Free Range Food Co-op


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

Carrie Barsness, Records Officer

altCarrie 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



Jessie was born and raised in a rural area about 20 miles from Bigfork, Minnesota. She was raised in a sustainable living environment with a variety of animals, and home grown and raised vegetables, meats and dairy products. Jessie holds Associate degrees in General Studies and Accounting from North Central Michigan College. She has worked in the accounting department for a local non-profit for the last six years and finds the help they are able to extend to families in our community to be extremely rewarding. Jessie joined FRFC because she believes that our community needs access to affordable, healthy, locally grown foods. She knows firsthand that many in our community are living at or below the poverty level and require state assistance just to put food on the table. She also looks forward to the day FRFC will have a space where community members can share their knowledge through classes like preparing healthy meals on a budget, baking bread, becoming more self-sustainable as a person, environmental stewardship, introducing different cuisines and along with it different cultures, and generally broadening our community's horizons.

Term expires October 2020

Jessie can be contacted at

Tom Williams, Director

altTom 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. 

Term expires October 2020

Tom can be contacted at

Sarah Verke, director

altSarah 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 a director on the board, 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