Maria is Just Local Food’s first General Manager. She oversees operations, plans for successful growth and meets goals and objectives established by the board of directors. Maria earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from St. Catherine University. She recently moved from Minneapolis, MN to a small farm in Mondovi, WI with the goal of working towards a self-sustainable lifestyle. She believes in eating local, supporting family farmers, and involvement in a community that supports local small businesses.
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.
Come talk to me about trees and numbers.
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.
Shea Senger, Store Keeper
Originally from Brookfield, WI, Shea is now attending UWEC. He was in musical theater throughout his high school years and starred in The Foreigner. He is also the chair of the College Democrats of Wisconsin. His favorite JLF foods are mangoes and Indian Curry Simmer sauces.
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!
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.