This past summer I was lucky enough to land a job at the People’s Food Co-op in nearby La Crosse, WI, due to the the fact that I am what they call there a “Co-op Baby”. Sweet Ridge Farm has sold produce on and off to this organic food store for years, and apparently the management has watched me and my siblings grow from toddlers to teens, wending our way through aisles of dried fruit and organic cereals, eating their legendary malted milk balls straight from the bag, and taking more than our fair share of the many free samples of chips and dips they offer in the deli section. If there is free food anywhere within 30 miles, the Slattery children will find it.
In any case, they noticed my last name on my application, and I was in. I spent this past summer working part time as a grocery girl, stocking the shelves with an assortment of odd goods, such as seaweed snacks and hemp milk, and chatting with the only other girl in the department, Natalya, from Russia. When I came back home for break, they immediately offered my job back to me. Unfortunately, my days of gossip with Natalya are gone, as she has now returned to Russia, and I have now taken the role of Only Girl in the Grocery and Produce Department. It’s not so bad, really. Growing up with 5 brothers has made me quite comfortable with guys, and in most cases I actually prefer it. So now I mostly spend my days talking about Russian literature to my boss, Ed, and directing people to the chia seeds (aisle 2, on the top right).
But what really lights up my day is a visit from the sisters. Clare and Mary decided to pop in the other day and document my job. Mary was particularly interested in our wine selection…
Knowing absolutely nothing about our wine, I immediately suggested a French one. You can’t go wrong with French wine, non?
Needless to say, Mary did not take my suggestion Some people just have no taste (or lack an obsession with French things). But Mary and I do share some things in common. While she dreams of bikinis, sunshine, and flowers, I dream of the green fields of France and baguettes and berets. So, don’t be disturbed if you wander into the People’s Food Co-op to buy some dried aduki beans and hear the shelf stocker muttering to herself in French-it’s just a harmless, dreaming grocery girl.