General Manager is Hired

Chris Roland, Proven Food Co-op Leader to be General Manager of Fredericksburg Food Co-op

The Fredericksburg Food Co-op is excited to announce that our board of directors has unanimously selected Chris Roland to lead the co-op as our General Manager.

Chris is an immensely talented and personable individual with 15 years of experience with food co-ops, including serving as the first General Manager at two successful food co-ops – one in Arizona and the other in the Chicago area where Chris has been the General Manager of Sugar Beet Food Co-op since 2014.

Chris Roland was born in Virginia and grew up in North Carolina where he graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major in Small Business/Entrepreneurship and Hospitality Management and with a minor in Philosophy.

Jacqueline Hannah, Assistant Director of the Food Co-op Initiative, the national organization charged with assisting new food co-ops, praised this hiring choice. Jaqueline said: “Chris Roland will be an incredible fit for the top role at Fredericksburg Food Cooperative. I have had the opportunity not only to witness Chris’ work with the co-ops he’s led, but have also called on him repeatedly to assist other startup food co-ops. Chris has a keen understanding of how to manage a successful community-owned grocery co-op and of how to do this in alignment with the co-op values. Chris not only has the proven skills for opening and leading successful food cooperatives, but he has a deep alignment with the specific values of the Fredericksburg Food Cooperative and its owners.”

Jonathan Stevens, board chair of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op said “More than four years ago a small group of dedicated volunteers began the process of building support for the opening of an awesome community-owned grocery co-op here in Fredericksburg. Today, we are thrilled to welcome Chris Roland to complete the job started by those volunteers. We are grateful to have such a talented and proven leader as Chris Roland. With Chris as our General Manager our board has no doubt about the success of our co-op and the value this co-op will bring to the Fredericksburg community.”

The Fredericksburg Food Co-op is committed to (1) supporting local producers and offering healthy food options; (2) environmental sustainability in all of our operations; (3) supporting the community by offering information on the link between food and health and by an inclusive approach to improving access to healthy foods; and (4) keeping dollars local and building financial strength.

Earlier this year, the co-op took possession of a 9,400 square foot retail space at 320 Jefferson Davis Highway. Today’s announcement is a huge step forward as the co-op prepares to open its community-owned grocery in 2020.

Published November 13, 2019