Britton Elwood (President)
Sometimes you need to start small to make a big impact, and I believe the retail food cooperative is the perfect model to begin healing our national food system, one community at a time. My passion for sustainability, local foods and a desire to improve the food system has led me to earn a Masters in Public Health after 10+ years in the restaurant industry as a pastry chef. My previous experience and current role as Operations Coordinator for the Kennett Food Cupboard (KACS) has taught me how to work diligently in challenging situations while successfully engaging with the community. I hope to use my public health skills to create programs for the co-op that provide local, healthy food for everyone in the community. My biggest dream for the co-op is to encourage everyone in Kennett to start composting, recycling and buying in bulk! I love being a part of the Kennett community and think Kennett has such an abundance of community spirit and enthusiasm; it is the perfect town for a food co-op.
Maureen O'Shea (Vice-President)
After spending 8 years in West Chester, I was looking for a quieter place to call home. I purchased a home in Pike Creek, DE in 2016 and found myself in Kennett Square quite frequently for social meetings as well as numerous client meetings, quickly falling in love with our small town. I am the Agricultural Business Development Coordinator in Cecil County with a passion for nutrition, nature-inspired wellness and our regional agriculture industry. My focus on fresh local foods in my college years led me to seek out part-time work at a local farm eventually leading me to my current full-time position in agricultural economic development. In the spirit of taking back control of our local food system, I am more than proud to be an integral part of the founding members of the Kennett Square Food Co-op. My desire to teach others the value of whole foods from a mental wellness perspective is my driving passion. I know the negative effects of processed foods on mental well-being and I'm looking forward to having the co-op in town for easy access to fresh healthy foods as well as an educational resource for the community.
Diane Bove (Secretary)
I have lived in Kennett Square for 11 years and spent nearly 10 years working at The Garage Community and Youth Center in a variety of capacities, but primarily as the volunteer and mentor program coordinator. This experience taught me a lot about community building, communication, and the incredible network of people and resources in the Kennett area. I bring knowledge of communication platforms, effective engagement, and a willingness to engage in community outreach. I love this community; it’s diversity, community programs and engagement, the heart toward local and commitment to preservation and empowerment. I am passionate about food and where it is sourced. Food literally is life and I believe we should be an involved part in our food system. I am so excited for this food co-op and what it represents to build community, educate, increase access, and increase our ability to steward resources.
I am passionate about helping to bring a food co-op to Kennett, because I believe that our connection to food should be intentional, thoughtful and shared--all values supported by the co-op. My career working in nonprofits, role as a volunteer manager, and experience with community outreach and event organization are skills that I can contribute to the start-up of the co-op. I have lived in Chester County for most of my life and am driven by opportunities to collaborate with the amazing nonprofits, businesses and individuals who are already doing so much to serve the community well. I was a member of Mariposa Co-op when I lived in Philly. I feel fortunate to have had a walkable grocery store that provided nutritious and fairly priced groceries and ultimately provided a connection to the community I lived in. I want the Kennett Square Food Co-op to be that for everyone--connection to neighbors, our farmers and local food sources, and to the many ways that the co-op can positively impact lives in our community.
I have a background in forestry, agriculture, and tree fruit production. I've spent many summers working with the conservation of natural resources, control of invasive plants and insects, and production of foods for the local communities. I recently began a career with Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Having grown up in a rural and close knit community in the Adirondack State Park in New York; sustainability, community, and food sovereignty have been long been important principles within my own life. These are easily seen at my home in Delaware where the yards are full of fruit trees and gardens, growing produce to happily share with friends and neighbors.
Three years ago, I retired from a 37-year career as a Physician Assistant in specialty Pediatrics primarily caring for children with cancer. I sold my home in Havertown, PA with the intention to move with my eldest daughter to Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, after five trips out west and house-hunting in Albuquerque, I knew that I could not leave the “green” forests and fields of Pennsylvania. I bought a townhouse in Kennett Square and set off to find a volunteer position in a cause I would want to support.
Enter the walk in the borough where I happened upon a yard sign encouraging me to join the Kennett Community Grocer as a member-owner. I found my volunteer passion that day. Both professionally and personally, I am passionate about the healing qualities of sustainably grown, locally sourced and personally prepared food. For me, providing nutritious food is an important, life-giving activity connecting people to health, encouraging community relationships and allowing citizens to have a role in encouraging a healthy and sustainable planet. I want to help the people of Kennett Square and surrounding communities have access to local food and a sustainable, healthy diet through a shared effort and cooperative experience.