I am going to depart from our regularly scheduled programming this month to share that our Store Manager, Whitney Field, has given her notice and is moving on to new adventures. Whitney began her career with the BFC in 1995 when she joined the team as a floater. In this role, she helped wherever she was needed, a strength that remained a common theme for her entire career. She was promoted to management a few short months later in the Bulk Department and the rest, as they say, is history. She then moved into the Grocery Operations Manager which included buying for the Frozen and Dairy departments. After a short stint at our neighboring Monadnock Food Co-op from 2013-2015, Whitney returned to the BFC and has been our Store Manager ever since.
Whitney has been instrumental in the Co-op’s success, but more importantly has contributed in important ways to just about everything we have accomplished. Whitney’s commitment to caring for our shareholders is evident as you see her walking the store and chatting with shareholders – hundreds of whom she is on a first-name basis with. During her tenure Whitney helped guide us through the move to our current location, the growth of our business to a 24 million dollar cooperative, making it through COVID, and acted as interim GM during the search for a new GM. If it happened at the Co-op, Whitney has been part of it!
But Whitney’s impact and influence were felt beyond the four walls of our store. She and the team have worked closely with our vendors and local suppliers and also had a significant impact on the broader cooperative community. Whitney was instrumental in the creation of a Store Manager peer support group for co-ops in our region. She was actively engaged with National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) and is well known in our co-op community as someone who is always willing to jump in and help.
Meg Sellarole, our Assistant Store Manager, is moving into the Store Manager position. She and Whitney have been working closely together to ensure a seamless transition. Needless to say, after investing almost her entire professional career with us, Whitney is relieved to be handing the reigns to someone so capable of carrying on the BFC tradition.
On a personal note, I am sad that I have only had an opportunity to work with Whitney for a single year of her impressive career. She has been instrumental in my onboarding and I have learned a great deal from her. At the same time, it always brings me joy to see people embark on their next great adventure. It takes great strength and courage to leave the known in search of the unknown, and her fearlessness in making this choice is inspirational. She and her partner Bob are off on a cross-country travel extravaganza before she makes any final decisions on her next steps professionally.
On behalf of all of us at the Brattleboro Food Coop, our shareholders, and our Board – thank you for all you have done, Whitney, you will always have a home here!
By Lee Bradford, General Manager