Fostering a culture of generosity

Catherine Downey, Mississippi Market’s Operations Manager, has been around food co-ops for a long time.

Catherine_webGrowing up in North Minneapolis, Catherine’s mom was a coordinator at the North Side Food Co-op. In those days, a coordinator was a storekeeper, a cashier, a buyer, and even took the cash to the bank. And, Catherine followed her mom around, helping where she could. So, you see, she got an early start.

A wealth of experience

Catherine is now on the cusp of her 21st anniversary as a Mississippi Market employee! In the twenty years that she has been with the co-op, she has served a variety of different roles. She started at the Randolph store as a part-time cashier in 1994 and quickly moved into being the front-end manager (grocery store speak for managing the front of the house, including cashiers and customer service staff). Next, she worked a 3-4 year stint in the accounting department with the co-op’s accounts payable. From there, she became the Human Resources Manager and filled the position for 6 years. Catherine says that,

In my role as Human Resources manager, I heard stories from staff that inspired me to want to have a more direct influence on store operations.

She has run the Selby store as the store manager for the past 7 years.

A new role

And now, it is time for Catherine to take on a new role at Mississippi Market. She is now the new Operations manager. Her overall goal in this new position is to create a consistent customer and staff experience across stores. In order to reach this goal, she will supervise the three store managers and the central kitchen manager. A big part of her work will be recognizing what’s working, identifying what needs attention, and strategizing how to get all stakeholders on the same page.

Catherine is looking forward to creating a team that can make her vision of a successful Mississippi Market live in all our locations, which includes; a friendly staff, beautiful and well-stocked stores, offering high quality products, and spreading the culture of generosity.

More than a grocery store

When talking about her work, Catherine’s passion about the power of positive interactions is apparent.

By fostering a culture of generosity, I truly believe that we have the ability to make an impact on someone’s day, be it shoppers, co-workers, neighbors, or vendors. If we can look at everything we do through that lens, then we can begin a chain reaction of positivity.


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