Ashland Food Co-op employees are heroes, worthy of respect and gratitude

Until a crisis like this occurs, few think of Grocers as essential service providers. However, our employees have been here day in and day out, risking their health and the safety of their loved ones, to provide food for our community. This is not a job that can be done from home or from what is now considered a safe social distance. Our employees have worked with the utmost professionalism, care, and concern for shopper well-being. I would like to say that I have been blown away by their kindness and devotion, but frankly, this is how they perform every day, which is why they are our heroes.

Our employees have the unwelcome duty of enforcing our protocols that have been put in place for shopper and employee protection, and ultimately to do our part in slowing down the pandemic we are experiencing. Whether or not you believe the spread of Coronavirus is cause for concern does not allow for the treatment of another person, especially one positioned to assist shoppers, with anything less than the utmost respect.

I would like to thank our shoppers who regularly share wonderful, personal kudos for what we get to witness on a daily basis: a team ready and willing to delight shoppers, enhance health and enrich our community. To those of you who have taken the time to thank our staff, we extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation. However, during this time of elevated stress, we have had some customers take out their frustration on our employees. I want to be clear that our employees have my full support, in that any mistreatment of them from a shopper will be grounds for immediate removal from the store.

I fully understand that changes to daily patterns can be stressful and we are all having to make adjustments, but please remember, these are small changes we can all make to ensure the safety of those around us. During this time of insecurity, our personal responsibility and kindness is needed now more than ever!

More Co-op News

Meet the 1st Street Beet

Welcome to the newly redesigned and reimagined newsletter from the Ashland Food Co-op: 1st Street Beet.
Think of this publication as a resource to know what’s going on in every level of the community: at the co-op, around town, in the region, and on Earth!

May Day Community Block Party

Photography by Chelsea Whitney Art

On May 1st, several Southern Oregon businesses came together for a block party to provide a space to gather as a community after a rough spell due to the pandemic and fires. The May Day Block Party was hosted on Main St in Phoenix, where the scent of food trucks mingled with artisan goods such as local cheeses, locally farmed flowers, and even fresh-baked pastries.

May Change for Good Recipient: Rogue Valley Farm to School

May's Change for Good Recipient is

Rogue Valley Farm to School

Rogue Valley Farm to School educates children about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs, and by increasing local foods in school meals.

"We inspire an appreciation of local agriculture that improves the economy and environment of our community and the health of its members." 

A Visit with Rolling Hills

Visit Rolling Hills Farm and learn more about owner Dave Belzberg, who the Ashland Food Co-op is so honored to partner with for more than thirty five years.

A Visit with Magnolia Farms




Visit Magnolia Farms and learn more about owner Elissa Thau, who the Ashland Food Co-op is so honored to partner with for more than twenty years.

A Visit with Emerald Hills

Visit the Emerald Hills Ranch and learn more about this fourth generation ranching family that the Ashland Food Co-op is so proud to partner with for more than twenty years.

A Conversation with Katie Falkenberg, Photographer and Filmmaker

Katie Falkenberg's photography and filmmaking has taken her all over the world, and lucky for us - she's been calling the Rogue Valley home for a couple years now. Exquisitely and harmoniously capturing the world around her, she is documenting not only through the lens but also through her peaceful and loving spirit. Katie reached out to us in hopes of collaborating after falling in love with the co-op soon after moving here.