The staff and board members at The Green Valley Grocer.
Central to the operation, Carol is our shop manager. She was the main employee at The Artichoke and she has a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience that has been vital to our success. She knows the business, she knows the customers, and we all look to her for her expertise and common sense insight into what will work, and what won't. She captains the ship every day except Wednesdays.
The Staff Team
Working alongside Carol, we have Ange Dews, Abi Smith, Maureen Bentley, Freddie Best, Rachael Wybrew and Clem Rimmer.
Ange works on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and often brings her own garden produce in to sell. She is our Business Development Co-ordinator, providing business planning, admin and book-keeping support to Carol. She fills in as the buyer at market and loves that side of the job.Carol and Ange are also volunteers for the Slaithwaite Meals on Wheels service and Ange organises Totally Locally Slaithwaite in partnership with Susan Thomas.
Abi works Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. She is a real 'foodie' and enjoys suggesting recipes and meal ideas, as well as promoting our veg box delivery service and making sure these orders are of the highest quality.
Maureen is our newest member of staff, she works Tuesdays, Thursdays and Staurdays. Maureen has previously worked in greengrocery in Marsden, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience of animal husbandry.
Freddie, Rachael and Clem keep the shelves stocked up on our busiest days and in holiday periods.
We must mention here our valued volunteers - Jill Stein has helped us from the beginning, and Tom and David from Waves joined us last year.
Current Board Members
- Lee Corner: Lee has Board responsibility for HR and Personnel Management.
- Ange Dews: Ange is a Staff Representative on the Board, she reports to the Board and Finance Sub-Group on Business Planning and Finance matters. She has expertise and interest in business management and marketing, and has been instrumental in helping to set up the operational systems that keep the shop ticking over.
- Camilla Govan: Camilla is our Chair of the Board. She is keen to develop our connections with local growers and producers. She has a background in community economic regeneration, most recently with Action for Market Towns, and solid experience in social enterprise. She is currently vice chair of the Marsden and Slaithwaite Renaissance steering group.
- Caroline Hall: Caroline is our Secretary to the Board.
- Jane McGrath: Jane is a Supplier representative on the Board, as our sole local producer of delicious cakes and buns, baked early in the mornings and delivered still warm on a daily basis.
- Jenny Stein: Jenny acts as Treasurer for the Cooperative, and comes to the Board with solid and relevant experience as a finance specialist with Suma, the UK's largest employee owned cooperative, based in Elland.
- Susan Thomas: Susan is our environmental guru, providing advice on how to make the business greener. She fronted our involvement in "Greener Together", an initiative aimed at getting us all to act a little more responsibly with regard to our use of power, oil and water. Susan also has many years experience as a retailer and is an active member of MASTT and co-organiser of Totally Locally Slaithwaite.
- Jon Walker: Jon is our Vice-Chair. Jon and Graham Mitchell (our former Chair) were working together on a project to network people involved in food projects as part of Transition Towns initiatives using the web, when it became clear that The Artichoke was close to closure. Jon has many years experience in cooperatives and the food business, both in wholesaling and distribution, and in retailing, so it was natural, to say nothing of being extremely useful, for him to be involved. Jon is the treasurer of Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Towns initiative (MASTT).
- Carol Wood: As Shop Manager, Carol's role is also a Board position.
The Handmade Bakery
Right from the start, we have been working closely with the team at The Handmade Bakery. Currently a nine strong employee-owned cooperative business, the bakery began trading in early 2009 out of borrowed kitchen and retail space in Mozzarella's in Marsden, producing and retailing some of the best bread we have ever tasted.
Their need for space coincided neatly with the opportunity to do something at 14 Carr Lane in Slaithwaite, and it is a brilliant symbiotic relationship that has strengthened both businesses. The Handmade Bakery has rapidly built a strong reputation and following not just locally, but right across the country, not just for the fine quality of their bread, but also for the innovative way that they have financed the birth and ongoing development of their business, a model now known as Community Supported Baking.
The bakery has relocated to Upper Mill a few minutes walk from the Green Valley Grocer, we continue to receive supplies of bread Tuesday to Saturday every week. Working with them has certainly given the Green Valley Grocer a head start in working with local producers!