Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

Crystal Echevarria

  • Hometown: Lombard
  • Owner #: 941
  • Term: Elected in 2022 to 2-year term.

"Plant-based chef driven to enhance our community through food via education, accessibility, & awareness."

Why are you interested in serving on the Prairie Food Board of Directors? 

I have served on Prairie Food Co-op’s Ownership & Outreach Committee since 2019 and have really enjoyed being involved. My continued and additional involvement feels like a natural fit.

Employment: Please tell us about your past or present employment

I currently own Culinary Confidante (est. 2017) a plant-based culinary education business that provides in-home culinary coaching, cooking parties and workshops. I am currently taking time off from this to enjoy my third baby, who we welcomed last August.

Prior to Culinary Confidante I worked at Northern Illinois Food Bank as the Child Nutrition Programs Manager and then as the Nutrition Center Manager. I have also worked in various roles within the restaurant and hospitality industry for over 20 years.

Volunteer: Membership/Affiliation/Leadership Past and Present:

2019- present: PFC Ownership & Outreach Committee 2021: Northwest Community Healthcare- Research Dept assisting with Covid data collection

Which of the following areas do you have expertise?

What experience, education, and skills do you have that you feel will contribute to your effectiveness as a Prairie Food Director?

During my time on the Ownership & Outreach Committee I have proven my ability to effectively organize events, network within the community and work well with the PFC team. Examples of this include the knife skills workshop, a reusable produce bag sewing workshop, the Ask a Chef series on Facebook live and the virtual Eat Well Be Well workshop.

Additionally, I hold a Bachelors in Nutrition, Dietetics & Hospitality Administration as well as a Personal Chef Certificate from Kendall College.

What are your personal goals for Prairie Food Co-op?

I can’t wait for Prairie Food to bring local and sustainable foods to our community. Not only will it be a great place to shop but to meet friends as well. I would love to continue to be involved in bringing workshops to our community through PFC.

What experience (if any) have you had with cooperatives, food or otherwise?

In college I frequented the Duck Soup Co-op in DeKalb. I definitely loved the bulk bins. Carob covered almonds and glad corn were my favorites! My two older children have attended the Co-op Preschool in Lombard and my third will go there as well when he’s old enough. I love how involved the parents and the teachers are. It really feels like a community.

Together we built this. Join us.