Image for Staff Profile: Meet Lesi Lorena

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 Lesi Lorena — Selby Wellness Manager

How long have you been working at the co-op?

I’ve been with the co-op for nine years! When I submitted my application, I was just looking for a new job. I had no idea what a co-op was and had little knowledge of organic foods, herbal remedies, or even what non-GMO meant. Once hired, my entire world expanded, as did my interest and passion for all-natural foods and skin care. Being hired at the co-op completely changed my life for the better.

How are your personal values reflected in your work at the co-op?

From a very young age, I learned that nourishing your community is of the utmost importance. I grew up witnessing my mother raise five children all on her own. After serving eight years in the U.S. Military, she entered the nonprofit world, quickly adopting social values that she passed onto her children. Due to her influence, I’ve spent my entire life around people who are committed to supporting, educating, rebuilding, and empowering their communities. I’m proud to have ended up in a place where I can also do my part, working for a cooperative that makes community outreach, education, and involvement some of its main priorities.

What do you love most about working in Wellness? What is the most rewarding part?

What I love most is also what is most rewarding — the opportunity to help those in need. Whether it’s finding a cold remedy for someone who is sick, providing education on the differences between synthetically sourced vitamins vs. whole-food-based ones, or simply sharing what my favorite bath bomb scents are, helping people gives me joy. I’m grateful for every customer interaction I have and the opportunity to advise people on their personal health and well-being needs.

What is your favorite local Wellness product?

KA All Naturals has captured my heart! Owned by a woman and person of color, this small business has quickly become a favorite of mine. Their all-natural skin care products are freshly handmade in small batches with minimal packaging using clean ingredients and effective, simple formulations. I highly recommend their green tea facial balm.

What do you do for fun outside of work?

I enjoy hiking at state parks with my partner and our dog, visiting local oddities and rock shops, and devouring a great book! I just took up gardening a year ago. Growing my own produce has been a lifelong dream. I’m also a metalsmith and small business owner; you can find my custom handmade jewelry at