Story shared by Amber Sallaberry, GM (Amber & Andrew pictured above)
“Hopefully you’ve met Andrew at the co-op, he’s the kind of guy that makes you feel better about humanity as a whole.
This past week we traveled to Minneapolis for the National Cooperative Grocer’s (NCG) Fall Meeting. One of the evenings we decided to go check out a local art museum. On the way over there I asked him, “So, Yokom, how did you get into food?” His response: “I think I was just really hungry.”
Pretty hilarious and refreshing when you’re entrenched in an industry culture where everyone seems to have some kind of soap-box to stand on (us included!). We both started to crack up and carried on laughing until he further elaborated on some of the finer tuned reasons that led him down his particular path towards resilient food system development and the ultimately the co-op. While I found these subsequent motivations to be pretty inspiring, it was his initial response that pointed to his quintessential nature…and the exact reason that I know he will be a great leader for our co-op. Andrew is honest, direct and simple. He pays attention, observes and asks questions…continually seeking to learn and better understand.
It’s going to take a while before our team stops making fun of him for his statement about the hunger that drives him…though probably not as long as it took for us all to play out the jokes aimed at his innovative and unique store samples: “one spoon one bowl community cereal”, small shots of cold chicken broth, and his ever famous 4th of July Canadian chip sale end cap.
Jokes aside, we couldn’t be where we are today without Yokom’s heart and drive.”