Hello, My name is Jessica Diagostino. I have been a member of the co-op for just over a year. I joined the co-op when I started working for my employer, Wholeshare, in Potsdam, NY. I moved up to Massena in 2013 from Charlotte NC. It was tough moving from a big city where I had access to local, organic, and sustainable foods to the food desert up here. I was thrilled to find the co-op and the different cuts of local meats and fresh organic fruits and veggies!
I unfortunately haven’t been able to get as involved with the co-op as I would have liked. I tried a couple of times to help out with inventory but had other obligations each time it was scheduled. But I feel that this would be a great way to get involved and become a part of the community. I have an extensive background that encompasses customer service, recruiting, adult education and training, basic financial knowledge, and a passion for great food.
My favorite thing about the co-op is the variety. For such a small space, there is an amazing variety of product that appeal to a large number of people. The prepared food section always has something a little different each time and the soups are amazing. There is also no way to leave the co-op without a fresh baked bread!
My only regret is not finding out about the co-op sooner. Moving up here and not knowing many people I didn’t know about the co-op until I started working in Potsdam. My child’s babysitter, who has been living in Massena for 60+ years had never even heard of it! I think a bigger presence in the surrounding areas to get the word out would be beneficial in raising membership numbers. I was also thinking that a pop-up store in Massena would be great too.
My final suggestion would be to increase the social media presence of the Co-op. Like it or not, social media is here to stay and embracing it might help bring in the younger crowd who are taking more of an interest in local and organic foods. There are plenty of colleges and universities around and getting the students attention would be key to bringing them into the shop.