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Women’s History Month – Suzie Grumko, Fredericksburg Food Cooperative

WHM - Suzie Grumko Fredericksburg Food Co-opWhen Suzie Grumko accepted the General Manager position at Fredericksburg Food Cooperative, her goal was to provide a service unavailable to the community before its opening in 2021: local, organic, natural food. 

Once Grumko learned of its planned opening, she immediately climbed aboard, initially as the Wine Manager; she worked in wine trade and education for 35 years.  She diligently worked up the ranks of the Co-op, as she was eventually promoted to Grocery Manager, followed by the promotion to her current position of General Manager. 

The goals of the Food Co-op perfectly tie-in with Grumko’s personal beliefs. She strongly believes in both environmental sustainability and support of local businesses, two of the Co-op’s primary focuses. Some of the steps the Co-op has taken to become environmentally friendly include donating its remaining produce to farmers for compost, hosting ‘Zero-Waste” events, where none of its plates and utensils are paper, and donating oyster shells to Friends of the Rappahannock. The Co-op, led by Grumko, has led the charge in making Fredericksburg a more environmentally-sustainable city. 

Grumko has noticed that, while the food cooperative and grocery industries have been majority-male industries for years, there has been a consistent, considerable increase in women who have entered into the fields. One of the Co-op’s volunteers, Gloria Lloyd, has been an example of the impressive women entering the industry, and is a true inspiration to Grumko.

“She genuinely doesn’t take no for an answer,” Grumko said. “She went after what she wanted.” 

With the work at the Co-op, Grumko strives to inspire other women, and demonstrate what she, as a woman, is capable of. While she did not plan on running the Co-op, she has embraced her position as General Manager, and has managed to hire as many qualified women as she can. It is Grumko’s work that has made the Fredericksburg Food Cooperative a strong employer for women, and an essential service for the Fredericksburg community.

“I want people to see what we’re doing here,” Grumko said. “I really want people to see what a difference we’re making.”

The Fredericksburg Food Cooperative is located at 320 Emancipation Highway. Follow them on Facebook.

💻 Read more about the amazing women in Fredericksburg on our Women’s History Month page here.