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. Feel free to ask any staff member for assistance while you shop or if you have questions about the store!
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.
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.
Front End Manager
Ashely joined the Co-op in fall of 2019. Born in New Jersey, she moved to NC as a teen and has worked as a cashiering professional for over 9 years. Ashely is dedicated to customer satisfaction and is passionate about creating a great shopping experience for everyone, and gaining some friends along the way. She loves that the Co-op truly works to make everyone welcome. Ashely has two beautiful kids and loves to cook.
Assistant Front End Manager–
Kris joined our cashier team just before the pandemic and now serves as our Assistant Front End manager, ensuring the front end runs smoothly and that our shoppers receive the best customer service. Kris has been a customer service expert since she was 16, working in the grocery industry as well as other retail environments. She loves that the Co-op has expanded her food knowledge and improved her cooking skills and, “helps you be healthy without even trying.” Kris spends her free time watching old movies and hanging out with her cat, named Dirty Diana (because Michael Jackson!).
Loralyn joined the Durham Co-op Market as our Grocery Manager in spring 2019, but has been a part of food co-ops for over a decade, working in a variety of roles including cashiering, stocking, merchandising, marketing, communications, and outreach. Loralyn is passionate about cooperative ownership and putting wealth back into the community. She enjoys living in Durham where she gets to participate in the community, working with and meeting new people every day from different backgrounds. Loralyn wants to see people getting access to the food they want at great prices, and loves supporting cooperative-produced businesses like Equal Exchange, Frontier, Organic Valley, and more.
Deli & 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!
With more than a decade of experience working with cheese and specialty products, Josh Collier, the DCM Specialty Coordinator, is the big cheese around here. Josh has spent the last 11 years working in the cheese industry – beginning in 2008 at Paxton and Whitfield in London. Fun Fact: Paxton and Whitfield holds the royal warrants to Buckingham Palace – which means that Josh has supplied cheese to the royal family! Josh became a Certified Cheese Professional with the American Cheese Society this fall, and we are so lucky to have him.
David has worked in the food industry for about 20 years, starting out at grocery stores with a brief stint in retail, then returning to restaurant work. David loves a fast-paced, action-packed environment, staying busy by slinging sandwiches and packing out sliced meats. He enjoys having a close role in food production and working with fresh ingredients. He’s been our Deli Coordinator for several years now, and loves interacting with customers and working together with the staff to make the Co-op an even better store. Catch him at the deli and order a Brewster, his favorite sandwich on our menu.
Chris joined the Co-op staff in fall of 2020, assisting in the Specialty Department and helping launch a brand new meat program. Chris has been a part of the meat cutting industry for nearly a decade, working with local butcher shops and charcuteries, both on the West Coast and now here in Durham.
Chris looks forward to developing our new meat department and engaging with customers. He’s excited to expand the quality of the meat selection here at the Co-op and help bring improvements to industrialized meats.
Chris loves his cats and has a weakness for Chinese dumplings.
Dawn has been a part of the Co-op team for several years, beginning as a Produce employee and soon after taking over the ordering for our Meat Department. She works with several key local vendors and keeps the shelves looking fresh for our Co-op shoppers!
Contact Zac if: you’d like to place a special order!
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.
The Marketing Team
Contact Elizabeth if: you have questions about ownership, including how to sign up!
Elizabeth has been a key part of our marketing team since 2017. Whether it is the vibrant signage or the bright and fun social media coverage of our products, staff, and store happenings, 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.”
Contact Raafe if: you are interested in partnering with the Co-op or have a donation request!
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.”