The Team at Manly Food Co-op

People

It’s the community of people that make the Co-Op a very special place. Since the Manly Food Co-Operative began in 1996, it has been the community of members and volunteers who have visioned it, built it and sustained it. We’re linked by a set of common values. We value our own health, the health of our friends and family, and importantly, the health of our planet. We also value the spirit of community and being part of something good. For most of our members and customers, the Manly Food Co-Op is part of the heart and soul of Manly. We are a 100% community owned retail business. The strength of the Manly Food Co-Op is in the people it serves: our customers, our members and our community.

Our Team

When you visit the shop you’ll meet many of our friendly volunteers. We are also grateful to have a small team of dedicated staff who run the shop on a daily basis and bring our Co-Op to life.

Katja

Katja

Shop Manager

As a European transplant to Australia, for a long while I felt something was missing in my life. My background is in retail management and I worked for many years in an independent bookshop in Germany. That little missing piece fell into place when I discovered the wonderful community here at the Manly Food Co-Op.

Finding and discovering this unique collective of people whose dreams and philosophies align so closely with my own was a turning point for me. I learn more each day from this knowledgeable community and am grateful for the opportunity to pass along what I’ve learnt to others and to contribute to building something valuable.

My hope is for the Manly Food Co-Op to continue to flourish as the wonderful institution that it is, and I’m grateful for the continued opportunity to devote my energy to changing the way people think and act towards food and the world around us.

Louise Hall

Louise Hall

Accountant

I joined the Manly Food Co-op in 2011 when I’d had my first baby and was on a mission to find only the most beautiful, fresh, organic foods to put into my precious little boy as he started his venture into the world of “solid” food. I am passionate about sustainability, nutrition, wholesome living and having a positive impact on our world. As a Chartered Accountant, I have serviced clients across a wide range of industries during my career in the corporate world of auditing and run my own business since leaving the corporate world when I’d had my children. I am really excited by the opportunity to be able to make a positive contribution to the Manly Food Co-op by taking on the Accountant role.


Volunteers

Our volunteers are what make the Co-Op tick! Volunteers are the life-blood of the Manly Food Co-Operative. Volunteers are involved in all facets of running the business; both in the store and beyond. Find out more about volunteering with us here.

Portia Hackett

Portia Hackett

Volunteer Co-Ordinator

I am in my final semester of a BA in Anthropology at Macquarie University. During my studies I have developed a strong interest in deep ecology, phenomenology, commodity fetishism and the relationship between the human and planet. Growing up as an avid free diver in beautiful Coffs Harbour, my love for the ocean was nurtured and fostered from a young age. At 20 years old I became a scuba diving instructor in Honduras and it was during this time that I experienced first-hand the detrimental effects of plastic and the industrial consumer culture on our oceans. Moving to Manly connected me with like-minded individuals who were taking steps towards creating a sustainable future for themselves, their families and their community.

Having recently returned from a two week expedition to clean up one of Australia’s most remote beaches, Chilli Beach (Cape York), I am renewed with enthusiasm and motivation to create awareness and mobility within the community about marine debris and how we as individuals can make an incredibly powerful difference by taking responsibility for our impact on and relationship with the planet.

With 35 other like-minded people, I picked up and counted over 7,000 kg of marine debris from Chilli Beach! Imagine the potential of what Manly Food Co-op can create with over 700 members!

Sage Fitzgerald

Sage Fitzgerald

Volunteer Co-Ordinator

Why I love the Co-Op: Since moving to Manly and becoming a part of the co-op I have found myself becoming a part of such a great community, it feels like family! Working in the Co-op makes me feel encouraged about and excited for our future. I am studying Marine Biology and by working at the Co-Op I have met so many people with similar passions and who care about our oceans. It is our community’s way of saying WE CARE and we are doing something about it!

Why volunteer: We are a community, and becoming a volunteer with the co-op introduces members to each other to learn and develop new skills, make new friends, taking care of our community and environment from within, having fun and earning points to shop! Volunteer because the Manly Food Co-Op is YOUR SHOP and YOUR COMMUNITY!

Plans: With a background in customer service and management I hope to bring together a well organised team of enthusiastic volunteers to help out in all areas of the co-op, both in the shop and behind the scenes! Keep an eye out for some volunteer & member events coming soon!


