In Troy, New York, Cafe Euphoria models a radical and equitable new business model for the food industry. Operating as a worker-owned cooperative that’s run by a team of eight transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, the cafe currently has a base wage of $18 per hour, which everyone—regardless of position—receives. Once the business breaks even, wages will continue to increase until reaching $32. This system was designed to help in uplifting trans people out of poverty—a situation that almost a third of trans adults are facing according to a 2019 study from UCLA. Like other co-op models, Cafe Euphoria offers an ownership stake of the business for those who have completed 50 working hours, ensuring that all employees have equal say and power. The cafe also considers the customers needs, offering everything on a three-to-one sliding scale, with the third tier being the most expensive for those who self-report making over $62,000. Learn more about the inspiring new business at Civil Eats.
Image courtesy of Cafe Euphoria