Durham Co-op Market began through the efforts of folks in several neighborhoods near downtown Durham, NC who saw a need and were excited about the possibility of creating a grocery/market that focused on locally-produced food. Durham Co-op Market opened in March, 2015 at 1111 W. Chapel Hill St. The co-op is community owned, and community focused. Our goal is to return as much revenue as possible to our community by supporting local farms, selling locally made products, and supporting local jobs.
The Durham Co-op Market will:
- Create an open, inclusive, and diverse store that welcomes our community.
- Make high-quality, nourishing food affordable and accessible.
- Support the local economy and local food systems.
- Model environmental sustainability in our practices and products.
- Foster a healthy workplace based on dignity, opportunity, and fair compensation.
Our staff is made up of 50 part-time and full-time employees. We are so proud that our team reflects our Durham community; over half of our staff live within a mile of the store. We prioritize staff development, cross training between departments, and promoting from within in order to create an upwardly mobile and educated staff across all departments.
We also strongly value customer service, and hire folks whose friendliness and helpfulness will enhance the customer experience. Please ask anyone with a name tag for help or what their favorite product is!
Leila returned to Durham from Burlington where she was the Operations Manager at Company Shops Market, another food co-op. Leila helped guide the store through the start-up phase and developed a produce purchasing system that increased the volume of locally grown food sold at the store. She brings that knowledge with her to Durham Co-op Market as well as a commitment to make our store and its products accessible to all members of our community. Leila’s entire professional career has been devoted to promoting sustainable agriculture, local investment and neighborhood economic development through fair business practices. Before her job at Company Shops, Leila managed the Eno River Farmers Market. She has also worked as a production manager at Locopops in Durham and Simple Kneads Bakery in Greensboro.
Cris is our Finance and HR Manager. A Durhamite for 20+ years, Cris graduated from both Duke (literature) and Durham Tech (accounting), and local foodies may remember them from a tenure as the Big Cheese at Fowler’s in the late 90’s. After leaving the sales floor, Cris wore many hats, such as documentary videographer, nonprofit auditor, and small business accounting consultant. They most recently served as finance manager for Student Action With Farmworkers, a nonprofit that brings students and farmworkers together to advocate for better work conditions. At SAF, Cris was a proud card-carrying member of their union and contract negotiation team, and was excited to see how these values jive with DCM’s hybrid worker/consumer cooperative structure and commitment to creating an equitable work place. When not producing financials or resolving a conflict, Cris passes the time serving as ad hoc parish chef for First Presbyterian Church-Durham.
Davis, our Operations Manager, was the Grocery Manager at the Fresh Market in Chapel Hill, NC prior to working at DCM. Davis moved to Durham in 2012 after graduating from UNC Greensboro. He is a North Carolina native and holds a bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies – which is exactly how he ended up working in grocery stores. His primary work-related interests include democratizing capitalism through co-ops, grocery merchandising, and sparkling water. He thinks co-ops have a great opportunity to make high quality foods more accessible to more people, and is so relieved to be at the co-op instead of a corporate grocery store.
Deli and Kitchen Manager
Matt comes to the co-op with extensive food service experience, including over 15 years as a kitchen manager, and has a passion for fresh and nutritious ingredients, cleanliness and organization. Matt is looking forward to increasing our consistency, freshness, and customer service. As the kitchen and deli manager his goals are to increase and diversify the products offered on the salad bar, utilizing all of the fabulous local produce that we receive daily. Matt’s creativity and love for cooking has made a tremendous impact on lunch options on and off of the hot bar. Our grab and go section is always fully stocked and fresh and the $5 weekday lunch special is a major hit! Unless you knew Matt in his previous life, you might not guess that he was once a very talented tattoo artist and you can consider him a walking advertisement with over 22 tattoos! Matt is also a rockin’ drummer and misses his days drumming in a band, back in the day. Be sure to swing by the deli and let Matt serve you up something fresh and delicious!
