I have been involved with co-ops all my life starting at the Lexington Co-op in Buffalo NY doing member hours with my mom and dad, and eventually working as the produce manager there for several years. I was introduced to Credit unions there and have supported worker owned and cooperative model business since. I also am an entrepreneur. I bought out the Homebrew supplies from the co-op when I left and opened my first business Mighty Niagara Brewer, a homebrew supply. I then melded that business into Campus WheelWorks a full service Bicycle shop doing $1 million in sales per year. My latest venture is Ardent Craft ales. I am an original co-op member of the brewers guild and an investor and Board of Directors member. This brewery in RVA is located in Scott’s Addition.
My current job is my dream job. I work for the best bicycle company in the world Giant Bicycle. I am an Account Executive for the DC, VA NC territories and love to ride. Sales is my passion and it melds well with my riding passion and vision of bicycles as the alternative transportation/recreation mode for modern life. I will bring my sales training abilities to the co-op so we can compete with a very competitive marketplace in RVA for groceries.
I am excited to be a part of the early development and implementation of the Richmond Food Co-op. Growing up in a co-op environment as a child I miss the membership and destiny we have with our food source. Richmond has been lacking this vital connection since I moved here in 1999. There are many options for consumers to simply buy their good food from corporations but the voice I had in making sure my ethics and ethos in my food choices is missing. I want to bring back that voice of membership to the food experience in Richmond.
-Michael DeLano, Co-op Board Member