Staff Profile: Holly Oakley

Originally from Spirit Lake, Idaho, Holly Oakley was 15 years old when she chose to eat vegetarian and became interested in natural foods. She’s been in Moscow for 10 years and has worked at the Moscow Food Co-op for 5 of those. She began as a cashier, then Floor Coordinator, and was recently promoted to Assistant Front End Manager. She has been in this new position for only a couple of weeks and is excited to help the store grow and encourage the talent of her team. Her new role includes handling difficult register transactions and customer questions and complaints and ensuring the cashiers feel confident in their positions. Although some of the possibilities for her position are still being explored, her primary goal is to ensure that the front end runs smoothly by supporting the cashiers and customers.

“So many aspects of working at the Co-op are enjoyable—promoting environmental sustainability and fair trade practices through organic products,” she said. Holly would love to take on a management position in the future and/or consult with NCG (National Cooperative Grocers), in her words “a co-op of co-ops that helps co-ops.”

When she’s not working, Holly has a passion for making her own costumes and is trying to improve her sewing skills. She will often plan and prepare her Halloween costumes for an entire year and has been a hipster Ariel (Ariel: Disney mermaid princess) and the Mozilla Firefox logo in past years. This love for costuming extends to vintage Rockabilly hair, make-up and clothing. The Rockabilly style is inspired by 1950’s clothing and fashion trends. Both fun and nostalgic, it can blend retro with a unique personal aesthetic.

Perhaps my favorite bit of personal sass that Holly shared was her interest in nerd rapping. What is nerd rapping, you ask? Well, it’s writing rap lyrics about nerdy topics, of course. (I asked.) Top three favorite nerd rapping topics? 1. The Office, her favorite TV show; 2. Batman, her favorite superhero; and 3. Literature. MC Lars, MC Chris and MC Frontalot are three of her nerd rapping inspirations. In case you’re unfamiliar, as I was, MC Lars wrote “Flow Like Poe” about Edgar Allan Poe and poetry meter. (It’s pretty catchy! Check it out on YouTube.)

In addition to her three favorite topics, Holly has also written a nerd rap about the Co-op pesto roll. Although she doesn’t have plans to release it, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that it finds its way to YouTube as many of her favorites have.

Favorite Moscow Food Co-op Food: Kale Slaw and Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Mac n’ Cheese

Favorite Book: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (She connected to it at age 15 and reads it every year, always finding a new phrase that’s beautifully written.)

Favorite Movie: Reservoir Dogs, a Quentin Tarantino film

Superpower: Flight (Rationale: It would be easy to travel.)