We are sharing a series of profiles to introduce some of the volunteers who have put their time and energy into The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery. Enjoy this glimpse into our Co-op community!
Name: Richard Adshead
Action Team (s): I am the Vice President on the Board of Directors, but I’ve stepped aside from the Board to take on the role of Project Manager for The Mustard Seed until the store opens. I also head up the Operations and Location teams.
What roles have you had in the development of The Mustard Seed? I have been involved with The Mustard Seed Co-op from the first volunteer information meeting in September of 2012. At that meeting I signed onto the Operations and Location teams. I’ve been most active in identifying and visiting potential locations, but I’ve also played a role in many co-op activities from researching and selecting our point of sale system, sourcing shelving and equipment, contributing to the co-op business plan and financials, creating job descriptions, interviewing GM candidates, and also assisting with some sourcing activities.
What drew to The Mustard Seed, and why do you volunteer? Having just returned to Hamilton after five years in Windsor, my wife and I discovered the co-op at The Greenbelt Harvest Picnic at Christie Lake last summer. I was looking for a way to get back into the community and the idea of a member-owned store prioritizing wholesome and natural foods from small local producers immediately captured my imagination. I was really enthused about playing a part in establishing a completely different way of shopping for food in Hamilton.
What element of The Mustard Seed are you most excited about? I am most excited that the co-op will provide the majority of the products we buy for our household on a monthly basis and that we will be able to enjoy one-stop shopping to get everything we need. I’m also looking forward to knowing that the products on the shelf have been carefully researched by the co-op and I don’t have to spend my shopping time reading the details of every label. Finally, I’m looking forward to shopping in a store where I feel genuinely welcomed by the people who work there.
What is your favourite local food? I’d have to say sweet cherries, followed closely by strawberries. And not so much a food, but I love discovering great Ontario VQA wines.
Why should people join the Co-op today? Each and every membership puts us one step closer to the financing we need to make the store a reality. For the cost of one nice meal for two you can own a piece of your own grocery store! Think of the $100 membership fee not as an expense but as an investment in an organization that supports local producers, values its customers, pays a living wage and keeps your money in your community.