Front End Manager
A Raleigh native, born in Fuquay Varina, Phanessa came to the DCM with significant register and front end experience and if the front end is the smile of the DCM team, than Phanessa is the warmth of that positivity. “Meeting new and different people, and often” is what makes working here her favorite position she has ever held. Phanessa not only recalls individual owners, but also their habits, favorite products, and which members of their family come to the Co-op to shop. “When the owners get to know you, then it is like family. .”. And for someone who is celebrating their first year anniversary as a DCM employee, Phanessa is a growing and thriving part of this community. “We sell good quality food but it isn’t just about the food it is about the quality of the experience too.”
Zac started his grocery store career at the age of 17. Nearly two decades later, and with 13 of those years in specialty foods, Zac’s diverse experience is a huge asset to the beer and wine department. His certifications in beer (Certified Beer Server) wine (Intro Sommelier), and cheese (American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional), translates into his love of food and drink.
Raafe is looking forward to engaging with our owners, community groups, and customers. He will be co-ordinating donations, guiding tours, hosting events, and talking about all the ways we are working to make the Co-op and Durham a better place for everyone. As a former environmental science educator, informing communities of their impact and telling the stories that can lead to solutions has always been a goal of his career. “Our co-op is not the building, but the people who use it. By welcoming many peoples into our endeavors, we ensure the shared responsibility of our mission reflects the people who deserve the successes.”
Meredith joined the team to help tell the world about all the great items we sell, and all the amazing stories and values that go into them. She is most excited to talk about local vendors and the many local farms that we work with, as she is also starting her own farm this year. This isn’t her first ambassador gig either. As she put it, “I was a goat ambassador for a Jewish farm.”
Elizabeth has been a key part of our marketing team for several years. Whether it is the vibrant sales flyer or the drool worthy social media coverage of our delicious meal options, Elizabeth loves showing us all what the co-op has to offer. “We are doing a lot of good things already, and I feel what’s next is better practices and more intentionality, doing the things we have been doing, but more deeply. I believe in this team to do that.”
Board of Directors
About the Board
The Durham Co-op Market is a consumer- and worker-owned business. The Board of Directors represents our owners, and sets the goals and values of the organization.
All Co-op owners are eligible to run for the board. Board Members are committed to representing the Co-op’s owners, and voicing the values and goals of Co-op members. Board tasks involve a wide range of governing responsibilities, from providing accountability to the ownership, overseeing financial security, and monitoring organizational and management performance.
Our Co-op is built by Durham and dedicated to serving Durham. The Board exists so the Durham Co-op Market can achieve the most for its Owners and the Durham community!
Summer Alston (email@example.com) – Summer’s passion is Durham, and she embraces the Bull City’s grit and greatness. Through her work for the City of Durham’s Office and Economic and Workforce Development, Summer seeks to maximize the ways in which the private and public sectors collaborate to make Durham a resilient community, and a model for the region and beyond. The experience of every human in Durham is very personal to Summer. Summer is a contributor to notable Durham economic initiatives including development of The Chesterfield, the Durham Innovation District, and the current Durham Police Headquarters site. Summer has worked with Greenfire Development, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and Duke University. A Soul City, Warren County, North Carolina native, Summer now considers Durham home. She is a proud mom to Brenna and Obren, and life-mate to Bobby. A Tar Heel through and through, Summer holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has served the City of Durham since 2014.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde (firstname.lastname@example.org) has called Durham home since 2011, following 10 years in New York City as a student and theater artist. From family meals in her Georgia hometown to becoming involved in Durham’s vibrant local food scene, her love of food has provided a connection to her community and a deep appreciation for sustainable food systems. As the Market grows, she would like to see a continued effort to merge locally-sourced and wholesome foods with affordable and accessible groceries for the entire community, but especially neighborhood residents. She is committed to helping the Market continue efforts to reduce its environmental impact through bulk and refillable products, minimal waste packaging, and local produce and goods. In addition to her involvement with the DCM board, Amelia works at the Scrap Exchange and the Carolina Theatre, and is a dedicated crafter and chicken-keeper.
