Flaming Eggplant Cafe: Cooperative Food Business Management

Fall 2019
Winter 2020
Spring 2020
Class Size: 12
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Lal, Prita
food justice, social movements, urban agriculture, social inequalities

The Flaming Eggplant Café is a student-run café providing  ethically-sourced, affordable food  and  education in cooperative development  at The Evergreen State College. Through this academic program, participating students will help run the Eggplant, and in the process learn about cooperatives, how to manage a cooperative business, and gain experience managing a food business.

Starting this fall, in partnership with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center, the Eggplant will be  a hybrid of a year-long academic program and paid student employment . The academic program will study and practice the managerial and administrative components of a small cooperative business. The student employment positions have the essential functions of food production and customer service including but not limited to: line cooking, prep cooking, cashiering, barista work, ordering, inventory, quality assurance, cleaning, kitchen maintenance, and cash-handling.

Students will meet regularly with faculty and staff through workshops, reading seminars, and collaborate with other workers on projects, management decisions, and general operations.  The academic program offers variable credit in the following areas :

  • Food Systems + Kitchen Management
  • Cooperative Leadership
  • Cooperative Business Management
  • Communications + Marketing
  • Political Economy + Social Justice
  • Human Resources + Organizational Systems

Why learn this at the Flaming Eggplant Café?  The Eggplant has been a student-run café on campus for ten years. In true Evergreen fashion, the Eggplant continues to progress and grow with an evolving vision. Moving forward, the Eggplant will function as a place to eat, a gathering space, an educational space, and an organizing space. It will be a crossroads on the college campus where the Evergreen food system robustly engages with the student body, faculty, staff, and greater community. Student workers will learn, experiment, and practice. The Eggplant will be a place that centers on building collective power, anti-oppression, and prioritizing work as part of the movement for collective liberation. 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

food systems, cooperative leadership, business management, communications, human resources, organizational systems, sustainable development


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Fall and Winter: Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
  • Spring Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Special expenses:

$100 (Estimated expenses that students should expect to cover themselves for slip-resistant, closed-toe kitchen shoes and $10 Washington State Food Worker Card)

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 12

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 10:00 am
SEM 2 E2109 - Seminar

Located in: Olympia

2020-03-03The Flaming Eggplant is now open to new students by application for spring 2020. There is a 12 and 16 credit option.
2019-11-22Program is now accepting new students in Winter with signature