Who is The Mustard Seed?

The Mustard Seed Co+op is made up of nearly 3,000 co+op members. If you are not already, please consider becoming a member 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 Manager Stacey Allen-Cillis along side Fresh Foods Purchaser, Nadia Hornsveld 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:

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.

The Mustard Seed Co-op Donations Policy – 2016

Our Current Board of Directors

The Mustard Seed Co+op’s Board has guided the development of our 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:

Kate Brown

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 Carey

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.

Jane Depraitere Treasurer, The Mustard Seed Co-op

Jane is an entrepreneurial business professional with over 25 years of diverse business experience. Jane holds an LL.B. and called to the Bar of Ontario in 1984. She completed her CGA designation in 1998 followed by an MBA in 2005. In 2015 she completed the Level 3 Sommelier designation from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Jane returned to Aldershot to live full time having sold her wine importing and distribution business based in Alberta in 2018.

Jane has held various directorship and membership positions on the boards of several not for profit and for profit organizations from 1995 to present.  Originally from Norfolk County an area whose agriculture has benefited from the Mustard Seed’s support, she looks forward to meaningfully and sustainably engaging more in her community from the quality and source of the food supply and the beverages we enjoy to the art and architecture in the environment that surrounds us all.

Jeff Karry

Jeff has lived in Hamilton for 30 years. His career included corporate experience in finance and operations with Procter & Gamble as well as extensive experience running small and medium sized businesses e.g. He was co-founder and CEO of a start-up that grew to a mid-sized North American business with 150 employees and sales of ~$45MM. This provided him valuable experience in many aspects of building and running an organization – strategy, legal, operations, finance, marketing and HR. He spent most of his career in Toronto so volunteering with Mustard Seed provides Jeff an opportunity to give back to the community in which he lives.

Erin Pratt

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.

Ellie Quinn

Ellie would like to help our Co+op be more visible and valuable in our community. She is a holistic nutritionist with a passion for wellness and affordable, quality nutrition. Ellie is also a small business owner with almost 30 years experience in operations, customer relations, human resources, technology, marketing and finance. In addition to nutrition and wellness, she is a beginner at minimalism, zero waste, and playing the guitar.

Mary Lou Tanner  President, The Mustard Seed Co+op – 2nd term BOD

Mary Lou Tanner 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.   She 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 our Co+op.  Mary Lou loves include golf, dogs, board governance, politics, and Hamilton.

Nearly 200 member-households attended our first-ever Annual General Meeting on April 16, 2014.

Our second Annual General Meeting on Feb 24, 2015 at the Hamilton Public Library - Central Branch - with around 150 members present



Snap shots from some of our past Annual General Meetings