Free Range Food Co-op

Sarah Verke, Chair

Sarah lives in Grand Rapids in Wabana Township, and she is married with two children. She holds degrees in Paralegal Studies, and Interactive Graphic and Web Design. She has worked for the State of Minnesota for over 15 years, with the last 9 at the DNR. Sarah enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, exercising, traveling, spending time with her family, and being outside as much as possible in the spring and summer months. Sarah joined the co-op effort because she believes that co-ops have a great potential to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. Specifically important to Sarah is building a stronger local food system, addressing access to organic and whole foods, and strengthening the local culture on environmental stewardship. Sarah also appreciates the cooperative principles and values that help to lay a strong foundation for how cooperatives operate. Sarah serves as the Board Chair, she is the marketing coordinator, outreach team member, and frequently works on other projects and events.

Term expires October 2019

Sarah can be contacted at

Carrie Barsness, Records Officer

Carrie is a life-long resident of the Grand Rapids area and currently resides in Cohasset. She is currently employed at Grand Rapids State Bank as an Account Services Representative. Carrie enjoys running, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family in her spare time. She is proud and excited to be a part of the efforts of bringing a food co-op grocery store into the Grand Rapids area. What attracted her to the project is the sense of community this will bring. That is truly what a cooperative stands for; a group of people working together to reach a common goal or effort. Carrie serves as the Records Officer. She also volunteers her time on the outreach team, as well as planning other projects and events.

Term expires October 2019

Carrie can be contacted at

Molly MacGregor, Director

Molly moved to Grand Rapids in 2017 to work at the DNR as a regional planner, and to enjoy living in an exciting small community. She started her career in journalism, launched the editorial side of two Minneapolis neighborhood newspapers, worked briefly at the Minneapolis Tribune, and then published a regional business newsletter at the Federal Reserve Bank there. She moved north in the 1980's, settling in Walker, and working in Grand Rapids, Bemidji, and Detroit Lakes, as well as running her own organizational development consulting service. 

Molly has two grown sons, and is a member of KAXE and Community Presbyterian Church. She loves music, food, politics and the great people of the north woods. Molly joined the board because she believes that Free Range Food Co-op is not just a store, but it is also a service connecting producers to consumers, and building on the unique values and culture of our community. 

(Picture coming soon)

Term expires October 2020

Molly can be contacted at  

Tom Williams, Director

Tom is a 1986 graduate of The College of St. Scholastica with a B.A. in Nursing, and a 1992 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. His legal career focused on regulatory compliance with two state agencies and a major health plan company. He retired in 2015 and moved with his wife Sandy to Grand Rapids in 2017. Tom joined Free Range Food Co-op as its 354th owner in 2017. Tom and his wife are also owners of Mississippi Market in St. Paul, Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville, and Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth. 

(Picture coming soon)

Term expires October 2020

Tom can be contacted at


Annaliesa is a Registered Nurse and works at Grand Itasca, and the Hibbing Hospital. She is married with three children. She became interested in food cooperatives when her son introduced her to Harmony Food Coop in Bemidji, MN. Annaliesa likes the positive impact that food co-ops have on a community.   It is important to her that the money spent at food co-ops stay in the community. She likes how a food co-op helps build a better local food system. She believes the people of Grand Rapids deserve better access to fresh, wholesome, clean grown local foods. Annaliesa serves on the board, she is the business planning team coordinator, outreach team member, and she volunteers to work on special projects.

Term expires October 2019

Annaliesa can be contacted at