Worker-Owner of Woke Foods
Co-op Academy Teaching Assistant at Green Worker Cooperatives
How did you get into this work?
What does ‘solidarity economy’ mean to you?
Solidarity economy means funneling money into local small businesses, prioritizing the ones owned by people of color, women, and queer and trans people. It means creating programs and funding opportunities for low-income people with low or no credit to either start cooperative businesses or upscale their small businesses without worrying about how they will survive and support their families. It also means understanding and holding the complexity that worker cooperatives create ways to be more equitable businesses but we are still operating under capitalism and not necessarily ending it.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this work?
The idea I mentioned above about creating funding for low-income people comes from my lived experience of struggling to manage Woke Foods because I did not have a home to live in, credit to apply for loans, or money saved up to invest in the business. I did, however, have the experience, skills, and grit.
Why do you think it’s important for cooperatives to help other cooperatives?
Because we need to create an ecosystem for ourselves. Partnering with other coops is one of my favorite parts of the internal work that happens at Woke Foods. We bank at Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union and now Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union. We recently started to hire BK Packers to do our deliveries, which has been great! We are also talking with GreenFeen composting coop, to handle our food waste. Woke Foods is looking forward to creating more partnerships with other worker-owner cooperatives.
What is your ‘theory of change’?
Where can we find more information about the work you are doing in the future?
What is the best way for people to get involved and support your work?