Bringing together her experience in agriculture, co-operatives, local food and retail, Lynn Bishop stepped into her new role as the West End Food Co-op’s new coordinator this week, wrote InsideToronto.com on Sunday, October 9th. Lynn recently graduated with the new Co-op Management Certificate from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
“This is exciting for me because I get to bring all this crazy diverse skill set that I have into this mix and be of service to the co-op,” Bishop said. “And help them go to the next step of realizing this vision.”
That vision is the soon-to-be-opened food hub and retail co-op store operated by the West End Food Co-op (WEFC), which also runs the Sorauren Park Farmers Market Mondays.
“I had been keeping an eye on the West End Food Co-op, and the whole concept for a couple of years,” Bishop said.
When the job description for the coordinator of the co-op’s retail store came up, Bishop said it felt as though it had been written specifically for her.
Bishop was a farmer in Hillsburgh, located in Wellington County about 80 kilometres northwest of Toronto, for 13 years before moving to the Junction.
She was a founding staff member of the Everdale Environmental Learning Centre, a teaching farm with 15 acres of vegetables, goats, chickens and sheep.
“I understand farming and I understand farmers and their needs,” Bishop said. “It is really exciting for me to be able to offer them opportunities to sell their products.”
Bishop also started Everpure Biodiesel Co-op and more recently she worked for Local Food Plus.
Her first task, Bishop said, will be to manage the renovation of the space in the Parkdale Community Health Centre at Queen Street West and Dufferin Street, which will house the Co-op store.
“We are going to be moving as fast as we can,” she said, adding the hope is the store will open this winter. “At this stage, a lot will depend on permits and city staff and engineer drawings and those kinds of things so I would be reticent to put a date on it.”
The 2011 West End Food Co-op annual general meeting is Oct. 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, corner of Wright and Roncesvalles avenues.