Brandon’s existential anxiety about making sure grains and bean crops were produced and processed locally led to first growing test plots of high nutrition grains. Just a few years later, the mill started up. He's into a lot of other things-- Organic farmsteading, backpacking, Soto Zen, T'ai Chi, Yoga, racquetball, and Ultimate Frisbee. Oh, and he sings and plays trumpet as part of a New Orleans R&B dance band called the Wild Honeybees.
Michelle came to Athens in her 20s to teach at The White Oak alternative school. She has lived in two intentional communities, farmed for local markets, and raised her two sons, Wren and Rio, who still live in Athens. Her primary work has been with local economic development, legal services for the underserved, environmental, and social justice groups. She has received awards from Ohio University’s University College, and Tech Growth Ohio for her work to connect local food to justice and innovation.
The Facility Team
Joe Beres -- Production Manager
Joe is in charge of seed cleaning and crop receiving, and makes sure the production floor is running well. His humor is uplifting and irreverent, and there’s considerably more laughter at work since he joined the team. He’s been working in organic farming and food production for more than 20 years, and has grown vegetables for market at his family farm in Meigs County, where he lives with his partner, Cat and their two children, Amani and Ben, along with their donkey and goat, Pedro and Damu. He’s also worked as the Assistant Manager for the Athens Farmers Market, and as a member of production team at Snowville Creamery. He’s a long time friend of Michelle and Brandon.
Ian Perritt -- Logistics Manager
Ian’s passion for efficiency and renewable energy, experience with freight logistics and QuickBooks, has changed the day-to-day operations at the mill. He has organized all things administrative, thoughtfully innovated how we run our office, and made our customers’ orders get where they need to be on time. Ian loves motorcycles and is a great mechanic. He and his wife Kami care about the well-being of abandoned dogs and cats, and they make their home a place where their many pets can live a good life.
Peter Schmidt -- Miller
When you marvel at Shagbark’s broad line of fresh, flavorful, stone-ground Organic flours, cereals, grits, and polenta, know that Peter’s love and attention to calibrating the stones and choosing the correct screening are making it happen. Formally a theater set builder in Chicago, Peter and his wife Corrie moved to Athens in 2015. They both are from scratch vegan cooks whose dark chocolate cake, barbeque, and fabulous fresh tofu will have you begging for more. Peter’s laugh is infectious, and when we need something built, from stairs to our storage area, to a four person stand-up desk and shelving, his artful approach always adds up to great design.
Farmers Market Crew
Tessa Evanosky, Athens Farmers Market Sales
Tessa runs our Athens Farmers Market booth and is an avid gardener, activist, baker, and musician who grew up with her homesteading parents in West Virginia. She’s part of the engine behind the Girls Rock Camp and Arts West events in Athens. Her scrumptious pretzels and bagels--made with Shagbark Red Fife and Spelt Flours--are enjoyed by our farmers market customers when time permits in her busy schedule.
Jaymee Weaver, Athens Farmers Market Sales
When Jaymee comes home from Ecuador to visit her family in New Marshfield a few times a year, she brings her contagious joy and energy to our Athens Farmers Market booth on Saturday mornings. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to work with indigenous communities in Ecuador, where she created and performed plays with indigenous women about their experiences with oil and gas extraction. She has strong ties to her family and community here, and has taught us about the historical and economic connections she sees between Appalachia and Ecuador. She also works with children and adults teaching yoga and Spanish.
Deliveries & Stocking
Tiffany D., Athens Deliveries & Kroger Stocking
Tiffany is a client of Echoing Connections who became a Shagbark employee to deliver our products to our Athens grocery, restaurant, and school customers. You might see her at the Athens Kroger on Mondays and Thursday, when she’s stocking our shelves as part of that delivery. She is also in charge of weekly clean up at the Mill. She loves horseback riding and is on the swim team at the Special Olympics.
Sharon McCune, Athens Kroger Stock
Sharon, an Athens County native, loves to hunt. She’s proficient with a compound bow, crossbow, rifle, and muzzleloader. She is both a mother and grandmother and enjoys spending time with her family. She makes sure that our products are stocked at the Athens Kroger store all weekend and keeps tabs on what we need to send the store on our weekly deliveries. She also works at Echoing Connections, the day program for people with disabilities, which operates in the front of the same building that houses Shagbark’s facility in Athens, Ohio.
Marty Zinn, HR & Payroll Clerk
Marty is a founding member of the cooperative intentional community where she has lived for over 30 years outside Amesville, Ohio, in Athens County. She has spent much of her life participating in nonviolent direct action for social and economic justice, consulting in cooperative communications. She is now "retired" from a career of community organizing, having worked with many of the local Athens advocacy, environmental, and community development nonprofit organizations. Marty helps us with hiring and sees that everyone gets paid on time. She asks the best questions at our monthly staff meetings about profits, balance sheets, and all things financial. She likes taking walks, canoeing, knitting and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Many great people around the state put their passion for local food into sampling our products and telling the Shagbark story in a store near you. When you see one of them, be sure to hello and be served a delicious sample! Then, take a selfie with them to post on your and our social media pages!