Meet your newly elected board members

Ed Claassen headshot

Ed Claassen

What's your favorite meal/produce/item from the Co-op?
I love all the fresh organic produce, but my favorite is the Co-op brand granola in the bulk section. I ran into a fellow admirer a few months before Covid-19 shut down the self-serve. We shared our predilection for the granola and then he quoted the bin numner by heart as he saw me searching for it.

What's your favorite activity or place to visit in Ashland / the area?
I have a pre-Covid-19 and a post-Covid-19 response: before, it would be breakfast at Brothers, sure to include their fresh-baked scone of the day. Since the coronavirus, it has to be the view from Hobart Bluff, with Mt. Shasta to the south, Mt. McLoughlin to the east and the whole Rogue Valley opening to the northwest.

Do you have a favorite community organization you support in the Rogue Valley?
I have to mention two organizations. After facilitating some strategic planning for both Lomakatsi and Rogue Valley Farm to School, I found myself deeply impressed with their missions, their leadership, and the operational excellence of both!


Julie O'Dwyer headshot

Julie O'Dwyer

What's your favorite meal/produce/item from the Co-op?
My guilty pleasure is Honey Mama's Lavender Chocolate and fresh blueberries.

What's your favorite activity or place to visit in Ashland / the area?
If I could live on the patio of Irvine & Roberts, I would be a very happy person. But there are lots of wineries that take my attention away.

Do you have a favorite community organization you support in the Rogue Valley?
First and foremost, the Ashland Food Co-op!  But after that it would have to be my new non-profit, Ashland Works.



Mark Gibbs headshot

Mark Gibbs

What's your favorite meal/produce/item from the Co-op?
You'll find me spending most of my time in the produce - I'm all about fresh berries, any and all!

What's your favorite activity or place to visit in Ashland / the area?
This is a toss up, depending on the season: either hiking with family and friends up Pilot Rock, or sunny winter days on Mt. Ashland

Do you have a favorite community organization you support in the Rogue Valley?
It's hard to beat the long history and welcoming, inclusive work of Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

More Co-op News

Chatting about community giving with JPR's "Jefferson Exchange"

Recently, Julie O'Dwyer, Ashland Food Co-op board vice-president, joined a panel of guests on Jefferson Public Radio's "Jefferson Exchange" to discuss how the pandemic has led to an even greater need for community giving and support of local non-profits.

JPR logo

Coronavirus Preparedness at the Co-op

The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.

We have consolidated store changes below.

Masks Required for All In-Store Shoppers

To protect the health of Co-op staff and shoppers, all shoppers and other visitors on Ashland Food Co-op property must wear face coverings over mouth and nose except when dining in an approved area.

Those who are unable or choose not to wear a mask are welcome to use our recently launched eGrocery online shopping and curbside pickup service as an alternative to shopping in-store.

Get to know Ashland Emergency Food Bank

The sixth cooperative principle, "Concern for Community," has become even more important since the pandemic began and economies, locally and globally, started to constrict. To address this, the Board of Directors agreed in April to release 100% of patronage dividends and designate Ashland Emergency Food Bank as a donation option for those dividends - resulting in over $20,000 in donations. And with the early launch of Change for Good register round-up, AEFB was a natural choice to receive round-up donations. 

2020 Co-op Election Results

2020 Co-op Election Results

Ashland Food Co-op owners voted for three open seats on the Board of Directors, and for ten non-profit organizations for the Change for Good register round-up program.

Click a name below to read more about that Co-op Board member.

Co-op Owners Step-Up to Support the Ashland Emergency Food Bank!

AFC and AEFB Press Release - Local Strength!

Release Date: 5-26-2020

In April, the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors announced to the community that the Co-op would be returning 100% of the 2019 Patronage Dividend to its owners. The 100% Patronage Dividend return to Co-op owners converted to over $628,000.

The Co-op Board felt in this time of great need it was not the right time for the Co-op to put away funds for the future, but rather to support owners fully so they may have more strength to weather these stormy times.

Free Monday Night Lectures - virtual and recorded

Thanks to the many agile and adaptable experts in the Rogue Valley, the much-loved Free Monday Night Lectures live on - even if everything is moving online.

While we miss seeing community members with a joy of learning showing up at the Co-op Classroom, we hope these recordings teach and inspire you. 


Open letter from AFC Board on Coronavirus Policies

The Ashland Food Co-op has played a critical role supporting our community for nearly 50 years by providing healthy food and a safe place to shop. With the recent COVID-19 shutdown, this support has been even more important and has stretched our organization in ways that we could not have anticipated. We have endeavored to address the needs of both our staff and our customers, hopefully in the most cooperative manner.

Owner Voting on 2020 Co-op Board & more

As an owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, you are an important decision-maker in the leadership of the Co-op! A vital part of your ownership is voting for the Board of Directors.

On the ballot: Vote for Board Candidates and Change for Good Organizations

Vote for Board Candidates
This year, four candidates are nominated for three Board positions: each elected Board director will serve a three-year term. The candidates are Ed Claassen, Mark Gibbs, Carolina Livi and Julie O'Dywer.

A dozen local favorites to explore this summer

The Co-op has always had a focus on supporting the strong local scene of growers and producers - and in these times, it's even more important. Here is just a small selection of some of our favorites from the area.  Help support local businesses next time you stop by the Co-op by picking one of these products.

Unwavering Spirit in a Time of Change

By Emile Amarotico, General Manager

It’s been two months since my last update on our Co-op community, but it could just as well have been two years ago, or from an alternate reality! Needless to say, life at the Co-op has changed, and it hasn’t been easy for employees or shoppers. But despite the challenges, it has been an inspiring and reaffirming time that reminds us why we love the cooperative enterprise.