Viroqua Food Co+op congratulates Deborah Ecklund (right) on her promotion to Customer Service Manager and Rose Wildhack (left) to Assistant Customer Service Manager.
Here they are to tell you a bit about themselves:
Hello Co-op Shoppers! I am very pleased to accept the role of Customer Service Manager and to have Rose at my side.
When the Co-op first opened in 1996, I’d walk with my friends to the little store after school. We would volunteer by sweeping up and repacking bulk items, like dried fruit. I was very proud to volunteer enough hours to earn a discount on my bags of Barbara’s Jalapeño Cheesepuffs. It was a big deal for my 13-year-old self!
I have worked at the VFC since 2007. I started as a baker after being a stay-at-home mom with my twin sons. I was very happy to bake cookies all day, earn a paycheck, and not eat them all myself! After my daughter was born, I transferred to Customer Service. I worked as a cashier for several years before taking on the role of SOD (short for Supervisor on Duty). I was what is referred to as a “weekend warrior,” ensuring smooth operations on the floor during our busiest days.
Years later I became the Assistant Manager – a new position created to meet the growing needs of the Co-op. Our team worked well together to bring us through the expansion, adding three more check-out lanes, developing new processes behind the scenes and ensuring good customer service. Now that we’ve made it through the expansion and the Co-op has settled into the space, we're working on new services such as the Co-op Community Room classes and the Co-op Explorers program where we give tasty produce treats to children.
Throughout the years I’ve enjoyed getting to know our Co-op community, welcoming curious visitors and familiar VFC locals. Whether they’re passing through, coming to stay, or have been here for generations, I love to hear how people come to the Driftless. I’m impressed with the passion of our community, striving to make the world better, or at least our little corner of it. People may have differing opinions on what that looks like, but we have values that we agree on – like treating each other with dignity and respect and keeping our environment clean so our children will thrive.
We have a great Customer Service team, who are always striving to make your time at the Co-op a pleasure. Our team loves to learn names – and yes, the numbers too – of our VFC shoppers, because you are our friends and neighbors. We learn about our community non-profits so we can promote and support them – with your help – for the Give Where You Live program. I’m very proud of all that we have accomplished and am excited to see where our next steps will take us.
I moved from homeschooling in Pennsylvania to attending second grade at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School in 2004 and stayed until 8th grade. I attended both Viroqua High School and Youth Initiative High School. It was great to have the opportunity to experience so many different kinds of schooling. We are lucky to have so many options in such a small community.
After graduating I moved to Madison and worked at Jamba Juice on State Street. I loved working there, and really enjoyed making healthy juices and smoothies for people. About a year after I started I became the Manager. When a new chapter of my life began, I moved back to Viroqua, to raise my beautiful son Ezzekiel.
I joined the Customer Service team at the Viroqua Food Co-op last October and have loved every day of it. There is something so special and unique about this community and I feel that being a part of the Co-op is a great way to see even more of that.
I am very excited about my new position as Assistant Manager, and can’t wait to keep giving it my all!