Meet a Member: Marino Hernandez

Marino_Hernandez.pngWhat is your role in the community? How does the co-op reinforce that role?

I'm an aspiring entrepreneur intent on increasing the camaraderie people have with markets, everywhere. The food co-op is a great place for that because you know they're on your side. People are more happy to read ingredients of food on the co-op's shelves as opposed to food from conventional stores, as you have a voice in what they carry, and you're in good company with other people similarly conscientious about their food choices. Choice is important. Stores should carry what we really want. So when members of the food co-op started having meetings at SoBeCoWorks, my ears perked. My kind of place!

What was the most compelling aspect of the co-op, for you?

After hearing their mission to end the Bethlehem region's food desert (a lack of affordable and nutritious food nearby), that made up my mind.

As far as the community goes, what function do you think the co-op should play?

Joining the food co-op is our chance to give back to the community and meet others making a difference. I believe more people will join as they see the positive changes Bethlehem Food Co-Op will produce for food choice in Bethlehem, with some cross-pollinating effects across the Lehigh Valley. We will be a small yet effective voice for change in the local food system.

Why is it important that the Bethlehem Food Co-Op have plenty of community leaders involved?

If we share knowledge so others can replicate our success locally, that's awesome. A great leader takes bold actions and is confident sharing knowledge, even with the competition, knowing that will help further our co-op’s mission. I'm also glad for the healthy number of women as leaders in the co-op and other places.

In 10 years from now, what role would you like to have with the co-op?

Throughout our development, I'll prompt and help Bethlehem Food Co-Op to experiment with various ways to bring the freshest possible organic produce at a great price.

Finally, what's your favorite local food?

My favorite local food is from the garden, of course. And local fresh made mozzarella. And local raw honey. All things I'll vote for the food co-op to carry.

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