Staff Profile: Matthew McConnell

Matthew calls himself the Mayor of Bulkville, reigning over all bulk buying for the Moscow Food Co-op. "I love the bulk section. It is the section where the Co-op started from. There's no other position I'd rather have." Originally hired in the grocery department as a stocker, it didn't take long before the Bulk Buyer position opened and Matthew moved into it. He has been at the Co-op for one and a half years.

Matthew appreciates the Co-op's philosophy on customer service. He feels like it allows him to develop more meaningful relationships with customers. He is able to have meaningful conversations and ensure that customers have what they need.

Matthew is drawn to transcendental and beat writers. They have often inspired his travels. He spent time hitchhiking a couple years ago, talking to people and experiencing the country (ala Kerouac). He's hoping to go on a month long road trip again soon with a friend that maximizes sight-seeing opportunities in the U.S. (ala Steinbeck – Travels with Charlie). After that trip, he plans to relocate to Nebraska with his partner and her 4-year-old.

Matthew lived in Iowa City, Iowa, as a kid with his mom and is looking forward to the changes that moving to Nebraska will bring – a teaching job for his partner and closer proximity to his mom. After spending the majority of his adult life moving around, he found some much needed rest during his time in Moscow. From working in an alternative school in southern Idaho to pursuing a teaching certificate in yoga in India to living at a yoga center in California to claiming Boone, North Carolina, as his first real adult home, he has consistently been open to new experiences in different places

Yoga and music have been two constant passions in Matthew's life. Although his yoga practice has fluctuated over the years, he has always returned to it and has even provided donation based classes in the past. He also loves seeing live music. In fact, he met his partner while attending the Northwest String Summit, a bluegrass festival outside of Portland. He also greatly enjoys reading and writing.

When asked what skills and interests he would like to pursue next (in addition to life in Nebraska), he listed a number of different things. He'd like to learn how to play the harmonica. He would like to learn to tie an assortment of random knots well. He'd like to get back to working with people in a mentor role. Yoga programs that invest in at-risk youth or incarcerated persons is one path he may consider.

Favorite Books: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Favorite Live Music: Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, and Doc Watson

Superpower: Ability to confuse people with his words. Example: Matthew comes upon evil-doers. He talks to them; and they are immediately confused, left wondering what they were doing, and forget about their evil-doing.