the first things I do in a new place is try to find a local food Co-op. The moment I set foot in the store I could tell that it was an incredibly special place with a long history of care, community building, and cooperative practice around sustainable and delicious food. I'm a health-supportive personal chef, so being connected to local food community is really important to me - the Co-op has been a really wonderful way for me to learn about the local food landscape. It's also so helpful to be able to walk into a store and know that the staff have put great care and intention into selecting the products on the shelves - I trust that my values around food (where it comes from, what is in it, and how the people who produced it were treated) are aligned with those of the Co-op and I am incredibly grateful to have such informed and principled folks curating the products in the store. It's a very different experience than shopping at a store that isn't a cooperative.
What do you most value about the Co-op model?
I love that Co-ops break down the barrier of owner vs. consumer. This store belongs to its members, and we are all responsible for it! In a world where it's incredibly difficult to feel like you have agency or community around commerce, coops allow us to participate directly in our local food economy. Coops allow us to be a part of something, and to create a space that strives to truly meet the needs of its very specific and unique community.
How did you decide to join the Board and how did you do so? Did you attend Committee meetings beforehand?
I decided to join the Board of the HFFC because I've got a good amount of experience working with small, grassroots organizations. While I'm new to this specific area, I've spent many years organizing with the Girls Rock Camp movement and North American Students of Cooperation. I love developing systems, policies and practices to help organizations grow sustainably. In short, I love a spreadsheet. I saw that the Co-op was seeking new Board members when I was in the store one day - I inquired, then attended a Communications Committee meeting and a Board meeting, in addition to meeting with a few Board members. It seemed like I might be a good fit, so I threw my hat in the ring!
What is part of your vision for the Co-op going forward?
My vision for the Co-op is to help it keep going and growing! There is so much amazing work being done by the staff and Board and committee members - we are moving towards some very exciting things. I would like to see more member engagement and participation in the coming years, and so I'd like to work on ways to help members connect their skills with the needs of the Co-op. Here's to a very delicious and very cooperative 2019!
Thank you for all of your hard work and involvement Emmet!