Chris Dilley, General Manager, Peoples Food Co-op, Kalamazoo, Mich.
You won’t want to miss this video of Chris Dilley, general manager of Peoples Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dilley speaks very eloquently about the impact of their co-op’s growth on the community and as well as how growth has begun to create a conversation about greater access to healthy food for everyone. He spoke about how co-ops want to make a difference, and that expanding the co-op business model creates opportunity for this. “We choose to see our work through the lens of anti-oppression, anti-racism, and recognize that those things matter in such immensely fundamental ways. It’s really life-giving for all of us to be engaged in that conversation,” Dilley said.
As a larger store, in recent years they’ve been able to triple their sales with local vendors and have doubled the number of employees. Additionally, the community has been investing more in the co-op building its equity. “People think economic investment is all about Wall Street and places outside of the community. Co-ops are unique in offering this kind of investment in the community, and that makes a big difference,” Dilley said.
“We’ve been able to mobilize ourselves and resources in ways that we were not before.” Chris Dilley, general manager, Peoples Food Co-op, Kalamazoo, Mich.