Sister/Brother from other Mister/Mother:

Ruth Garbus From Brattleboro Food Coop

Meet Ruth Garbus from the Brattleboro Food Co-op! Currently, Ruth is the Content and Community Outreach Coordinator, although she’s held a few roles at the Co-op in the past 12 years. Ruth first began her journey at the Brattleboro Food Co-op in the kitchen, and then eventually became the Shareholder Services Coordinator. In this role, she worked to sign up new owners and educate people about the Co-op’s mission and practices. As she worked in this role, her duties expanded to include writing in the newsletter and helping out with social media. Later those duties led her into the job she holds today. 


For those who aren’t familiar, the Brattleboro Food Co-op is an awesome natural food store located in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. The store first started in 1975 as a small buying club and has since expanded into a 14,000 square foot building that now houses the Co-op, a commissary kitchen, shared community space, apartments, classrooms, and the Co-op offices. In the 70’s and 80’s there was a big expansion of food co-ops around the U.S. and the Brattleboro Food Co-op was lucky to operate in an area that’s been supportive for the past fifty years. And, we Sisters have been lucky enough to have our ice cream there beginning in April 2023!


For a business to operate as a co-op means that it is member-owned and member-governed. In co-ops, you can only buy one share so that everyone who owns the business has an equal amount of power. The Brattleboro Food Co-op boasts over 9,000 member-owners. 

Ruth believes that the member-owner model injects a level of care that may not be present in larger companies. All of the member-owners care about the products that are offered and about the employees who work there. Ruth also really values the work environment created by the Co-op. The employees are unionized, and the managers are totally supportive of what the union does. Ruth feels the Co-op is a very accepting community.  She can be her true self and she truly loves her co-workers. 

Ruth also appreciates how the Co-op supports the community. An example is how the Co-op and its member-owners mobilized following the flood. Each month the Co-op uses the Round up for Change Initiative to secure funding for local organizations.  Their August 2023 donation went to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) which is providing emergency relief funds to farms in Vermont. In addition, on an on-going basis the Co-op supports Groundworks Collaborative, which helps people who are experiencing homelessness and hunger by providing food, shelter, and other resources. 

Lastly, Ruth doesn’t eat sugar, so when asked her favorite flavor of ice cream, she didn’t have an answer. She does love blueberries though, so we’d highly recommend locally-grown blueberries, which you can pickup at the co-op while stopping in for some pints of Crystal Blue Persuasion!

It’s not you…. It’s us…..we’re at our order max for the week. Read the order FAQs.