Greensboro, North Carolina
Our student-run coffee shop is a part of the school but a worker-cooperative in spirit. We serve coffee, espresso drinks, tea, organic soda, and baked goods. We hold ourselves to be a non-hierarchical, member-run coffee cooperative. We strive to uphold our values of community, anti-oppression, social and economic justice, and sustainability. We attempt to do this through educating ourselves and the community, conscientious purchasing, and supporting other groups that share our values. The Greenleaf was started in 2003 with a group of students wanting to create an alternative space on campus and practice a different business model. It got started with a $20,000 forgivable loan from Student Activities. In the beginning, it was located in the basement of the student center, but when a burger joint moved in, the school renovated the basement of the all women dorm (and former cooperative dorm, that also birthed the local grocery co-op in the 70s) to make the Greenleaf a new home.
How do they do it? The cafe is volunteer run by 20-30 worker-members, who make decisions by consensus. The work is delegated into 9 Committees. Most folks work 3 or 5 hours (2 hour shifts and 1 hour committee), and those who know how to run the shop alone are called "bottom liners" and one must be on every shift.
They are also co-hosting this Springs Regional Convergence, Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives, with CoFED!
See them in action: