Joshua Bakersmith

How long have you been cooperating?
I’ve been at the Medford Food Co-op for about 9 months. Prior to that I have 7 1/2 years of experience working at the Ashland Food Co-op.

What do you do at the co-op?
I am the Floor Supervisor and Frozen Foods Buyer, along with whatever else might be needed at any given time. I make sure the registers are running smoothly and the customer’s and owner’s needs are met.

What brought you to the co-op?
I came back to a Co-op to get back to my roots. Being involved with a business that is larger than itself. It is a good feeling knowing that the place I work for is striving and working with others to help foster a better community. I can feel confident knowing that the products we sell are also trying to make a difference. A place where the bottom line is not the only thing we work for.

What do you like best about your job?
Besides the great people I work with, the thing I like best about working at the Co-op are the owners and customers I get to be around every day. Every day I come to work I learn something new. Working in this business, I feel it is part of my job to educate myself so I can be a great resource for our customers. The best part of working here is that I constantly learn things from coworkers and customers that make every day feel like a day at school.

Tell us your co-op favorites:
Some of my favorite items at the Co-op are the Honey Mama’s chocolate bars. I had never had the pleasure of trying them before I started working here and now I regret the fact that they are so close. I see them staring at me all of the time, calling to me to come on over, pick one up and take it home. Little does it know, it will probably not make it through lunch. That is the power they have over me.

How has working at the co-op affected your life?
Working at the Co-op has affected my life by affirming my belief in the power of the collective. To watch this little business thrive in a world that is controlled by giants is a testament to all of the hard work that former workers and owners have put into it.

Tell us something we don’t know! (Tell us something about yourself others might not know):
Something that you don’t know about me is that my favorite artist collective was the one working at La Grotte Chauvet.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, besides spending time with my wife Kim and daughter Sula, I like to hike, read, garden, and sculpt in stone and other mediums. I have been stone carving for years and would spend all of my time doing that if life wasn’t there reminding me to do other things.

Where did you grow up/where have you lived in your life?
I grew up outside of Portland. I spent time traveling around the country with my wife. We came back to Oregon and moved into Portland for a while before coming down to Ashland to go to school. I lived there for several years, then moved to Eugene. Living in Eugene, I had the opportunity to work at a little vegetarian café that introduced me to a more healthful way to live. After that, I moved back down to Ashland, living there for several more years before getting a place here in Medford.