Photography by Julie SaariMackenzie L
Harmony Co-op Dairy Cooler April 2010
One person’s life affecting many. That is how I describe Mackenzie. As she hands over your double shot/soy/two pump/vanilla latte and the Uptown scone that could make or break the rest of your day; she is having an impact on your morning and hence your life. A smile, a kind word, remembering it is your big day, asking about an update on your last conversation, and making sure you get that specialty cheese you need for your party, one person’s life can affect many. How has Mackenzie affected your life? I know she has made me smile often.
I came here for the college; I stayed for the community. I arrived in Bemidji in the fall of 1999 in order to study Mass Communications at BSU. As I met friends and relationships evolved I tacked on studies in Art and Art History. I started working at Harmony Co-op in 2001 as an evening cashier. I fell hopelessly in love with the Co-op and all the people in it. And then I fell in love with a co-worker. Jeff, the Produce Department and a steamy summer were the fertilizers that helped my roots grow. So when the dairy manager at the time left, non-related and unaccomplished degree be damned, I stayed and started my humble beginnings as the “dairy queen”. Since I had worked at BSU as the Touche Gallerie director and assorted Art History assistant positions I was collecting paychecks from multiple jobs.
My time at BSU ran out, Harmony was a steady deal but I needed something else. So a few months after Moni & Reed opened up the Wild Hare Bistro I popped in to say that I should probably just turn up to do dishes when they were busy and maybe it would be neat if they hired me. My profession as a “professional” cook had begun. My employment there has taken me great lengths in my cooking skills, on cheese adventures to Wisconsin, catering gigs, true friendships and burns and cuts. I still do the dishes…and now I have been there for four years.
I’ve been at the Co-op for eight. Anyone reading this who knows me most likely met me while I was at work. That is what I do. I work for me, I work for my husband (Jeff) but I work for you Bemidji. I love to make you coffee and muffins. I want to hear about that cheese you had at a friend’s house while you were on vacation. I need to know how your son is doing in school. I want to see your art show. I’d love to meet your parents when they come to town for your graduation.
The deal that Bemidji and I have worked out is that we are fiercely loyal and take care of each other’s needs. I live to serve and Bemidji serves this need for me.
Written by: Mackenzie Lindahl
pics by Julie Saari
Harmony Co-op’s web site HERE
Wild Hare’s web site HERE