Staff Celebrity Spotlight: Rob Drake

Job: Ambler Bakery Buyer

Since when: He was hired as a lead cashier prior to the Ambler store opening last October, and got the bakery-buyer position in mid-May this year.

Age: 40

Where he’s from/ where he lives now: Lower Hudson Valley of NY & NJ/Blue Bell Hill, Germantown.

Previous jobs: He’s run the gamut, from teaching phys ed in Waldorf schools to doing marketing and financial management for his father’s insurance company to freelance writing. To bolster his income between freelance gigs, he worked in retail, including a stint as a produce clerk at Hungry Hollow Co-op in Chestnut Ridge, NY, where he worked his way up to managing their Facebook page and becoming marketing manager. In the fall of 2015, he was tapped to be part of an interim general management team. After a new general manager was hired in 2016, he worked as nonperishables manager while continuing his marketing duties.

How he got here: He started looking for work at other co-ops, especially positions that would allow him see how a store worked from the inside out. “The second I got out of my car here in Ambler for my interview, it just felt like a place I wanted to be.”

About the change in jobs: “I really enjoyed the cashier work, because I feel like I got to know a lot of our customers — meet the whole community, in a sense. . . . I’m going to miss that a little bit, being in the back now, but I still see them as I walk around the store. But at the same time, I was happy to get back into the purchasing side, because I really love that, too.”

Favorite Co-op products: Produce, Field Roast chao slices, Clif bars, Real Pickles sauerkraut, Sunja’s Kimchi

A little Co-op love: “I’ve been impressed with Weavers Way since the moment I started to learn about it. I think it’s amazing to see a co-op that has its own farms. . . . It seems that whenever they’ve said ‘We’re going to do this initiative and make it part of our co-op,’ they make it happen.”

— Karen Plourde