What are your staples when you shop at our co-op? Bread? Some produce? How about fresh, local milk? Well, Alli Blouin knows a thing or two about milk — and almost everything we sell that is refrigerated. As our Perishable and Frozen Food buyer, Alli works with the local farmers who produce your Flying Cloud Dairy or Manning Hill Farm milk, she makes sure our shelves are stocked with Real Pickles and Echo Farms pudding, and she can always point you in the direction of the Walpole Creamery ice cream.
For our first staff spotlight, I got to sit down with Alli to get to know this friendly and fun individual better.
Hometown: Spofford, NH.
Current Position: Perishable & Frozen Foods Buyer
Previous Positions: I started at the co-op before store was open. I was a grocery clerk and buyer, left for a bit and came back as a part-time cashier.
Years at our Co-op: All that being said… between 3-4 years!
Special Skill/Hidden Talents: I can pick up really heavy boxes, I enjoy math, and I am a pretty good cook.
Favorite Product: Taquitos and VT Dinners, especially when I want comfort food but am feeling too lazy to cook.
Favorite Co-op Event: Earth Day is pretty fun, especially since it is such a huge event in the Keene community. Plaid Friday is also fun, especially when I was working in the Front End.
What’s your food and culinary background? I am primarily self-taught, but my friends helped me learn how to cook during high school. I became a vegetarian for a little bit and that forced me to become more creative with cooking.
What do you love about our co-op? There are great people working here. I particularly like that we get to work with local farmers and that I get to see suppliers at least once a week. There is a large emphasis on local, which is amazing and the suppliers we purchase from actually shop here!
What do you do outside of work? I do a lot of yoga, hiking, and cooking! I also love to work-out and do a lot of boxing at Contenders Gym.
The Fun Stuff
If you had to drink one flavor of Kombucha for the rest of your life, what would it be? This is a tough question! Original or Ginger Berry.
Would you rather swim in a pool of Echo Farm’s pudding or sleep in a bed made out of Tofurkey Spiral Ham? Echo Farms Puddings, that would be delicious.
Are you a hunter or a gatherer? Gatherer for sure. I like herbs and gardening a lot. It is really cool to learn about what plants can do for you and their medicinal properties.
What is your favorite comfort food/family recipe? Another hard question! Comfort food… probably ordering sushi when I don’t want to cook. Or if I am cooking… eggplant parmesan!
Anything to else to share? I am a huge supporter of the “Free Fire Cider” and “Tradition Not Trademark” movements. I am passionate about educating the community about these issuing and wish more people knew about Rosemary Gladstar and alternatives to Fire Cider, like Fire Tonic #9.
Next time you are at the store be sure to stop by and say hi to our wonderful buyer!