Use Your Money- Alchemy Collective Café
The Alchemy Collective Café is on our list of Use Your Money businesses. They started out slinging single-cup drip coffee from a booth at the Phat Beets Farmers Market where they saved just enough money to start a Kickstarter campaign. Now, with the money they raised from Kickstarter (over $10,000!), they are setting up shop at 3140 Martin Luther King drive, near the Ashby BART station. They are opening SOON! Learn more about the Use Your Money campaign now!
I spoke with Christopher Myers, the founder of Alchemy Collective, in Oakland.
How did Alchemy Collective get started?
Alchemy Collective started with a couple of ambitious baristas envisioning the perfect café. After seeing the renown and success of local cooperatives such as Arizmendi Bakery, Zachary’s Pizza, AK Press, and BioFuel Oasis, we decided that this model was the one for us. So, we began working on a business plan and started looking for a group of dedicated people to create a strong and diverse workforce capable of putting it all together.
How is Alchemy Collective structured?
Worker-owened cooperatives come in all shapes and sizes. At Alchemy, each member owns exactly one share, has equal voting rights, and gets a share of profits according to hours worked.
How does Alchemy Collective benefit its workers and the community?
The workers benefit by not having a boss and being able to be part of a small-scale direct participatory democracy. Everyone learns all kinds of new skills from each other and by necessity as we figure out how to make this work as efficiently and be as successful as possible.
Once up and running, Alchemy Collective will benefit the community by demonstrating a successful business model that puts workers before profits. Worker-owned cooperatives are beginning to prove that a better world is possible.
What can we buy our loved ones for the holidays from Alchemy Collective?
We’ll keep you posted on whether we’ll be open before the holidays. If we are, you should definitely treat yourself and your loved ones to some gourmet coffee. If we’re not open before then, (we’re waiting for an electrician to help us out), then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org about buying an awesome American Apparel shirt that we silk-screened ourselves. [see Exhibit a and b] for $20. Or, you can buy a travel mug with our logo. [see Exhibit c.] For $12.