Who is The Mustard Seed?
The Mustard Seed is made up of over 2,575 co-op owners. If you are not already, please consider becoming an owner today!
We have some particularly hard working owners who have collectively volunteered thousands of hours for The Mustard Seed, in particular on our Board of Directors. In addition, we have a fantastic staff team, led by our Operations Team including Stacey Allen Cillis and Frank Quaranta who oversee the general day to day running of the store.
Annual General Meetings & Board Meetings
Mustard Seed Annual General Meetings take place every year in late February/early March and are a great way to meet other owners and hear how what our Co-op has been up to. A notice of the AGM will be given to all owners via email ahead of time, including an AGM package at least 10 days before the meeting.
The Board also meets monthly, generally on the third Monday of the month. Meetings are shown on the calendar on our website. Owners are welcome to come to the monthly board meeting but are asked to contact the Secretary first to confirm the location, especially if you would like some time on the agenda. Owners are also welcome to contact the Board with specific questions, etc. with the follow email: email@example.com.
Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
The Mustard Seed Co-operative Inc. was established on November 23, 2012 under the Co-operative Corporations Act of Ontario. Read our Articles of Incorporation.
Our Co-operative’s bylaws were developed by the Board during 2012/2013 based on owner input and reflect our co-op’s vision. Read the General Bylaws of the Mustard Seed Co-operative.
Read our Governance Policies.
Our Current Board of Directors
The Mustard Seed Co-op’s Board has guided the development of the Co-op through the various stages of development. Board member elections are held at each Annual General Meeting. Below are brief bios of The Mustard Seed’s current Board of Directors:
Paul grew up in Toronto but, through family, Hamilton has always been a big part of his life. He grew up understanding the importance of being involved with community as his parents served on a condo board. Paul became a vegetarian a decade ago and since then have been an active volunteer/contributor to both The Farm Sanctuary in NY and Wishing Well Sanctuary in Ontario. He has a passion for politics and I has been to Ottawa to lobby MPs for labour causes. Paul enjoys writing and public speaking and traveled across Canada to speak at union conferences.
Kate lives in Hamilton, ON. Having recently completed her BA Honours in Linguistics and Indigenous Studies, she works several jobs, including developing materials for the German department at McMaster University, coordinating a Mohawk language grant with McMaster Indigenous Studies students and Six Nations members, and serving as the Accessibility Projects Coordinator within the Office of Equity and
Inclusion at McMaster. Kate has been involved with food justice projects and organizations for nearly a decade and in her free time loves to invent and test recipes in her awkwardly shaped kitchen.
Chris is involved in environmental causes, and is starting to get more involved in community causes. His background, through both employment and spiritual pursuits, gives him a different and unique perspective and approach to solving problems. Both wild foods and clean foods are of great interest to Chris, as well as food security and environmental sustainability. Having lived in different cities,
especially Winnipeg, where co-ops are increasingly common, Chris hopes to be able to help the Mustard Seed both to succeed and continue to pave the way for other co-ops to set up and thrive here in Hamilton.
Emma Cubitt – Chair & Vice President Mustard Seed Co-op, 2nd term BOD
Emma was the driving force and visionary behind The Mustard Seed Co-op where she has been involved with every aspect of developing the Co-op’s vision, business plan, and community networks. Emma chaired the Sourcing Team which connected the Co-op with hundreds of local producers. She has planned many of the events at the Co-op including the annual Seedling Sale and summer festivals. She was the original communications and social media lead for the Co-op and in recent years has provided guidance to marketing efforts. Most recently, Emma has overseen the development of the Producer Profiles that you will soon see throughout the store. She offers the board unsurpassed commitment to the success of the Co-op.
As a professional architect and Associate at Invizij Architects, Emma brings professional experience in running a successful business, including financial management and the importance of robust organization and systems.
Graham Cubitt Operations Team member Mustard Seed Co-op, 2nd term BOD
Raised on a farm outside Creemore, Graham’s passion for agriculture, food, and environmental sustainability runs deep. Having led the Mustard Seed as President since its inception, Graham oversaw the Co-op’s initial business plan development, including capitalizing the business with owner and community loans. Graham’s professional responsibility developing affordable housing at Indwell provides experience for undertaking significant capital-intensive and complex projects.
Graham has been involved with all areas of the Co-op’s development, including the Operations Management Team. He offers his unwavering commitment to the Co-op, combined with steady leadership and diverse skills to provide critical continuity for the Co-op.
Dan Douma Producer
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dan stumbled into the world of beekeeping where he was fortunate to learn from the largest producer of Queen bees in Ontario and one of the most prominent honeybee researchers of our generation. He currently works as a provincial Apiary Inspector, a beekeeping instructor for the Toronto Beekeepers Collective, and co-founded Humble Bee Inc. Like the Mustard Seed, Humble Bee prioritizes local food production, and manages the honeybees on the Co-op rooftop.
Elizabeth is an ex-lawyer who decided four years ago to go overseas to teach English in a Chinese university near Shanghai. She has a legal background in labour law, family law, and criminal defence law. She is a devoted animal lover and active in animal rescue activities. Elizabeth was a member of the Karma Co-op in Toronto when she lived in Toronto and was also a member of the now defunct student-run food co-op at York University in the early ‘80’s.
Kathleen Myers Secretary, The Mustard Seed Co-op
Kathleen was involved as a volunteer with the Mustard Seed before the doors opened, where she assisted with cleaning and readying the space for renovations. Since then she has done the majority of her weekly shopping at the co-op. She and her husband are committed to building their life together in Hamilton. She is excited to get involved in a local initiative that she believes in with The Mustard Seed.
Erin Pratt Treasurer, The Mustard Seed Co-op
Erin is a Hamiltonian, born and raised. She loves this city and the diversity that it encompasses. She remembers the old co-op on Locke St South and always wanted to be a part of something like that. Erin has diverse experience in HR, retail, bookkeeping, and marketing and would like to use that to enhance the board of directors. She would like to continue being part of a great neighbourhood and community experience in a more hands on way.
Mary Lou Tanner President, The Mustard Seed Co-op – 2nd term BOD
Mary Lou Tanner is the Deputy City Manager for the City of Burlington and has worked in municipal management and leadership for over 25 years. Mary Lou was previously with the City of Hamilton, authoring downtown and waterfront plans including Putting People First and Setting Sail.
Mary Lou has strong roots in Hamilton’s non-profit community with board membership in Phoenix Place, Interval House, and YWCA Hamilton. Mary Lou brings to the Mustard Seed leadership her strong support for democratic decision-making, passion for farmers and their economic sustainability, and a commitment to the long-term viability of the Co-op. Mary Lou loves include golf, dogs, board governance, politics, and Hamilton.
Maureen is committed to improving access to ideas about city building through a citizen-led initiative called the Useful Knowledge Society of Hamilton. In keeping with the guiding principle of enhancing citizen capacity building through learning, Maureen has worked with local businesses, the print media and radio along with twenty two Hamilton neighbourhood associations, hubs and planning teams to organize a half dozen events. With guest speakers, these events have examined an array of topics such as transit, land development, intensification of neighbourhoods, the impact of refugees and immigrants on cities and a collaborative event with Mayor Fred Eisenberger about Hamilton’s neighbourhoods. As a city-builder, Maureen has the ability to harness resources, to work with others, and to effectively communicate ideas.