Meet the Co-op Staff: Jen
Say hello to our good friend and colleague Jen, the Customer Service Manager at our Easthampton store! Although she just recently entered this role following the opening of our second location in the summer of 2021, Jen has been a cornerstone of the co-op for much longer. In fact, she began working with us in 2012 as a cashier in the Northampton store! From there, it didn’t take long for her welcoming and warm personality to capture the respect and admiration of our community. Jen rose up quickly to become a shift leader, and soon after became the Northampton Assistant Customer Service Manager, a position she excelled in for four awesome years before receiving her latest promotion and moving to the new location in Easthampton!
Jen has always loved and appreciated natural foods, which made our co-op the perfect place for her to grow her career. Prior to arriving at River Valley, she worked at the Black Sheep, a popular local café in Amherst for about nine years, followed briefly by a tenure at another natural foods store. She also briefly worked as an EMT and CNA when she was younger, but eventually realized her calling was something entirely different! Because Jen was so mindful of sustainable habits and had a passion for natural foods, she felt compelled to pursue a career path with these values as her focus. When she first heard that the co-op had all of the good things you’d want from working in a natural foods store and none of the bad, she decided to apply—and thankfully for all of us, she was hired!
When Jen isn’t here at work, she maintains quite a full and fulfilling schedule! She absolutely loves hiking, as well as just being outdoors in general. Her hikes as of late have been limited to exploring primarily local areas, mostly due to how challenging the past few years have been. Despite this, Jen remains seriously goal-oriented and is making plans to travel for some bigger excursions in the near future. For example, a few years ago she hiked the West Highland Way in Scotland—a 100-mile trek across the U.K. that concludes with an ascent to the country’s highest peak, the Ben Nevis—and she hopes to repeat this journey as soon as possible! Jen also enjoys yoga, working out, cooking and reading. She especially enjoys learning about medical sciences, and a lot of her time is spent reading and researching in these areas to broaden her own personal knowledge. Jen also loves animals… especially dogs! And while she does not have a dog of her own right now, she dedicates a great deal of time to caring for them through family and friends.
Jen has now been with the co-op for almost a decade, and to this day she loves it just as much as she did on day one. She says it’s the best job she’s ever had, and we are all so incredibly lucky to have her on board. Make sure to stop by Customer Service the next time you shop and thank her for all she does to keep our co-op community going strong!