Ambler Celebrity Spotlight: Kathleen Casey

Title: Ambler Food Co-op Board President

Title II: Part-time deputy project manager at Weavers Way, acting as a liaison between the Ambler Food Co-op and Weavers Way and working on the development of the new store.

Some Background: Has her Ph.D. in Communication and Science Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Organized 12,000 graduate employees there, and went on to help organize 5,000 graduate employees at the California State University system.

How she got here: She and her husband joined Weavers Way after moving to Germantown in 2006. They moved to Fort Washington in 2010, but continued to try to shop at the Co-op with their young children. (She still shops at the Mt. Airy store, and is a big fan of The Incredible Bulk.) When she found out about the effort to bring a food co-op to Ambler, she volunteered to be on one of the original committees.

Why she (and others) want a co-op in Ambler: “At the most basic level, it’ll provide food to people who currently don’t have access. This is a town that is built around a walking culture… and they deserve to have groceries that they can get on foot if need be.
In addition, folks used to say more politics took place in the aisles of the Acme than anywhere else. Everybody would see their neighbor and talk about the town. And right now, that space doesn’t exist.”

Family matters: Husband Mark Warshaw, son Thomas (9), daughter Rosa (6) and several chickens.

What she likes about the Weavers Way gig: “Progress is always exciting, and we’ve never gone through a period of not making progress — so there’s always momentum, and it’s hard to walk away from anything when you see that momentum.”

Challenges: “There’s so many people who haven’t joined, and have said very explicitly, ‘When Ambler Food Co-op has a store, that’s when I’ll join.’  And I understand that sentiment.”

Why she does what she does: “I get really excited about helping people organize their community, because I’ve done it before. The people who have started this, the vast majority are still involved in the project, which is remarkable. …We have this core group of people that are just absolutely so dedicated. It’s great to work with all of them.”

— Karen Plourde