Image for Staff Profile: Meet James Lewis

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 James Lewis Director of Operations

How long have you worked at the co-op?

I have been with the co-op for over 10 years now! I have held various positions pertaining to the prepped-foods part of the business, such as Deli and our Central Kitchen. From there, I moved up to being the East 7th store manager for four years. I came here as a second job as a cook and saw working in the Deli as something new and different from my previous line-cooking work. I felt I fit perfectly with the co-op and decided to invest more of myself into it. I’ve worked hard, and I am proud to put that work in and move my way up to where I am now.

Congratulations on your new role as Director of Operations! What are you most excited about?

I’m excited about continuing with the co-op and developing my leadership skills and business aptitude. I can’t wait to be involved with the other locations to continue to strengthen this Saint Paul institution as a source of great food and great community.

How are your personal values reflected in your work?

My family raised me with a great sense of work and community. I love the co-op because it allows me to contribute to the neighborhood I grew up in and establish connections that can only help strengthen my East Side community. I can work for a local business and provide for my family. I shop here, I work here, and I love the fact that for every dollar spent here, another $1.60 goes back into the community.

What are some fun “behind-the-scenes” facts you can share about the co-op?

There are some hidden perks to working at our East 7th location since our Central Kitchen is located here. The employees get first dibs on trying any new or developing recipes, so we’re always on the lookout for any delectable goodies from our cooks or bakers.

What do you like to do during your free time?

I have a loving wife and four incredible children that keep me pretty busy. Time with them includes wrestling matches, art projects and lots of love.

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

Of course, coming through the prepared-foods part of the co-op, I love our deli food! We have fantastic desserts and take-home meals! It’s a hidden gem of the metro.