Flaming Eggplant Cafe: Cooperative Food Business Management
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The Flaming Eggplant Café (Eggplant) is a student-run café providing ethically-sourced, affordablefood and education in cooperative development at The Evergreen State College. Through this academic program, participating students will gain hands-on experience running the Eggplant, and in the process learn about the histories and theories of cooperatives, how to manage a cooperative business, and deepen their analysis of power and equity in the food system.
The Eggplant is a hybrid of a year-long academic program and paid student employment. The academic program will study the theory and practice of the managerial and administrative components of a small cooperative business including, but not limited to: financial management, consensus decision-making, organizational systems, communications, marketing, sourcing, and leadership development. 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. Students will have the option to complete an independent research project that aligns with the Eggplant mission, vision, and values during the Winter and Spring quarters. Students will earn 8 credits in the management and operation of the cafe along with 8 credits in cooperative business fundamentals, food justice/food systems, political economy, and anti-oppression social justice.
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
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
$100 estimated expenses that students should expect to cover themselves for slip-resistant, closed-toe kitchen shoes and $10 Washington State Food Worker Card
Students can also bring additional funds on trips to farms and coops for purchases of goods if interested.
$150 for an overnight field trip and local visits to farms and worker cooperatives (Fall only)
Class Size: 16
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia