“They’re congratulating us, but I feel like congratulating them because this was all of us together, a group community effort,” said Chloe Chassaing, co-owner and a 16-year veteran barista of the cafe.
“I just feel really encouraged to see everyone come out,” Chassaing said. “We’ve heard a lot of really kind, supportive words from people. It’s nice for us, because we know a lot of these people, either as friends or even as just customers over the years, so it feels really heartwarming.”
Another co-owner, Danny Cordova, said he could hardly believe he now owns a piece of the business he used to go to when he was a student at Central High School, across the street. “It’s really unreal,” said Cordova.
As a non-hierarchical cooperative — without bosses — eight co-owners now make hiring decisions together. They received about 60 applications within the first few days of announcing they were hiring on Instagram and Facebook. They hired five of them; if they are a good fit after a six month interim period, they will be offered co-ownership.