Your Co+op

Community Involvement

The Merc Co-op supports hundreds of local schools and social services organizations every year by donating food, supplies and gift cards. The Merc Change Program also gives shoppers the opportunity to donate their pocket change to a different local community organization each month. Learn more about our donation program. 

Growing Food Growing Health (GFGH) is a project of Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF), a non-profit sister organization to The Merc. CMEF is dedicated to improving the health of youth by creating school gardens that act as living classrooms, inspiring hands-on education, and connecting students to locally grown fruits and vegetables to be enjoyed in their school cafeterias. Now entering its fifth growing season, with gardens at Hillcrest Elementary, Sunset Hill Elementary, and West Middle School, GFGH currently tends over 14,000 square feet of gardens on school grounds. Visit Growing Food Growing Health to learn more.

Mainstreet Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution formed to provide services to the individuals who join it. Mainstreet is a major financial supporter of CMEF and has donated thousands of dollars to this Merc sister organization. As an added service to Merc customers, there is a Mainstreet branch located within The Merc.

The Lawrence Farmers Market hosts hundreds of local vendors who sell a wide variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, honey, prepared foods and more. Runs the second Saturday in April through the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 7am - 11am. Visit Lawrence Farmers Market for details.

Rolling Prairie is the oldest Midwest vegetable cooperative. The original group of farmers joined together in 1994 providing a vegetable subscription service to Lawrence and Kansas City. Over 300 households receive a weekly bag. Visit Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance for more information.

Board of Directors

The Merc Board of Directors is comprised of seven co-op Owners who are elected by the general ownership and serve a three-year term. Any Merc Owner can run for a board position.

Guided by a set of policy guidelines and The Merc’s Ends Statements, the board works closely with the General Manager, who provides the group with regular reports on store operations. The board is not engaged in daily store operations. You can contact the board via email at

If you're interested in running for The Merc Board, download the election packet here

Management Team

Rita York Hennecke

General Manager

Zac Hamlin

Human Resource Manager

Jason Lovell

Finance Manager

Nancy O'Connor

Director of Education & Outreach

Valerie Taylor-Richardson

Marketing Manager

Lowen Millspaugh

Merchandising Manager

Martin Maigaard

Food Service Manager

Linda Cowden

Produce Manager

Invest in Your Co-op Own It with a Share of Equity

Become an Owner of The Merc Co-op and join more than 7,000 of your friends and neighbors by investing in a local business that provides a reliable source of healthy, local and organic foods and products while also supporting the sustainability and well-being of our community.

The Merc Co-op Ends Policies
The Merc Co+op will be a thriving consumer-owned food cooperative in our region that is on the forefront of:

Providing access to healthy, local, organic food and products;

Transforming and nourishing the health of our community;

Creating a robust, sustainable local food economy; and

Building a community based on hospitality, generosity and care for the environment.