Amber Rooke (2019-2023)
What is your connection to the neighborhood?
I am the owner of Dylamato's Market and Chair of the Governance Committee for Hazelwood Initiative. I am also on the board of Fishes & Loaves Cooperative Ministries, which helps to provide free food to those in need in the neighborhood through its congregant feeding and Meals on Wheels programs.
Where are you from and what brought you to Hazelwood?
I have lived in many places in the US and Africa. I came to Hazelwood because I was studying food, and Hazelwood is classified as a food desert. I wanted to help change that.
What are the TOP TWO most important parts of our mission that you are concerned about?
affordable homeownership, affordable commercial space
Why are the above issues important to you?
I am an entrepreneur. A big part of my success is having an affordable space to rent as a first-time business owner. Because I found an affordable space, I have been able to keep my prices affordable also and grow slowly into a successful grocery business. I want others to have this opportunity too.
How does your background provide you with unique skills or insight to help tackle these issues as a board member?
I have a masters degree in Food Studies and am a successful entrepreneur in the food business. I have also lived in other countries where there are many, many small businesses owned by entrepreneurs. I started a business in part to find out why there aren't more businesses like mine in Pittsburgh. I want to help change that.
What do you love about Hazelwood?
I love that it is diverse. I love working in a community where my employees and customers are a diverse mix of races, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. I love creating a positive social space where people who are different from each other can interact together around purchasing healthy food.
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