If you’ve eaten in the Co-op Deli lately, you’ve likely seen Alli Pfeiffer behind the deli case. Alli has been a Deli Server since she began working at the Co-op in the spring of 2014. A junior at the University of Idaho, Alli came to work here to support herself as she makes her way through college.
“My mother volunteered at the Co-op when I was really little, and I used to come with her, and I loved it,” Alli told me. Her good memories from those days, together with the sense of community she feels at the Co-op, made her seek work here. She enjoys the variety of people she meets at work, and she also likes the food.
Her family lived on an organic farm for a while when she was growing up, so she is acquainted with whole, local foods. “I’m allergic to wheat and dairy, and the Co-op’s been the best place I’ve found to get the food I need.” Alli likes the autonomy she has as a Co-op staff member. She finds the management welcomes worker input. “I might see something where I’m working that could be done better, and the managers always listen to my input. I like having a voice where I work,” she said.
Alli grew up in Moscow, and her parents and brother still live here. Alli lives in town with her boyfriend, Ranger. He has just graduated from UI with a degree in Computer Science. He also studied Chinese, and hopes to find work in China. Alli’s major is Latin American Studies, with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. “We’re very global,” Alli told me. Even the couple’s dwarf hamster, Dmitri, is a foreigner, being a Russian breed. “After graduation, I hope to live abroad for a year,” Alli told me. She’d like to teach English in Ecuador or Costa Rica, where she can also work on perfecting her Spanish.
Her longer-term goal is to return to the Pacific Northwest to work as an advocate or translator for Spanish-speaking migrant workers. When she’s not studying or working at the Co-op, Alli enjoys writing Slam Poetry. She has read her work at the UI Women’s Center’s F-Word Live event (that F stands for Feminism). She also has a brown belt in Shotokan Karate, which she has been practicing for the past six years. She and her younger brother go to class twice a week.
Alli is a busy woman, but you can be sure to see her smiling behind the Deli case when you come in for lunch or a snack. Be sure to say, “Buenos dias!”
At four and a half, Naomi’s son Ben has been helping her volunteer at the Co-op for several years. She hopes he’ll also have fond memories of his time here.