There’s a new face behind the Co-op Deli counter: Sierra Valentine, who began working as a Deli Server here in late October.
But Sierra, a Moscow native, has been shopping and gathering at the Co-op all her life; in fact, she says she grew up here. After two years working for Family Promise’s homeless shelter, Sierra was looking for a change of occupation. When I asked her why she sought work at the Co-op, she replied, “Because it’s awesome!”
In fact, Sierra’s desire to work here was so strong, she applied for three separate positions. “You have to be an awesome person to work here. Co-op employees are very high caliber: hard working, loyal, and great at customer service,” she told me.
Sierra says she has already learned a great deal from her co-workers, whom she describes as self-motivated, knowledgeable, and always willing to help her learn her job. “It’s a real team here. Everybody wants to help each other out,” Sierra said, adding that her eight-hour shifts go by in the blink of an eye, because she so enjoys the interaction with her co-workers and with Co-op customers.
Sierra lives in Moscow with her boyfriend, her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Scarlet, six chickens, three cats and a bunny named Sir Eli Bunny Foo Foo, also known as Sir Hops A Lot. Sierra’s mother and brother also live in town. I asked Sierra about her hobbies and interests. She said she intends to continue volunteering for Family Promise, coordinating other volunteers there for the Unitarian Church. Sierra also loves taking contemporary and belly dance lessons at the Spectrum studio.
In addition, she enjoys taking things apart and putting them back together again, a skill that comes in handy in maintaining the duplex she and her brother own in town. Sierra also uses her building skills to grow what she calls her “aspiring tiny urban farm.” Raising her own food brings her a great sense of accomplishment and gratitude. “I want to be as close to my food as possible,” she told me.
She collects and eats her hens’ eggs, and she processes the roosters she gets from local sources. “If I can’t get close enough to do it myself, then I shouldn’t be eating it,” she said, adding that one notable exception is General Tsao’s Chicken. Sierra’s future goal is to raise 80 percent of her food herself. She plans to partner with Backyard Harvest next summer. What else does this superwoman do?
“I’m learning to play guitar and piano. And also procrastinating.” This writer has a hard time believing that last statement.
Naomi’s son, Ben, wants to meet Sir Hops A Lot.