Welcome General Manager Ari Derfel


Dear Members,

The Kootenay Co-op welcomed Ari Derfel in his new role as the Co-op’s General Manager on July 16th. Ari has been the Co-op’s Business and Process Development Manager as well as a consultant to the Co-op  since 2017.

The Board of Directors unanimously selected Ari based on his extensive experience in the food industry, deep passion for food sustainability, and demonstrated leadership skills. Ari is the co-founder of Gather restaurant in Berkeley, and founded the world’s first exclusively organic catering and event company. He also acted as the Executive Director of Slow Money, a US-based non-profit that catalyzes investment in local food systems. Ari has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of Wisconsin Madison, and has also studied at the Coaches’ Training Institute and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Ari succeeds Allan Broom, who served the Co-op as General Manager from 2016 to 2018. Allan steered the Co-op through the completion of the Nelson Commons construction project, and oversaw the transition of the Co-op’s operations to its new store. The Board of Directors is grateful to Allan for his many contributions to our Co-operative.


Abra Brynne, President
Ina Pockrass, Vice-President
John Kingsmill, Treasurer
Alexandra Forsythe, Director
Maggie Jones, Director
Maureen Kelsey, Director