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You’ve seen him in the aisle of Big Hollow, stocking shelves or reaching something off a high shelf for someone. You’ve seen him hauling heavy boxes downstairs and stocking the deli fridge. You’ve definitely seen him at checkout, helping you bag your groceries and getting you on your way. That’s Ben!

Ben has been around the co-op for about three years, with a break in-between. His large stature is countered by his gentle spirit and his laugh that comes easy. When his hair is pulled up on top of his head, it reveals an elaborate tree tattoo underneath. His very presence is intriguing. Now is our chance to know more about the man behind the counter.Ben2

Ben is from Seward, Alaska, and is the youngest of four children. Seward is a small, very rainy town of about 3,000 people. He grew up playing, watching, and thinking about football. While his hometown is lush, colorful, and full of beauty, it doesn’t offer a lot of opportunities other than seasonal work. His older brother moved to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming and ended up staying. Then his sister moved here, and eventually Ben came as well to be with his siblings and live in a place that offered a bit more. At one point, Ben moved back to Alaska. He came back to Laramie for a short visit, and, as he puts it, “it just felt wrong to leave.” Ben has been here ever since.

First and foremost, Ben is a family man. When he isn’t busy working hard at Big Hollow, he is likely hanging out with his brother, sister, and nine nieces and nephews. He speaks tenderly about his family, and when he describes their BBQs or outings together climbing rocks and romping around, his love is unmistakable.

Ben still loves football. He loves to think about the strategies and analyze the plays. He hopes to one day coach high school or middle school football. His favorite movie is Pulp Fiction and his favorite book is The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck. When asked what else he likes to do, he responded honestly: “I’m still trying to figure out what I like.” Who among us can’t relate to that?

Here, at Big Hollow, Ben’s unofficial title is “The Whatever Needs To Be Done Guy.” He stocks shelves, works at the deli on bulk, fills honey, keeps the back stock in order, and does most of the heavy lifting. Whenever Ben has to be gone for some reason, he is missed! His favorite product is the Wallaby Sour Cream. He highly recommends combining it with Need More Salsa. When talking about this lovely combination, he smiles wide, and says, “it’s just the best!”

This place couldn’t be more lucky to have Ben! While he hopes to one day tour the U.S. by car or motorcycle, we hope he sticks around for awhile. A big, kind guys who laughs at almost any joke isn’t easily replaced. Thanks for being a part of the team, Ben. We think you are pretty awesome!