Volunteer Spotlight: Joni Wilson

The heart of any co-op is its member-owners, and that is certainly true of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. This monthly feature will tell you more about some of the member-owners who give their time and talents to help us on our path toward opening a free-standing, locally owned grocery store. Want to help out? Contact us about volunteering!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I have lived in or around Fredericksburg since 1986.  I love the area and found it a wonderful place to live and raise our awesome daughter. Recently retired from UMW after 30+ years, I am very proud of my association with the university. Collage, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg Book Club, monitoring bluebird trails, two big dogs, a loving husband and daughter, most any type of craft and a cadre of friends keep me busy and amused. I feel tremendously lucky to live in an area with such natural beauty. Even though we live downtown we see frogs, deer, eagles, owl, hawks, raccoons and a wide variety of songbirds on our daily dog walks. They all inspire me and remind me of my responsibility to the environment.

How did you hear about the Fredericksburg Food Co-op and why did you become a member? Val Setzer was probably the first person who talked to me about the FFC, and the one responsible for my membership. Gloria Lloyd is the one who instigated my volunteering. Besides being an awesome idea for a grocery store, I love the community involvement and support demonstrated by the Co-Op. From monthly cooking classes, Lunch and Learn with a dietician, and giving away reusable bags they all demonstrate the Co-Op dedication to the health of our community, in practice, not just a pamphlet.

What volunteer work do you do with the Co-op and what do you like most about volunteering? I started giving away reusable bags at the Farmers Market, and now I am giving workshops to individuals and groups on making tee shirts into bags. I also help with set up at events such as Lunch and Learn, Tasting and Learning,  and in general support Gloria’s ideas as best I can

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

Access to local produce and healthy food of course, but also shopping where reduction of waste is a commitment. Being able to buy bulk items in my own reusable containers is exciting. I also believe that the Co-op brings real value to our community through its commitment to health and the environment.

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

I like the friendly atmosphere found in the ‘burg’s eateries. Rarely is it solely about the meal or the cup of coffee, but just as much about the friends and fun.

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

I am a real fan of Soup and Taco, but I have favorites at most of our restaurants.

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

Get involved, you do not have to wait for the physical store. There are great people involved in this endeavor and volunteering or attending the varied events is always fun and informative. And we all have something to offer toward the success of this epic adventure.