Image for Staff Profile: Meet Velma Rentmeester

As a community-owned and cooperatively operated business, co-op employees are some of Mississippi Market’s greatest assets. Our friendly, dedicated staff possess a wealth of knowledge. They work diligently to provide you with access to the freshest, healthiest foods and the safest, most effective personal health and beauty care products available. Our three stores employ over 200 people from our surrounding local communities who are passionate about sustainably grown and humanely raised foods; supporting local family farmers, vendors and makers; and nurturing the health of people and the planet. We wouldn’t be here without them!

Interested in joining our co-op team?

Meet Velma Rentmeester – Wellness Department Manager

How long have you worked at the co-op and what brought you here initially?

I’ve been at Mississippi Market for over seven years now. I started as a part-time Produce Stocker at Selby in 2015 and transferred to East as a full-time Wellness/Grocery Stocker in 2018. Since then, I’ve transitioned to Wellness buying and, more recently, managing. I think it was inevitable that I would end up at a co-op; I went to a K-8 community school where there were tables instead of desks, we called our teachers by their first names, there weren’t locks on the lockers, we didn’t have letter grades, and when the weather permitted there were usually two recess periods. It was instilled in me that through cooperation, we can all be better together.

What do you love about your job?

There is great energy from interactions with coworkers, customers, vendors, delivery drivers, and everyone else! We are truly quite a slice of so many different backgrounds, cultures and gender identities. The co-op is an open and safe space where we can be authentic. As a manager, I love how I can help foster people to think and grow in new ways.

How are your personal values reflected in your work?

I’m an open, honest, and empathetic person. I believe these qualities have helped shape my interactions at work and saturate my everyday life. For me, they are the foundation of collaboration.

What do you like to do during your free time?

I like to watch films (mostly at the Trylon Cinema where I volunteer), read books, go on walks, attend concerts, shop for vinyl, travel, roast coffee, cook, garden, snuggle with my cat, and hang out with family and friends. More recently, I have been learning how to sew and would like to play guitar.

What are some of your favorite products found at the co-op?

This is predominately the only place I shop, so I could really go on and on. My top five in no particular order:

  1. Featherstone Farm carrots! When I worked in Produce, I had the opportunity to visit the farm and eat a carrot fresh from the earth. It was transcendent.
  2. GoMacro Macrobars; I really love all the flavors but always seem to gravitate toward “Everlasting Joy,” which is the coconut + almond butter + chocolate chip one.
  3. Shiro’s earrings; I’m all about dangly earrings handcrafted from upcycled/recycled materials!
  4. Tea Source Minnesota N’ice Tea; I know it’s not the typical season for iced tea, but this one is great as a hot tea, too. Or if you’re like me, iced tea can be year-round.
  5. Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder; Vanilla Lucuma is my fave! Simple ingredients and tastes great.