Marcia Johnson

Program Director/Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 
Committed to “saving the planet”, organic locally grown food, opening a co-op in McHenry County!!
Has lived in Woodstock for 28 yrs.


Marcia began paying attention to what she eats a few years ago when one of her two daughters realized that she was gluten intolerant. That had been the cause of so many years of stomach pains and then gradually other health issues. Marcia started figuring out what a gluten-free diet looked like which led her to reading about food and developing different eating habits. She discovered the writing of Michael Pollen and after reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma and many other similar books, she began to make the connections between food, the environment, climate change and the need for all of us to make major changes in our lifestyles. When her son bought a sandwich shop in Boulder, Colorado, he and his business partner decided to make it a “zero waste” business and Marcia got educated about the huge impact of food waste on the environment so she began to compost.

During this time, one of Marcia’s daughters was going to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where there is a fabulous Co-op. That led her to seek out Co-ops wherever she traveled and she began thinking about how great it would be if there were such a place near Woodstock in McHenry County, Illinois. The more Marcia became committed to eating well and eating organic food, the more she thought about this.

Also, during this time Marcia began to think about the possibility of retirement. She had served as a pastor in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) for over 20 years and worked at the national office for almost 14 years but did not have a plan after she retired. She began to have conversations with colleagues about how to figure out what to do in retirement. Someone said to her, “you should pay attention to what you are reading! That may lead you to something you would love to do.” Marcia said, “Sometimes you simply don’t see what is right in front of you.  How amazing!”  She mentioned this to her partner and a couple of other friends and then to Scott and Kim Brix. They all continued talking until the day that Scott said, “I have some time right now, so let’s invite a few people to a meeting and see what happens.” Marcia is very excited that we followed our dream and here we are a few months later. “We aren’t just talking. Now we are making it happen!”

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