by Lisa Stag-Tout, Health & Wellness Manager
This summer has brought some big changes to our department; the most obvious being three new staff members. Amanda Biederman joins us from the grocery/dairy department. She is rapidly growing her knowledge in the floral department as well as being one of our buyers, most notably of the bulk herbs, tinctures and teas. We share Andy Klay’s cheerful demeanor with the deli, and I’m delighted to indulge his enthusiasm for alternative remedies. As for me, I arrived in Madison with my family one year ago this month from the Pacific Northwest. I feel extremely fortunate to be continuing on my path of providing information and assistance to people who are seeking to take care of their health and well-being. While I miss growing an herbal medicine chest in my own backyard, the Willy Street Co-op provides a significant connection to what I hold dear: sustainable agriculture and community. I plan to spend some time assisting a local farm during this harvest season just to get in sync with my new geographical location.
Like many other folks, we have been caught up in the “Back to School” theme to some degree. I’m excited to have our team take advantage of seminars and trainings offered by some of our suppliers and distributors. In the coming months, I anticipate that our department will be eager to share more information on products and practices in the various alternative health care fields. To begin with, this month Mary Sarto will be leading two classes on Homeopathy. Aromatherapy and hydrosols are being discussed for a future class and I know I’ll want to talk about growing, harvesting and preparing herbs. Perhaps someone will offer to take me on a “weed walk”—this type of casual, roaming classroom was extremely popular in the Seattle area.
I want to close with saying I appreciate the patience and support I have received throughout these hectic few months especially from my assistant manager, Amy Draper. She has provided the solid foundation on which these changes are finally beginning to settle. She also maintains a respected connection with the membership and our community which is vital to our team’s growth and success. My hope is to become an additional, valuable resource for members and co-workers to rely on when communicating their needs to this department. I’m looking forward to hearing your comments and ideas soon.