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

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.

Report from the Board of Directors: Strategic Plan Update

By Jeff Golden, External Relations Committee Chair

Ashland Food Co-op is striding into the future with careful intention. We’re especially focused on the three top priorities of our strategic planning process, a collaboration of our board and management team. A quick update:

Riding off into the Sunset


By Annie Hoy, Retiring Marketing Manager

Since I was born and raised in far West Texas, I cannot help but use some imagery from what is so familiar to me.

Staff Picks: Summer Hikes and Trail Snacks

Our staff loves to head outside and enjoy the gorgeous Oregon outdoors. Here's a few of their favorite trails and the Co-op snacks they like to take with them.



Be a Zero Waste Hero in Four Easy Steps

By Stephanie Koerella, Education Coordinator

Reducing our waste has continued to be of greater concern for Rogue Valley residents, especially since January, when options for recycling became even more limited. While the Ashland Food Co-op is ramping up our efforts to reduce waste as a business, there is a lot that our community can do at home to help the cause.

Staff Picks: Earth Friendly Products

In celebration of Sustainability Month in April, we asked our Sustainability Committee to share their favorite eco-friendly product.

2018 Kids Summer Camps

We’ve teamed up with Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer three different camps this summer. Each week campers will dive into food production, preparation and exploration, with a mix of farm and kitchen experiences that delight the senses and inspire the soul. Join Rogue Valley Farm to School staff as they cultivate the ability to grow and cook delicious, healthy, seasonal meals. Monday - Wednesday at the Co-op Community Classroom, Thursday & Friday at the Farm at SOU.

Update on our Strategic Initiatives

By Ed Claassen, Board President

Your Board and Management Team invested a significant amount of time in 2014 developing a set of strategic initiatives that we believe are vital in shaping the future of our business and furthering our mission. We formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee consisting of 3 Board members and 3 Management Team members to guide the implementation of these initiatives.

2018 Electronic Coupon Schedule

To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.

No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.

As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.

Please note:

Co+op Basics: High Integrity, Low Price

Looking to stretch your grocery budget? So are we! We've lowered the price on over three hundred items to create a set of high integrity staples for every shopper. Welcome to Co+op Basics.

Co+op Basics includes over 300 pantry and household staples. From beef to milk to cereal, we’ve lowered the margin and price on all those items to make organic, healthy food accessible to every shopper.

Proposals Sought for the 2018 Community Grants

The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations is now open.

Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.