Allison Buckingham started working as a cashier in Perelandra Natural Food Center in Brooklyn, New York, as an undergraduate student in 2002. She is now the store’s vice president of operations and a co-owner. Buckingham holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutrition, is a certified dietitian nutritionist and certified lactation counselor, and possesses a deep passion for community education.
Here are some ways Buckingham solidifies Perelandra’s stature in the community by affecting change locally:
Custom products. In partnership with local businesses, Buckingham has developed two new products exclusive to Perelandra that benefit charitable organizations. The first was a vegan ice cream produced with local company 3 Little Birds; half of the proceeds were donated to UNICEF.
The most recent launch was Perelandra’s Pride Pickles, created in collaboration with Brooklyn Brine and launched during New York’s Pride Week. Sales of these pickled organic rainbow carrots benefited the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center in Manhattan. “My focus has been to create delicious, sustainably and locally produced foods that will benefit organizations that we feel represent our commitment to social justice,” she says.
Community enrichment. Buckingham’s passion is educating women and children about nutrition and healthy eating. To that end, she volunteers as a nutrition educator for City Harvest, Public Health Solutions, CHiPS soup kitchen and other programs. She’s also planning to pursue doctoral studies in nutrition, with a goal of researching the barriers that exist in low-income communities that impede access to quality nutrition and lactation education.
Academic outreach. Buckingham is working with Hunter College on a series of nutrition research projects. Currently, she’s examining if and how point-of-purchase nutrition information impacts buying habits. “I’m interested in contributing to the body of research that examines the ways we can gently push people in the direction of making healthier food choices for themselves and their families,” she says.
The other Retailer of the Year Inspiring Retail Woman finalists are:
Winners will be announced at Natural Products Expo East 2017.