Brennus was named after a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC by a father who wanted an original name for his son in the ChuckyBobbyJimmy era of child naming (it might be a rule that you have to say it fast—ChuckyBobbyJimmy). The historical Brennus attacked and sacked Rome and did indeed inspire a unique name for the Moscow Food Co-op’s current Fresh Unit Manager.
Modern day Brennus builds community and makes connections for a living. He says it’s easy selling something he believes in and he believes in the products that the Co-op carries.
Brennus started working at the Co-op in 2007, when he was hired as the Meat Department Manager. Now, as Fresh Unit Manager, he supervises four units—bakery, deli, produce and meats. He tours local farms, builds relationships between suppliers and the Co-op, and appreciates that work doesn’t always feel like work when you like what you’re doing. He works hard to widen the customer base and appeal to all eaters—he’s able to tell you where your food is from and feels confident that he’s helping make meals better through the quality of product being provided.
He particularly enjoys the freedom to customize products for the customer base that is being served, something that a locally owned Co-op can do more easily than other larger chain groceries.
Brennus shared two telling stories with me. One story was about how he met one of his best friends: Brennus was working at a different local grocery while in college. One day, he received a call from Ohio; it was a mother calling to order a standing rib roast for her son, who was a UI student. Brennus filled the order, ended up reconnecting through a class with the son who remembered him, then spent time with him and his mom during a Thanksgiving, and the rest is history.
The other story: Brennus traveled with Co-op bakers to Harvest Ridge where their daily wheat flour is milled. Bran is a byproduct of their milling process. He was able to connect some Co-op egg providers who were looking for feed with folks at the mill who had an excess of bran. Connections abound if you’re open to them….. And Brennus is open to them, genuinely enjoying his ability to make connections, serve customers, and build lasting relationships. Brennus says that if he had a superpower, it would be to fly so he could see and explore more. The journey is important (well, unless it becomes more of a commute).
Growing up, his dad worked for the Army. Brennus spent a lot of time in and around Great Falls, Montana, but also spent time overseas. He likes to travel, but really enjoys his home in the Northwest. There is so much to do and explore in this region—hunting, fishing, the mountains, rivers—that Brennus doesn’t find it necessary to travel abroad. However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to fish in Iceland or maybe get married in a little red church in Vik this October. (He and his fiancée are still negotiating the actual location of their wedding—but Iceland’s little red church is on the table.) Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials, Brennus!