Just Local Food’s first General Manager, Maria recently moved from Minneapolis to a small farm in Mondovi with the goal of working towards a self-sustainable lifestyle. Maria believes in eating local, supporting small farmers, and involvement in a community that supports local growers, co-op organizations, and coalitions.
Josh Frederick, Store Keeper
Josh “The Animal” Frederick was born on Milwaukee’s north side, in a small apartment overlooking “Milwaukee’s Best Ice” brewery. He was nursed on the magical elixir as an infant, before rebelling and becoming a Coors man in high school.
(love hearing new recipes), born in the wrong era, lover of humans and
all things earth. Just Local Food is something Olivia is passionate about.
Whenever she’s sad she listens to Paul and Linda’s album Ram. Give it a
Jen Hebert, Produce Keeper
Jen is from Chippewa Falls. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new
destinations, gardening, hiking, working on craft projects, dancing, and
spending time with friends and family. She enjoys working at the Co-op, and getting to know the diverse clientele.
Born and raised in Eau Claire, Karin studied dietetics at UW-Stout. She believes in small businesses and co-ops and has supported Just Local Food since its humble beginnings. When Karin is not at the store, you can probably find her at an auction or estate sale.
“My six word memoir is five: ‘You don’t know my life.'”
Elijah is from Eau Claire, loves meeting new people and trying new foods. Likes to talk cars, coffee, and cooking.
Aside from his duties as Store Keeper, Animal Parts Buyer, and Generalist Co-op Grunt, Nik is a teacher, a stonemason, a Serb, a writer-of-letters, an avid canoeist, and a curmudgeon of socialistic repute. Also, he really likes meat.
Krister Paakkonen, Deli Assistant
Since relocating to Eau Claire in 2013, Krister has been known for baking and vending Finnish pierogies at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market, as well as for stores such as Just Local Food. He was born and raised in Sweden and has Finnish ancestry – both influencing his food and drink preferences.
Cindy has been active in co-ops for a long time as she loves to cook, bake, and eat vegetarian food. She enjoys finding local and regional products for Just Local Food to carry. She visits co-ops whenever she travels because she believes co-op communities are made up of the best people on the planet.
A native Eau Claire gal, Heidi studied Restaurant Management at UW-Stout and Horticulture at C.V.T.C. Heidi is a strong believer in supporting small businesses and local farmers. She loves to share her knowledge of growing, preparing and storing food, so feel free to pick her brain. Heidi’s love of good food and passion for playing in the soil landed her at the doorstep of Just Local Food, and she knew she was home!
Courtney’s love of dirt was instilled early on in her homelands of Utah and Iowa. When she isn’t hiking, biking, camping, or goofing around with her son Denim, Courtney is advocating for co-ops and nutritious food that is grown sustainably, ethically, and humanely. She believes in the limitless abilities of a strong and healthy community, and that the hokey pokey is what it’s all about.
When Laura isn’t working her day-job, creating delicious foods at home, or playing bass in The Flaming Doublewides (come see us!), Laura (affectionately known as “The Sample Queen”), comes off the bench to provide a variety of utility-woman tasks for this here little co-op. She loves to talk food and how to have fun cooking wonderful food for yourself, your friends, and your family.
Amber Torpen, Store Keeper
Amber is passionate about food, preventative health, and fitness. In her free time, she loves going to the farmer’s market, hiking, canoeing, and watching live music.
A relatively new transplant into the co-op and natural foods worlds, Mark brings us the gift of financial acumen. We aren’t sure where he comes from, exactly, but he does a bang-up job with our numbers and keeps all of us on course.
One of the original founders of Just Local Food Co-op, Jordan has worked through and witnessed every stage of the co-op’s evolution. Jordan is passionate about good food and good eating. His steady style and developed palette are the back bone of the store’s wide array of delicious and high quality foods.