Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In Our Own Words: Member Testimonial (Anna M.)

Driving through downtown Denver after having been away for quite some time, it occurred to me how lucky I am to live in a city that offers so many local businesses and an amazing farmer's market community.  Don't get me wrong--I love Colorado dearly and treasure the time I spent there.  But between driving through Aurora amidst the chain restaurants and overhearing fellow jet-setters complain about their lack of food choices in RVA, it broke my heart.  The public doesn't know where to look for the good stuff.

It's always been amazing to me how such simple things--eating local, healthy foods and practicing yoga--have become so expensive to get in on.  No one should have to pay $100 for a special yoga mat.  A single mother shouldn't have to rely on fast food to give her a cheap, cost-effective way to feed her children.  It boils down to giving people access and education.  That's why I love the two organizations I represent:  Project Yoga Richmond and the Richmond Food Cooperative.  Without waxing poetic on my social science theories, let's put it this way:  Both were founded on the principle that stronger individuals translate to healthier communities.  By making the healthy unattainable to the masses, who are we really helping?

I believe that everyone has something to contribute, whether it's talent or time.  The coolest thing is, I've been able to see this philosophy in action as we build our cooperative community from the ground up.  Brainstorming over delicious brews and a homemade dinner at Michele's , I realized just how many amazing people I've been so fortunate to surround myself with.  Who knew I had so many masseuse/acupuncturist/musician/badass artist friends? What if, and humor me for a moment, we could get all of these people in one grassroots organization to share their brilliance and collaborate over tasty, affordable fare and fun events? What if we could all cooperate for a better community? What if I could be a co-owner of it all? Count me in.  

And that's why I joined the Co-op.

-Anna Meshejian, Co-op Member/Owner

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