Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Green Traditon, Great Workers: Coop Is a Way of Life at Alvarado St. Bakery

  • Broadcast in Food
Shift Shapers

Shift Shapers


Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow Shift Shapers.
"Every worker is a great worker", declares Joseph Tuck in this interview with co-hosts Dan Kerbein and Evelina Molina. Joseph Tuck is General Coordinator and CEO of Alvarado St. Bakery, a worker-owned cooperative in Petaluma, CA, about 40 miles north of San Francisco. Joseph has found that the worker coop model "fosters trust in your co-workers, and trust in our organization." The worker coop model also provides living wages, by distributing its net income among the member employees. This allows everyone in the company, from maintenance crew to executives, to enjoy a living wage and even plan for college for their children. The dollars that usually get syphoned off to CEO pay and shareholder dividends get distributed to the people who are working together to produce and sell the product. It also fosters innovation in bringing to market an excellent and healthful product. Alvarado St. Bakery was the first to market breads made from sprouted organic grains, and still holds that market niche. Bread lovers enjoy the product, which has brought forward a history of steady growth for the company, numerous awards and other recognition. A recent one is the Pioneer Award from Greenjobs.org. And of course, Alvarado St. Bakery was featured in the Michael Moore film "Capitalism, a Love Story". "We were green before people knew what the word 'green' meant," says Joseph, recounting the company's beginnings in 1973 as an initiative of the Red Clover Workers Brigade, dedicated to the dictum of food for people, not for profit. Also some humor – that cat on a label? Based on a real cat. The Alvarado St. sign on the label, too. An actual street sign, with a story behind it. Here are some useful links to explore while you enjoy our interview with Joseph Tuck: www.alvaradostreetbakery.com www.greenjobs.org www.usworker.coop (U.S. Federation of Worker Coops)