Meet Board of Director Dean Williamson

Dean Williamson is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. He brings to the table a plethora of co-op experience and a love of chocolate chip cookies. We are thrilled to have him aboard and asked him to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My wife and I are relatively new to the area, having relocated to Ashland from Bozeman, MT, where we owned a vegetable farm and where I also worked at Montana State University. Currently, I direct the Farm at SOU, and she is a massage therapist, nutrition guide and wellness guru. I served on the co-op board in Bozeman for 12 years and have also worked at the Boise Co-op, so I am happy to share what I have seen and be helpful in any way I can. I have been a teacher, and will be again in the fall of '18 (sustainable food systems at SOU); I was a creative writing major and have a Ph.D. in Native American literature. I’m left handed and purple is my favorite color. Summer days I like to fill with farms and outdoors-stuff: paddling the rivers or backpacking the mountains. And, I think there is not a single thing that can’t be made better by eating a chocolate chip cookie. 

Why do you want to lead the Co-op?

I am excited to join the Ashland Food Co-op’s Board of Directors. Co-ops, as we know, do business in the best ways, guided by inclusive principles and committed to community, and organizational prosperity. For me, helping support the Ashland Food Co-op is another chance to continue to do my part to create and maintain an honorable, localized, and secure food system. As a farmer, I appreciate the Ashland Food Co-op’s commitment to locally produced food and products. I think it’s important to have a grower-perspective on the board, especially in competitive times such as these. As a former co-op board member, I am excited to offer my experience to the Ashland Food Co-op, as we grapple with the challenges of growth—not merely for the sake of expansion, but to serve the needs of the members and to spread the co-op model—and the food—to more people. As a former co-op employee, I believe a happy, dedicated, caring staff is the foundation for success; that core dedication helps support the vision for future success. The issues facing agriculture and retail grocery are challenging and complex, and so now more than ever, we need a hopeful and supportive way to thrive: the co-op way.

What is the one product from the Co-op you can't live without and why?

I think I already blew my cover on this one: it's the cookie. It's a life-long deal with me--not a problem so much as an opportunity.

More Co-op News

Wellness Secret Weapons

There are still plenty of colds and viruses making their rounds, and we want to help you better defend against them!

In January, we asked on social media what kind of secret weapons you use in the winter to stay healthy. We had a lot of responses, so we'll start with the All-Stars.

With your initial recommendations, our Wellness team reviewed the suggestions and picked the products with the highest quality standards and best feedback. Check those out below.


Mushrooms for wellness

You may have heard about the fascinating discovery that trees can communicate with each other. What’s the secret? The mycelia - tiny strands of fungus - in the soil form a vast underground network through which trees send chemical signals to their neighbors.

The mycelia differs from the fruiting body of the mushroom, which is the reproductive component that contains spores and is thought to be higher in Beta Glucans.

What to do with all this citrus?!

So you grabbed a few too many extra oranges and grapefruits and lemons (and some finger limes, and some satsumas…), and rather than watch them go bad, we want to provide you with some ideas on how to reduce waste. You’ll also get to enjoy citrus in a lot of new ways!

There are many guides and recipes across the internet (like this one by our friends at Grow Forage Cook Ferment), so here are a few ideas to get your creative and citrus juices flowing.

Update from the General Manager: "Food for Paradise" campaign

Ashland Food Co-op's General Manager, Emile Amarotico, ends 2018 on a very uplifting note with a report back on the "Food for Paradise" donation campaign. Watch the video below, or read on for an extended written update.

Hello, this is Emile Amarotico, the general manager of Ashland Food Co-op with an update on the Co-op’s Food for Paradise initiative.

5 Fresh Ways to Save at the Co-op

We’ve all been there: your bank account is looking thin after a month of celebrations, but you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to save up for a big purchase later in the year

Now’s the time to make some changes to your spending - but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality goods at the Ashland Food Co-op.

These are some lesser known ways to save at the Co-op. Think of them like ordering off the secret menu. 

Savings Level: $

4 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

It’s the New Year, our favorite time for goal-setting, making positive resolutions, and shifting our impact. One of the Co-op’s goals is to become a Zero Waste facility. Our staff works to divert as much food waste as we can - and we hope our member-owners will join us in this goal too.

Understanding CBD

The world of CBDs is continuing to grow, adding to our already vast assortment of medicine available, and sometimes adding to the questions we have about it. We asked our Wellness team to answer the five most common questions about CBD here at the Ashland Food Co-op.

How is CBD different from what I might find in a dispensary?

Meet Cooking Class Instructor Charlie Douglass

Many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. Charlie Douglass is no exception. As the former Master Chocolatier at Harry and David, Charlie knows a thing or two about chocolate and candy making. 

Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

Meet Cooking Class Instructor Tiazza Rose

From bread baking to Moroccan cooking, many talented local chefs share their expertise in the Co-op Kitchen. We'd like you to meet a few of them. Tiazza Rose has been teaching the Ashland community the art of Moroccan cooking for years. If you haven't taken a class from Tiazza yet, you should. Here's why.


Tell us how your love of cooking and food began.

Give the Gift of Wellness


Finding the perfect gift for a friend or loved one is an art. This winter, we carefully selected these assortments for those who love some good self-care, are working in partnership with their gut health, or for those making efforts to reduce their pain. Each of these gift ideas will help you make your loved ones feel extra special and extra healthful.


We'll cook. You feast.

Spend more time relaxing with friends and family this holiday. Order the Deli’s ready-to-heat and serve Thanksgiving meal without all the fuss. We make everything from scratch and all recipes use the highest quality ingredients.

Choose from three options:

Give the Gift of Good Food

During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley. We’ve teamed up once again with Smart Chicken® for the Smart Giving Holiday Challenge.

Here’s how it works.

  • For every 10 pounds of Smart Chicken® you purchase from the Meat Department or the Deli, Smart Chicken® will donate one pound of chicken to a local non profit