The Board of Directors represents our owners, and sets the goals and values of the Co-op. Get to know our Board Members!

Summer Alston

  1. How long have you served on the Board? This is my first year of board service. So technically I have been on the board a little over five months.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? I am admittedly still learning all of what the DCM has to offer, however I am totally smitten at the moment with the new taco bar!
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op? My vision for the co-op is that more people of different backgrounds, particularly people of color and poor people, will grow to appreciate the mission and values of the co-op as their own, as well as the benefits of healthy foods, as the co-op’s products continue to get more and more accessible.
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) The mission of DCM is absolutely the first draw for me. The fact that there is a mission and a purpose behind the food makes the experience meaningful to me.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time? If I had unlimited time I would really love to study more about religion and understand better how all the different religions of the world actually work and how they interface with world history.

Drew Peng

  1. How long have you served on the Board? I’ve been on the board at DCM since 2012.  My years of service on the board have flown by.  Either the space/time continuum is warping or I’m just getting old.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? There’s a brand of dry pasta called “bionaturae,” and I buy their spaghetti all the time.  I don’t know why, but their products are hands down the best store-bought pasta I’ve ever had.  Combined with Firsthand Foods’ Spicy Italian Sausage – that’s a meal I could eat every day.
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op? The continuation of a healthy, vibrant Co-op that is a foundation for community-building in Durham (and maybe one day if we earn the right, beyond).
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) It’s simple – the Co-op is by and for our community.  From the talented people who work at the store, to the vendors who supply high quality products and services, to the customers who depend on the store for sustenance and use it as a gathering spot to socialize.  In general, it’s been tough for local, independent businesses.Despite the odds, co-op grocery stores like ours are not just making it but actually thriving.  I believe it has something to do with a feeling of shared ownership around a physical space that welcomes everybody.There’s a lot of extra effort involved and careful consideration of what our stakeholders want.  Some organizations, especially national chains, don’t go the extra mile or don’t take the commitment to the community seriously.  Because the Co-op is built by the community to serve the community, we can’t afford not to pay attention to what our constituents are saying.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time? As many foreign languages as possible.  And not just the vocabulary and grammar, but developing a familiarity with the cultural influences and history behind the language.  Knowing a language at that level is like a key to unlocking awareness of another part of the world.

Julian Xie

  1. How long have you served on the Board? I’ve been on the board since Nov 2018 so just about 5 months till now.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? Favourite product = babka from Levin Jewish Community Center and Durham Toffee, which is easily superior to Chapel Hill Toffee. Favourite meal = anything with cornbread, especially chili and cornbread.
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op? My vision for the Co-op is for us to make it more accessible for more people, and then share what we’re doing with the rest of the country. Within this thing that we call the “food movement”, Durham Co-op has done some of the hardest work to be inclusive, but we all have a long way to go to crack the nut on this problem of unhealthy, unsustainable food being cheap while healthy, sustainable food is expensive. I’m glad that I get to participate in Durham Co-op’s fight to solve this problem at least in our own community!
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) The Co-op walks the walk – the values of sustainability and humanity are all a part of the food we sell, the people in our family, and the space that we have. I shop there because it’s affordable yet sustainable for the foods I cook, and I love $3 dinners.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time? With unlimited time, I would love to learn how to play cello! (I can play piano, guitar, bass, trumpet, and drums – but would love to break into bowed instruments since they really ROSINATE with me :p)

Lenore Hill

  1. How long have you served on the Board? I’ve served on the board for a little over two years.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? Green Hill cheese, by Sweet Grass Dairy. It’s a soft-ripened, double-cream cow’s milk cheese handcrafted in a Camembert style.
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op? My vision is that the store will grow and prosper as defined by our Ends.
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) The staff of the co-op make it a warm and inviting place and the whole community built around it ensures that I’ll see friends or make new friends while I’m there. It’s small enough such that I know where to find what I need and it’s much more relaxing than shopping at other stores.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time?  I’d like to learn to play the harmonica.

Alisa Johnson

  1. How long have you served on the Board? I am not exactly sure—probably six years, since I came on the board before we had a store.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? Collards and Annie’s Biscuits. I like the chili and cornbread meals.
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op? To continue to be what it is—a part of the heart of our communities.
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) The co-op is a community gathering place and we all worked to create it. It is more than a store—it is the embodiment of our hope.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time? I would love to learn to read and speak Chinese.

Amelia Freeman-Lynde

  1. How long have you served on the Board? I have served on the Board since our first elections after the store opened in 2015.
  2. What is your favorite product or meal at DCM? My favorite product is probably the one I buy the most, local sweet potatoes! My favorite meal is the loaded baked sweet potatoes at $3 dinner.
  3. What’s your vision for our co-op?  My vision for our co-op is truly a place where everyone is welcome, from parents and students on a budget to folks with dietary restrictions or a deep commitment to sustainability.
  4. In your mind, what makes our co-op different than any other place to get food (i.e. Why do you shop at our co-op?) I think our co-op is different because of our holistic approach to sustainable food, including food access and education.
  5. What’s one thing you would like to learn if you had unlimited time? I would like to improve my language skills if I had time.  I studied French and Spanish in school, but I feel like I’ve lost those skills!