Meet Your Co-op Staff: Bobby
Our Northampton Customer Service Manager, Bobby, is a friendly face you're sure to see quite often whenever shopping at the co-op! He began his career over at Apple and worked there for seven years before joining the co-op, rising through the ranks as a trainer and eventually earning a role as a manager. He was eventually drawn to the co-op because of how it aligned with his own values—he understood how beneficial a small, locally-driven business that puts the community first could be for everybody and sought to become a part of that world. His wife, Iris, was also recently hired as a Produce team member in Easthampton!
With his positive outlook and friendly nature, it didn't take long for Bobby to settle in and feel right at home with us. After just a few short weeks, he began to notice how differently—and more positively—people treat each other at the co-op, and how committed they are to working together. He credits this to the fact that a lot of customers and employees are also owners and therefore invested in the same success of the co-op. By seeing both customers and staff brought together through the mutual benefit of ownership, Bobby realized that the customer-employee relationships commonly found in corporate retail settings begin to break down once experienced in a cooperative environment—that they are no longer so divergent and hierarchical in nature, with both sides working hard to reach the best outcome for everyone's benefit no matter the situation. He believes this is one of the most important qualities to set our co-op apart because it makes us foundationally a place where nothing is more important than the strength of our community.
Bobby is also an avid outdoorsman and loves spending time in nature. His favorite outdoor activities—running, hiking and biking—are his preferred methods of destressing and resetting, so you'll often find him enjoying his free time in those settings whenever he's not assisting customers! Bobby is also a talented and highly skilled musician. Having graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in music performance, he has mastered a number of instruments including the piano and drums/percussion, demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of multiple elements of music including melody and rhythm (as opposed to the more commonly seen approach of mastering one or the other).
There is no doubt that Bobby is a perfectly ideal fit for our co-op, and that he embodies the cooperative spirit to its fullest extent. We are fortunate to have him as part of our community! Don't forget to stop by and say "hello" the next time you are passing through the registers (or swinging by the Customer Service Desk) at our Northampton store!