Darren Chan

How long have you been cooperating?
I actually assisted with the painting and in preparing the Medford Food Co-op for the initial opening in 2011. In April of 2012, I left for California after being recalled as a Teamster Forklift Operator on layoff status since 2008, only to be laid off again just four months later. Thankfully, the Medford Food Co-op was gracious enough to hire me and I have been here ever since.

What do you do at the Co-op?
My official position is the Meat Department Lead, or Meathead. My job involves ordering, preparing, stocking, and merchandising the fresh and packaged meat products. A few of my other duties include but are not limited to: Grocery Department ordering, stocking, and merchandising; Bulk Cheese & Packaged Cheese ordering, processing, and merchandising; Cooler, Dairy, & Packaged Deli ordering and merchandising; closing & maintenance support including sweeping and mopping of the sales floor, back room, and restrooms; opening PIC (Person In Charge); Front End support including back-up cashier; and occasional closing PIC. I worked in the Produce Department during my first year with the co-op.

What brought you to the Co-op?
A singular powered gasoline fueled PZEV vehicle, although the thought to either trade it for an AT-PZEV, PHEV, TZEV, or ZEV vehicle, ride my bicycle, take public transit, or just simply walk the 4.5 miles to work has been weighing in on me.

What do you like best about your job?
The people, especially working with my daughter Sarah. She’s currently a part-time cashier here at the co-op until she leaves for college.

Tell us your Co-op favorites:
Guayaki Grapefruit Ginger Sparkling Yerba Mate. I don’t know if I could function at work without it. And it only has 45 calories per container!

How has working at the Co-op affected your life?
Having worked at a conventional grocery store for 28 years, the co-op has made me aware of the benefits of local, organically grown food and the ethical treatment of workers in the world of food production. I am also just now gaining understanding into the significance of the carbon emissions produced by my four children, my wife, and myself determined by the choice of our lifestyle and its effect on the earth’s climate.

Tell us something we don’t know! (Tell us something about yourself others might not know):
Without the ability of ask the reader questions, it is difficult for me to determine what you don’t know. Concerning myself, if I told you what you don’t know about me then others may find out what I’ve been keeping from them.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to spend time with my four children, ages 7 through 18, and of course with my wife, age... Anyhow, among my greatest activities is creating meals that my children thoroughly enjoy, resulting in expressions of immense gratitude and the receiving of bear-like hugs from them. Yes, all four of them.

Where did you grow up/where have you lived in your life?
I was born and raised in California, in the East Bay Area City of Brentwood, a farming community known for growing beautiful corn. In fact, I have seen organically grown corn from my hometown of Brentwood delivered right here to the co-op from our fresh produce distributors! I relocated from Brentwood, CA to Grants Pass in 2010, and then to Medford in 2013 where I currently reside.