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 Alyssa DiVirgilio – East 7th General Merchandise Buyer
How long have you worked at the co-op, and what brought you here originally?
I’ve worked at Mississippi Market for almost six years. When the cosmetics company I previously worked for was sold to a larger corporation, I left to backpack Europe for a month and realized I wanted to work for an organization that was thoughtful about its impact on the environment and whose values were more in alignment with my own. A friend who worked for Mississippi Market at the time recommended I apply, and I began as a cashier at West 7th.
How are your personal values reflected in your work at the co-op?
My personal values are mostly reflected in the choices I make as a buyer, particularly in general merchandise, where I feel the most autonomy. When selecting books and greeting cards, I focus on featuring black, brown, queer and female-identifying people whenever I can. I know how valuable it is to be represented in your environment, particularly for marginalized people, so I do what’s in my power to expand who sees themselves reflected in our stores, knowing there’s always more we can do.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
What I love most about working in the front end is learning people’s stories. There are so many cool people that shop and work at the co-op, and I just love getting to interact with everyone. I love greeting guests and sending you off with a warm smile as you leave.
What’s something members might not know about working in Wellness?
The Wellness departments at all three locations, especially the general merchandise team, work closely with one another. We place orders together and take turns receiving and transferring them. We have a fun, team-oriented relationship, and I love working with the other buyers.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time outside of work?
For the last four years or so, I’ve been a member of an all-Black improv troupe called Blackout — a mix of comedy, social justice and arts access. Pre-COVID, we performed monthly shows in Minneapolis and frequently traveled in the States and throughout Europe and Canada, performing and teaching workshops. Now you can catch some shows and workshops online, but I’m looking forward to the day we can get back on stage with an audience. Other than that, I’m big on travel and, any chance I get, I hop on a plane.
What are some of your favorite products found at the co-op?
My #1 favorite skincare product is Evanhealy’s Blue Cactus Beauty Balm. It’s a beautiful blue color, is so hydrating and absorbs well. We’ve also brought in the new Pranarom skincare line and, in just a week of using it, I’ve seen great improvements in the texture of my skin. Lastly, I am a huge fan of collagen. The NeoCell Super-Collagen Powder is great for its fine texture and the Sprout Living Epic Protein Pro-Collagen for a plant-based option; both help boost your body’s own collagen production.