Pride in your roots, a strong connection to place and the DIY spirit of independence are three of the things Noelle values most. Preparing healthy plant based meals is a creative outlet she enjoys daily and it keeps her sane. Noelle is a firm believer that the things we work the hardest for yield the highest reward.
A native of suburban Detroit, Noelle relocated to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute in 1996. After graduating with her BFA in 2001, she moved to Rogers Park on Chicago’s far north side. When the years in the city started to wear on her, she renewed her pride in and connection to her neighborhood by purchasing a plot, growing some vegetables and physically helping to build the Ruby Garden at Schreiber Park. Through that experience she learned that food is the ideal way to connect with place and community.
A job managing production for the in-house Creative Services team at a large corporation in the suburbs afforded Noelle the opportunity to move out of the city. She and her husband, Jim, lived briefly in Mundelein, where Noelle served on the board of the Mundelein Farmer’s Market. When a search for vegan friendly restaurants led them to Duke’s Alehouse, they discovered and fell in love with Crystal Lake. In the fall of 2012, they moved in to what Noelle hopes will be their “forever home” in Crystal Lake. Their son, Sid, arrived just three short months later.
“Because this is where I live, it is the place I choose to make my home and it will always be the place that my son claims as where he is from - for these reasons, I need to be an active participant in crafting its sustainable future. Working with this wonderful and dynamic group to open a cooperative grocery store that will enrich my community and offer people an opportunity to better their lives through healthy foods is the way that I choose to do it.”