Board of Directors

All our board members are volunteering their time to make the Co-op an even better place. 🙂

Please reach out to us anytime by emailing marketing[at]manlyfoodcoop.org. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Tyler Laitinen

Tyler Laitinen

Chairperson

I have been a volunteer and keen member of the Co-op since 2009. I love that our co-op allows my wife and me to greatly reduce our single use plastic waste, especially since we love swimming, surfing, and sailing in Manly’s beautiful ocean and harbour. I was also drawn to the Co-op because of its alternative business model of shared ownership and operation – it helps me feel more connected to a community of like-minded people who care about the planet and want to make a difference.
I joined the fundraising committee when I learned the Co-op was in serious financial strife last month. I had to give whatever I could to save the Co-op. After the success of the fundraising campaign, and the enjoyment I felt working with my fellow committee members, I really wanted to stay involved on the board to help ensure the Co-op thrives into the future. As chairperson I will work closely with the other directors to make sure we perform well as a team and represent the values of the Co-op.

Tyler can be reached by emailing chairperson [at] manlyfoodcoop.org.

Celine Goetz

Celine Goetz

Products and Buying

As Product Manager at the co-op I take care of supporting the staff and volunteer purchasing team, maintaining relationships with suppliers and sourcing interesting new products for the shelves. Previous to taking a board position, I worked for the co-op as the shop co-ordinator when we were still at the old premises. In the time I’ve been involved I have seen the co-op blossom and grow and I’m excited to see how the co-op will evolve further now that we have moved into our beautiful new premises. I feel so lucky to have a food co-op on my doorstep. My hope for the Manly Food Co-op is that we can continue to build awareness in our community around sustainable waste-free shopping and inspire other communities to open their own food co-operatives!

Colin Hutton

Colin Hutton

Shop Design, Maintenance

I have been a Motor Mechanic and then Vehicle assessor and Manager for 3 decades and was Operations Manager AAMI Mascot for 2 years managing the largest accident assessing centre. I am currently working as a Motor Vehicle Assessor for Auto and General.

I have been involved in the co-op for over 13 years and am a past Volunteer Director and Chairperson. I have been supporting environmental issues and organisations for over 30 years.

The Coop’s philosophy and organic produce was a natural choice for me.

Josephine Tobin

Josephine Tobin

Front of House, Shop Design

Good food was a focus of my childhood and for my family, my parents, my 3 brothers and my 3 children delicious, fresh food is an essential part of life. A search for the best olive oil first brought me to the Manly Food Co-Op more than 20 years ago. In the last couple of years I have volunteered in the shop on Mondays and become more engaged with the ethos and energy of this special place. The Co-Op is a haven in our community where food quality is falling and many people are unaware of this decline.

I have experience in management and retail and want to contribute these skills towards growing our message of food with real goodness, no waste and no nasties. Phoning members for our crowd-funding brought home to me the high level of existing support but we need to grow awareness and sales to secure the future of the Co-Op. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Keelah Lam

Keelah Lam

Waste Minimization, Zero Waste and Sustainability

As a founding member of Manly Food Co-op, a zero waste activist and believer of sustainable living not only being necessary, but easier than most realise, I am happy to be a member of the new board helping to keep our coop open and thriving. There has never been a more urgent time than now to support waste free shopping.

My incentive as a founding member of our Coop was to help our community move towards ZERO WASTE. My incentive to rejoin the management team is to help continue the availability of ZERO WASTE shopping.

Michael Kaluzynski

Michael Kaluzynski

Finance

I am from UK have been living in Manly for the past 2 years. I was interested to join the board to learn more about the practicalities of operating such a non-profit organisation and will be focusing on the financial side. I am intrigued by the feasibility of operating a sustainable food grocery store against the supermarket landscape and strongly believe in the co-op philosophy and reduction of household waste. Since moving to Australia, I have been impressed with the attitude towards care for the environment and specifically in Manly these ethics are strongly embedded within the community.

Patricia Griffen

Patricia Griffen

Co-op Made Products

After many years tucked away in adult education and training, 30 years of living here and observing the vast changes in Manly, and nearly 20 years of seeing our MFC slowly grow and thrive in its mission to provide waste-free shopping and healthy organic food, I was shocked at the news that it might suddenly close, and jumped in to help. 

