What is Bread & Roses?
Bread & Roses Food Cooperative is a non-profit, member-worker food cooperative opened in Tallahassee, FL in 2009. We are currently located at 915-2 Railroad Ave. in the heart of the All Saints District, walkable/bikeable from both FAMU and FSU. We are a great place to shop for affordable, healthy, organic, vegetarian/vegan, local, and ethically-sourced products. We do our absolute best to provide the most sustainable, ethical, and healthiest products we can for the best prices we can. And, we accept EBT!
What is a member-worker food coop?
One way that Bread & Roses is able to provide high quality products at affordable prices is that we are an all-volunteer, member-worker cooperative. A cooperative is an organization that is jointly owned by its members, and a member-worker cooperative is one in which the members also participate in running the organization. Bread & Roses members volunteer with the coop for 3 hours each month. Because Bread & Roses has no paid employees, we have lower overhead costs and we don’t have to mark up our products as much as other grocery stores.
How do I become a member?
It’s easy to become a member of Bread & Roses Food Coop! Simply download the application here and bring it into the store during our hours of operation. There’s a one-time membership fee of $100 (refundable if you cancel your membership), and a filing fee of $25. We offer flexible payment plans for the membership fee. Bread & Roses members are also required to volunteer just 3 hours per month in order to maintain an active membership. For more details on becoming a member, click the link above.
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
Active Bread & Roses members receive a member discount at the store and a 10% discount at Bread & Roses Kitchen! On all of our store products we have a non-member price and a reduced member price (typically at-cost or as low as we can offer). Another great benefit of becoming a Bread & Roses member is being part of our community. It’s more enjoyable to shop at a place where you know the people working, and you know you are a part of creating a better model for our economy and society that is sustainable, just, and community-oriented. We also have fun events, such as the annual 420 Vegan Mac-n-Cheese Bake-Off, and the annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off!
How do I complete my 3 monthly volunteer hours?
There are many ways to complete your 3 monthly volunteer hours, and each member is encouraged to identify a way to contribute that works best for them. When you become a member, one of our keyholders (members who open/close the store and work the register) will give you a member orientation and introduce you to the various ways you can complete your hours. One of the main ways to volunteer is by working in the store alongside a keyholder, and completing needed tasks for the daily operation of the store (such as fronting shelves, helping customers, and general upkeep). You can schedule a time to work in the store at your member orientation.
The other main way to volunteer with the store is by becoming a member of one of our committees. Bread & Roses committees are responsible for various tasks necessary for running the coop, such as researching and ordering products, stocking shelves, conducting outreach, and maintaining finances. To become a member of one of our committees, visit the Committees page here, take a look at the list of committees, pick one you are interested in, and contact the committee chair using the e-mail provided.
If you fall behind in completing your member hours, your membership will become inactive and you will no longer receive a member discount. However, in order to re-activate your membership, all you need to do is complete 3 hours of volunteer work with the coop and log your hours with a keyholder. For more information, see our bylaws here.
How do I become a keyholder?
Keyholders are members who are responsible for opening and closing the store, running the register, and logging member hours (so named because they each have a key to the store). To become a keyholder, you must be an active member who has fully paid your membership and filing fee, and you must have completed a member orientation and keyholder orientation. To find out more about becoming a keyholder, see the Keyholding Committee page here or visit the store and talk to the keyholder working. They’ll be able to help you set up a keyholder orientation!
What is the organizational structure at Bread & Roses?
The most important part of Bread & Roses is our general membership, which makes our coop possible by running the store on an all-volunteer basis. All active members also have the option of becoming keyholders, as described above. Also as mentioned above, Bread & Roses has several committees that are responsible for many of the necessary tasks of running the store. Committees are facilitated by committee chairs who make sure their committee is completing its stated goals and their committee members are finding ways to successfully contribute to the store. Because Bread & Roses is a 501(c)3 non-profit, we also are required to have a board of directors. Both the committee chairs and the board of directors are elected by the membership. However, the board of directors has no powers within the organization, and all Bread & Roses members have equal say in making all important decisions. For more information, see our bylaws here.
How are decisions made at Bread & Roses?
At Bread & Roses, all decisions are made democratically by our members. Every member has equal say in decisions about the coop. We use the consensus model of decision-making, which strives for as much agreement as possible. This means if there is initial disagreement, we discuss the issue and attempt to resolve these disagreements before calling for a vote. For more information on our decision-making process, see our bylaws here. To participate in decision-making at Bread & Roses, attend one of our twice-monthly membership meetings! See the upcoming events page here for details.
What are the founding principles of Bread & Roses?
Two of the most fundamental founding principles of Bread & Roses are mutual aid and non-hierarchy. Mutual aid is an alternative economic model in which everyone contributes to the community according to their skills, talents and interests, and expects reciprocity from all other members of the community, but not on a one-to-one basis. So, for example, you complete your 3 monthly volunteer hours, but you aren’t directly compensated; instead you receive a member discount that is made possible by the contributions of all other members put together. The main goals of this economic model are that everyone’s needs are taken care of, and everyone is able to live a fulfilling life in which their skills and talents are put to use for the good of the community.
The other fundamental founding principle of Bread & Roses is non-hierarchy, or full, direct democracy. In contemporary U.S. society, we purportedly live in a democracy, but we spend the majority of our time in institutions (workplaces and schools) that are not democratic. Bread & Roses and many other cooperatives attempt to bring democracy into the workplace. When you work at Bread & Roses, you are in charge as much as everyone else. You have agency over your work and working conditions, as well as every aspect of the store. By bringing democracy into more aspects of daily life, Bread & Roses attempts to model a more democratic society than currently exists in the U.S.
For more information, and to hear some of our founding members and keyholders tell the story of Bread & Roses in their own words, check out this video!
…Wait, what about Bread & Roses Kitchen?! Find out more about the Kitchen here!