Lenore Hill (email@example.com) was born in Durham and lived here for 14 years before moving to Hillsborough, studied computer science at Duke, and has worked in Durham since 2000. Lenore is an IT analyst and artist, who volunteers with Splat Space, the Durham FM Association, and the Triangle Linux User’s group. She tries to understand the points of view of others, frequently plays devil’s advocate, and realizes that people’s viewpoints and temperaments are often colored by external unknown circumstances. She is a frequent attendee at Co-op events and meetings, and a lover of cheese.
Beth Katz (BethH@durham.coop) is a Co-director at Food Insight Group (FIG), a Durham-based food systems research organization. Beth is passionate about the intersections of food, environment, culture, and social justice. She holds a PhD in Nutrition Intervention and Policy from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Global Public Health and has worked across North Carolina and around the world to help communities identify food system challenges and address them by leveraging community strengths. At FIG, Beth works with farmers, grocery retailers, schools, nonprofits, foundations, and community development financial institutions to research and implement a variety of ways to strengthen community food systems. She strongly believes in the power of food to connect people and hopes to support those positive connections through her work. Beth loves spending time outside hiking, biking, and exploring with her partner and dog. She also enjoys learning new ways to grow, cook, and preserve food.
Alisa Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor of African American literature at Meredith College and holder of the Mary Lynch Johnson Chair in English. She received her BA from Guilford College and her MA and Ph.D from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has a passion for dance, music, theatre, and film, and is the organizer of the Meredith College Documentary Film Festival. Alisa moved to Durham to work for the Independent (now the Indy Week ) and is the current chair of the Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project. For this longtime resident of the Burch Avenue neighborhood, which advocated for the revitalization of West Chapel Hill Street for over 20 years, the Durham Coop Market really is a dream come true.
Yamina Muhammad (email@example.com) – Bio coming soon
Drew Peng (firstname.lastname@example.org) grew up in Chapel Hill and has spent the past 12 years working in management consulting, consumer packaged goods, and private equity. He is a frequent shopper at Weaver Street Market, and strongly believes that the co-op model has a place in Durham’s burgeoning food scene. Drew joined the DCM Finance & Development committee in 2010 and looks forward to contributing his experiences in finance, investing, and retail to help launch DCM. He enjoys working with startup organizations and aspires to own his own business one day (in addition to being a co-owner in DCM). Drew received his B.S. in engineering from Northwestern University and is a proud graduate of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro public school system. Drew is our current Board President
Tonya Post (email@example.com) moved to Durham after serving on the Obesity and Chronic Illness subcommittee (Partnership for a Healthy Durham). Her time spent in Durham as Director of Programs at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle brought her to love the Durham community and want to be a part. Working for and with the North Carolina food banks, she learned a lot about food systems and is familiar with many food assistance and nutrition programs. She has a passion to see healthy, affordable foods available to all community members. Currently, Tonya is the Preschool Manager for the East Durham Children’s Initiative. At the preschool, she helps influence some of the youngest community members with healthy snacks, a school garden, two bee hives and lots of hands on cooking opportunities for the children.
Hector Suazo (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Bio coming soon
Julian Xie (email@example.com) – Bio coming soon
Here’s our recap of 2018!
Here is our Fiscal 2017 Annual Report. What a great year!
Here is our Fiscal 2016 Annual Report!
Here is our Fiscal 2015 Annual Report, documenting the opening of the Durham Co-op Market and more. Published November 8, 2015.
Articles of Incorporation
Articles of Incorporation for the purpose of forming a cooperative, filed on 6/3/08.
This iteration of the DCM By-laws, the rules by which the Co-op is run, was adopted by the DCM Board effective September 1st, 2009, and last revised September 2017.
Here is our Durham Co-op Market Policy Register, last revised on May 10, 2014.