I enjoyed seeing how the SAVE THE MFC campaign committee worked together so well, and was inspired to get onto the new Board and use my artsy-crafty, sustainability inspired ideas in the challenge to maintain our retail position in a new world of strong green competition. I wanted an active and fun “retirement”, in which I could contribute my sustainability and education skills on a wider scale, and this is a good fit for me!  

I feel that the MFC is in a unique position to help address the effects of our high global consumption at the local level by showing what is possible.  

Sarah Keast

Sarah Keast

HR, Member & Volunteer Engagement, Events

Where to start? I joined the Coop in 2004 and used to volunteer on Fridays in the old shop. Losing the Coop was never an option for me and when the opportunity came to join the Board for a second time I jumped at the chance. I love the Coop because it gives me choice.  I get to choose how I shop, with less single-use packaging.

My background is people. I love learning what makes people tick and this is crucial to understanding consumer behaviour and bringing about true change. I am a HR lecturer, a yoga teacher and I’m passionate about the Coop Community.

As a Brit I love a good cuppa, so that is where you are likely to find me – in the tea section! I hope to make the Coop the place that people come to not just for their shopping but because it’s also a really cool place to meet people. Whether you pop in for a tea tasting or join a workshop it’s my dream to bring people together.

Sarah Weate

Sarah Weate

Finance

I was a founding member of the Co-op and wrote the original, totally obsolete although cutting edge in its day, IT system with my husband Magennis. We also helped with countless stocktaking and I have ground more kilos of peanut butter than I could ever eat. I have been active in Manly Greens on and off for two decades and ran as NSW State Candidate in 2007. I was on Manly Council Bicycle committee for many years and also on their Climate Change Committee. Currently I am full time holding my teenagers’ hands (Frankie and Katie) while they are traumatized by the HSC and transition to uni. My last job involved a lot of nights away and interstate travel as a contract consultant at NAB’s investment banking arm. I was an Asset Manager responsible for new product and IT systems for the following areas: Equities, Equity Derivatives, Cross Asset Structured Products and Wholesale Equity Financing. I managed staff, budgets and prepared business viability reports for new product proposals.

Most importantly I was heavily involved in the campaign to Save the Co-op. If you received an unsolicited text or two during that time blame me, but desperate times… I really enjoyed working with everyone with that campaign and I have huge respect for them all with the diverse talents everyone brought to that task. I am so glad that many of us are on the new board and I know I’ll enjoy working with them all and that it will be successful. Personally I hope to combine my financial and technical background with my strong commitment to environmental causes to do my bit to put the Co-op on a sound financial footing. The co-op looks great, has great staff and it epitomizes a really important environmental message. I love the new improved store and I’m determined that it succeeds. And I’m keen to play a part in that.

Yvonne Pflieger

Yvonne Pflieger

Marketing and Communications

The Manly Food Co-op has been instrumental in giving me a choice outside of the big supermarkets and helping me on my journey to a zero waste lifestyle. These days I very rarely visit a traditional supermarket as the co-op is always my first (and often only) choice as it stocks pretty much everything I need. I was so upset when I heard about the financial trouble the co-op was in. I wanted to help and became part of the fundraising committee. Who would have thought we’d actually be able to achieve our fundraising goal in such a short amount of time? But we did, thanks to our community and everyone’s passion and commitment. 🙂

I am excited to be a member of the board. My experience in digital advertising, marketing as well as business operations will be put to good use to set up the co-op for success for many more years to come. I have worked for small companies as well as big corporates like Adobe and have been leading Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability teams outside of my day job as I believe that businesses need to give back to the community and be more mindful of the environments they operate in.

I am keen to hear from you, our members and community. Please feel free to get in touch with any ideas, concerns or suggestions you might have by sending an email to marketing [at] manlyfoodcoop.org.


Get Involved In Our Community

The best place to find out about the regular goings-on at the Co-Op is to sign up to our e-news, follow our News Feed and our Facebook and Instagram pages. We regularly update our members and customers via our e-newsletter and via social media.

Manly Food Co-Operative

Manly's Organic Food & Grocery Store, Community Owned, Bulk Organic Whole Foods and Packaging-Free Shopping.

Opening Hours:

Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri: 10am - 6pm Thur: 10am - 6:30pm Sat: 9am - 5pm Sun: 10am - 4pm Phone: 9977 0177

Manly Food Co-Operative
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