Meet Board of Director Julie O'Dwyer

When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland. It was a wonderful journey that allowed me to meet and support so many great artistic and culinary talents here in the Rogue Valley. 

I moved to Ashland 15 years ago from the Bay Area. We came here because we wanted a great place to raise my two daughters. Both of my girls went all the way through grade school at the Siskiyou School and that experience was the foundation for my understanding of how amazing this community is. My eldest daughter, Victoria, is now living and working in NYC. My youngest daughter, Olivia, will be graduating from AHS next spring after spending an exchange year in Belgium and will be going to college in some far flung location I am sure. Both girls have grown to see Ashland as their home and I couldn't be prouder.

In addition to my work for the AFC Board of Directors, I am a 10 year member of the Ashland Elks; enthusiastic member of the Chamber of Commerce; founding member of the Splinter Group; volunteer for AIFF; advocate and cheerleader for our local wineries; enjoy my book club and knitting circle; devoted to Yoga and an unabashed shoeaholic.

What inspired you to run for the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors?
Originally, I joined the Board at the invitation and recruitment of other Board Directors. I saw this Board as a opportunity for me to use my talents and knowledge for the benefit of one of Ashland's finest institutions. I decided to run again because in the course of those first three years, I learned so much about the great things the Ashland Food Coop does and how much more we have to offer. I was inspired by achievements both locally and nationally of our very successful Co-op and so many other co-ops across this country. Being part of the Board of Directors is a unique opportunity to see how our local efforts can positively influence community here and afar.

What do you hope to accomplish in your 3-year term?
During these next three years I am focused on developing and reinforcing the Board of Director's presence with all our Owners. As a cooperative, our Board represents the interests of our owners but also needs to focus on the future needs and challenges. I truly hope to help create a more involved and participatory ownership that understands all that the Ashland Food Co-op can offer to them and our community.

What is the one product from the Co-op you can't live without and why?
Just in case someone wants to surprise me on my birthday, I always love a little Honey Mama's Lavender Red Rose Cacao-Nectar Bar!

More Co-op News

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. Help us help you make your loved ones feel extra special and extra healthful.


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

We're All Turtles

By Dean Williamson, Board of Director

My grandmother loved to talk. Oh, could she talk! And she had one expression that I’ve always really liked. “If you come across a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.”

The Power of Principle Seven

By Emile Amarotico, General Manager

As we approach the holidays, I’d like to invoke the spirit of the Seventh Cooperative Principle: Concern for Community. The International Cooperative Alliance defines Principle Seven as when “[c]ooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.”

So how does that work? How does Ashland Food Co-op demonstrate concern for community?

Love Local with the Local Guy

Throughout September, we will be celebrating all things local. And no one loves local or is more local than our Temporary Demo Coordinator, Brighton Litjens. He was basically raised at the Co-op, has a strong passion for local farmers and producers and loves delighting shoppers with delicious samples and great deals. Who better to tell us about loving local than the "Local Guy" himself?

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Meet Board of Director Trine Ostergaard

Trine Ostergaard is a newly elected Ashland Food Co-op Board of Director. She brings a world, literally, of experience to the table and has a sincere passion and love for the Co-op. We are thrilled to have her aboard and asked her to answer a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

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.

Staff Picks: Favorite Local Products

September is Love Local Month!  All month long we’re celebrating our local farmers and vendors with demos, events and more. Here are some of our staff's favorite local products.


Meet Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

By Lauren Taber, Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative started in 2001 with a few simple questions in mind: what would it look like to take Fair Trade a step further? How can coffee farmers be in direct relationship with end consumers in the United States?

We found that the answer was even simpler: cooperative ownership. Pachamama Coffee has been 100% farmer-owned since day one, and is currently owned by 140,000 small scale family farmers across the coffee producing regions of the world.

Community Cider Backyard Fruit Drive

How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.

2018 Board Election Results

The AFC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Board Election. There were three excellent candidates running for two Board positions. In total, 905 votes were cast.

Congratulations to the following candidates who will serve three-year terms on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors.

Thank you for voting!



Beat the Heat

When the heat of summer takes over, it can be hard on our bodies and moods. Don’t let the scorching temps get you down, cool off with one of these refreshing Staff recommendations.