In January 2017 the Milkweed Mercantile transitioned from an LLC to a worker-owned cooperative. We're delighted to introduce you to the folks who help to make your stay more comfortable, clean and happy.
Alline Anderson – An early arrival at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Alline has spent the last 19 years building a home, a village, and a life. Combining her experience in customer service & retail management; years as a volunteer Sierra Club trip leader; and interaction with hundreds of DR visitors, Alline developed the systems, policies and menus that have earned the Mercantile its top-notch reputation. She is the unofficial birthday cake queen at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, as well as the culinary powerhouse behind the growing and ever-popular Mrs. Milkweed’s line of jams and pickles. Alline will continue in her roles as baker, merchandise buyer, special events coordinator and schmoozer.
David (Cob) Carleton – Cob tends bar, keeps the shelves stocked and serves as our Treasurer. A long-time member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Cob also developed and runs our local public market and bulk grocery store, currently serves on the Village Council, and handles the bookkeeping for several organizations. Cob previously spent nearly 30 years serving as the Executive Director for multiple not-for-profit professional and trade organizations. Cob also has experience raising and tracking active children, baking, and brewing great beer.
Katherine Hanson – Pizza bella, kitchen wrangler, and co of all trades, K-star pitches in wherever needed, and keeps us on our toes. As a trained facilitator, she guides our decision-making meetings with humor, compassion, and focus, always helping us to bridge any differences in our opinions and perspectives. Katherine has served on the Dancing Rabbit Village Council, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Center of Sustainable and Cooperative Culture, the non-profit arm of the community.
Kurt Kessner – Owner of the eponymous building firm Kessner Construction, Kurt built the Milkweed Mercantile, incorporating Alline’s design ideas, to showcase natural building techniques and alternative energy solutions in a comfortable setting. “Uncle Kurt” has been the ever-friendly and helpful person behind the bar for the past seven years, while also seeing to the physical maintenance and upkeep of the building. Kurt’s background includes over forty years of experience in the building trades and a stint in the Peace Corps teaching building mathematics & carpentry practicals. Kurt has a degree in counseling, picks a mean guitar, and can back up a truck and trailer like nobody's business.
Brent Whistler – Serial entrepreneur, software developer, and general problem solver, Brent’s analytical skills have been helpful for developing internal policies and procedures, determining what issue to tackle next, and what to pass off to a professional. Brent has been helping us create procedural documentation to improve our flexibility in staffing as well as our group knowledge. Brent has previous experience managing the customer service experience for Fortune 500 customers of a major software company. He’s also started and continues to operate a small web-based service business.
Mae Ferber – Mae is Katherine’s partner in pizza and the creator of our world-famous Ranch dipping sauce. As part of DR’s Critter Collective, she is raising ducks, chickens, goats, sheep and the world’s cutest children, Althea and ARthur. She enjoys cake tops (the rounded part that gets trimmed off in order to make the cake flat for frosting), beautiful sunny days, and sharing her enthusiasm for animal husbandry.
Virgil W. Milkweed – He may look like an ordinary dog, but when it comes to cleaning up after Pizza Night he is our Special Weapons Team. Some of Virgil’s favorite people in the world are children who are messy eaters. The newest member of the Milkweed family, Virgil wandered into Dancing Rabbit in March of 2016 as a stray and found loving forever home. Under Alline's watchful eye he makes quick work of pizza detritus on the floor, and then heads back outside to bask in the sun and remind us of what a sustainable life really looks like.