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Staff Spotlight: Brett Johnson

A South Knoxville native, Brett became part of the co-op team in August 2020 as a part-time stocker in the Meat Department and is now the full-time Meat Department Manager. Brett started in the retail/grocery industry right out of high school at a Food City store, also working in meat, but was disappointed by the lack of practiced meat processing in-store and quickly refocused on education.

While pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, life circumstances arose leading to a stint of homelessness for about a year and a half, during which Brett experimented with many different educational career options including accounting, acting, and personal physical fitness training.

Prior to Three Rivers Market, Brett worked for the University of Tennessee Medical Center, starting as a part-time transporter, pushing patients in wheelchairs throughout the hospital facility and then moved on to moving patients in beds and the critically ill, including assisting in the resuscitation of people. He eventually became the dispatcher for the Transport Department,  overseeing operations of patient movement within the hospital system.

Brett says, “We all have challenges in life. Sometimes they are hard to overcome. Occasionally, we cannot face those challenges alone. I think that is the main attribute about the co-op that I enjoy the most: the cooperation. Our dedication to education and development of staff, members, and the community. My goal is to excel in whatever I put my energy into whether it be education, the relationship I have with my partner, work-life/professional career, and especially in the gym/fitness-wise, I give my all. I may not be the smartest or strongest or most capable, but I have determination.”

In order to promote a nonprofit organization, Brett would like to add that “Sporting long hair is not just for fashion. I have been donating my hair to Wigs for Kids since I was 6 years old. This organization provides children who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatments with wigs. Wigs for Kids never charges recipient families any fee for wigs.  Locks of Love recipients may be eligible for free wigs but may be asked to donate/contribute to the organization. If you can, I would recommend donating; you never know what kind of impact you can have in the lives of others.”

We’re excited to introduce compostable containers for our Grab & Go salads and sandwich clamshells!

Stalk Market products are made of compostable, all-natural and
sustainable resources.

World Centric is a Certified B Corporation that manufactures only compostable foodservice and packaging products and gives 25% of their profits to social and environmental organizations to further their work in creating a better world.

The Bakery Case is also plastic-free, with the exception of a few items that
feature icing. 

Farewell to Ollie & Bella! Thank You
& Best Wishes!

Ollie Prochaska, a Knoxville native, joined the co-op team in July 2019 as a Cook and worked his way up to the Deli Department Manager. Ollie also served as a Union Steward. A true co-op kid, Ollie is a second-generation co-op employee, as his Mother also worked at Knoxville Community Food Co-op!

Ollie is mechanically inclined and a true tinkerer, and enjoys restoring vintage cars and fixing old computers. He is also a skilled musician with Casio Synthesizer as his instrument of choice.

Ollie is headed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to explore new opportunities, which may or may not include a food co-op!

Bella Biava joined our team at Three Rivers Market in August 2022, first working as a Member & Customer Service Assistant, then Assistant Member & Customer Service Manager and finally Member & Customer Service Manager.

What follows is Bella’s message to the co-op members and community:

For the past year, I have had the privilege of filling a few different roles within the TRM Member & Customer Service Department. I moved to Knoxville close to two years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was looking to spend time in a place that was lush and green. I was also in desperate need of community and a sense of home.

My former roommate was constantly bringing home fresh produce, drool-inducing hot food and tasty bakery treats. He tried to get me to visit Three Rivers many times. But my thoughts were always “It’s just a grocery store, How great can it be?”. It became apparent the first time I visited just how important and special the store was.

When I needed a job, TRM was my first choice, I wanted so badly to meet new people, be surrounded by local/fresh food and most importantly to work in front of those big beautiful windows. I can confidently say my experience working at TRM has changed my life for the better. I have been able to work with some of the most wonderful, hardworking, and kind people.

One of the most rewarding experiences for me personally has been to collaborate and feel my voice and Ideas are heard and appreciated by my co-workers and leadership. I have also gotten to meet so many community members and interact with them on a day to day basis. Three Rivers does more than just bring creatives together for the good of the community. The Nourishing Change program highlighted communities within Knoxville that I would have never known were in need of support.

While my time at TRM has come to a close, the skills I have gained here as both a cashier and manager will continue to serve me well as I return to New Mexico where I plan on expanding my experiences working within a co-op at La Montanita Co-op.

Have something co-op related on your mind? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at info@threeriversmarket.coop


In August we will be collecting change to help support
Cattywampus Puppet Council.

Cattywampus Puppet Council has been bringing interactive parades, theater, play and giant puppet magic to communities across east Tennessee and the South for the past 8 years, utilizing the arts as a vehicle for helping our community to tell its stories, build relationships with one another and raise power and joy as a community.

Much of Cattywampus’ work centers around youth and their leadership, particularly through their Youth Intern Squad. Cattywampus also works directly with schools and after-school programs, offering multi-session artistic residencies in giant puppet making, community based theater, from small shows at public libraries to full-length collaborative pieces with local artists including Good Guy Collective – a Knoxville hip-hop collective.

Cattywampus is primarily volunteer-run and relies on community support to sustain its work.

Objective: To raise $7,000 for the Cattywampus Youth Intern Squad Program.  

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to serve on the Board?

Register to attend our August or September meeting to find out! By attending, you will get a first hand picture of Board service, and satisfy the requirement that each candidate must attend a meeting prior to the October election.

Three Rivers Market is cooperatively owned by our members and democratically governed by our Board of Directors. All members have one vote in our annual election regardless of the number of Patron Membership Interests (PMIs) held. Each year, members elect candidates to serve on the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the governance of Three Rivers Market. The Board consists of nine (9) Directors elected to three (3) year terms. To be eligible to vote or run for a seat on the Board, you must be a member. 

Click here to read more.

The agenda for the regular monthly meetings is posted at least one week before each meeting on the
co-op’s website.

To request that an item be considered for the Board’s agenda, members can either email the request to
board@threeriversmarket.coop or leave a note for the Chair at the Member & Customer Services Desk at the store. Requests must be dated and include name, member number, phone number, email address, or other reliable contact information needed for follow-up. The deadline for submitting items to the Chair for consideration is four weeks prior to the scheduled meeting.






Copyright © 2023 Three Rivers Market, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Three Rivers Market
1100 N Central St
Knoxville, TN 37917

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