Volunteer Spotlight: Andrew Craig

June 28, 2020

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a State Department brat, having lived overseas for many years, mostly in developing countries, including 7 years in Africa, 4 in Nepal and India, 3 years in Haiti. I started out after college as a commercial photographer, then got my Master’s Degree in Interactive Telecommunications, which led to producing medical diagnostic simulators. I quickly realized I did not want to spend my life behind a computer screen so I started buying historic brownstones in New York and renovated them. I worked alongside my crews and became skilled in every trade. I graduated to multi-family properties, reaching out to cities ranging from Newark to New Orleans, and even developed an 1849 New Orleans mansion into a Boutique B&B. We moved to Fredericksburg 17 years ago and we love it here. Several years ago, I decided it was time to sell my properties and retire. Now I paraglide, renovate old boats and tend to our property when I am not volunteering for the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. Covid-19 has given me the time to rebuild my deck and put even more effort into the Co-op project.

How did you hear about the Fredericksburg Food Co-op and why did you become a member?

Who hasn’t heard of the Food Co-op? Seriously, I heard of it through my wife and after meeting the wonderful group of people involved in the project, realized that through the Co-op I could get more involved in our community.

What volunteer work do you do with the Co-op and what do you like most about volunteering?

I was on the Site Selection Committee, am on the Store Development Advisory Committee, the Capital Campaign Committee, and tabled at the Farmers Market and at other events.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  There is always something exciting going on with a big project like this. 

What are you most looking forward to about the Co-op?

I look forward to shopping at a community-owned, environmentally-concerned grocery store where the profits stay local, where you know where your food comes from, where workers make a living wage and where our community benefits from the many programs planned by our board and wonderful General Manager, Chris Roland.

What’s your favorite thing about the Fredericksburg food scene?

I love the trend towards locally-produced food and other grocery items.  We are seeing this in restaurants and a bit in grocery stores.  I’m excited that our Co-op will get as many of our products as possible from within 150 miles of Fredericksburg.

What one local food experience would you not want our readers to miss?

I absolutely love Guru Indian Cuisine.  When I walk in there, the smells trigger Proustian memories of my 14 months of boarding school in Delhi. In these days of physical isolation, we have only been able to do take-out, but I look forward to going back there as soon as things calm down a bit.

What advice would you have for someone considering becoming a Co-op member?

Join now.  I jokingly say that all the cool kids in town are members of the Food Co-op. Our owners are by far the most diverse, interesting, concerned and community-oriented group of people I have ever met.  I love hanging out with them, sharing ideas and plans for the Co-op.