Students seek to start coffee cooperative at Mount Holyoke College
Mo’Coffee Student Co-operative was created by students in an advanced politics seminar last spring amidst the debate over the past, present, and future identity of Mount Holyoke College. At one level, the motivation for Mo’Coffee was practical: it would fill a desire many students have for a flavorful, responsibly-produced and sourced cup of coffee that would be available to sustain students working during the late-hours of the day. At a deeper level, students viewed Mo’Coffee as a chance to connect learning in the classroom to practical experience in democracy and business acumen. As a co-op its members will work together to build a dynastic organization based on collective power and agency in a co-operative workplace.
Cooperative businesses employ workers who determine their economic futures through an ownership share in their democratically run companies. Co-operative workplaces deliver social benefits to it community rooting jobs and wealth in our communities and building intergenerational assets. Co-ops compete with a motivated workforce and a long term investment in its community unique among any business model. As businesses like Collective Copies, PV Squared and Pedal People can demonstrate, co-ops compete with companies on economic grounds and regard quality of compensation, working conditions and life. They exceed on social grounds by building democratic civic participation, practicing openness in membership and having service to its members as the main goal, not profit extraction.Partnering with members of workers cooperatives in the Pioneer Valley and the student cooperatives at Hampshire College and UMass-Amherst, Mo’Coffee has drafted a start-up plan to establish the first student-owned and run business in the history of Mount Holyoke College. Mo’Coffee will offer student-owners a chance to learn-by-doing by connecting their academic program of study to living those ideals in the real world while paying a living wage and it will offer Mount Holyoke students to support the College’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility through their purchases.
Prospective members and supporters of Mo’Coffee will propose a business plan to administration approval before the end of this year. Be part of economic democracy, be part of empowering jobs, be part of a regional (valleyworker.coop, nfca.coop, vcba.coop), national (usworker.coop, ncba.coop) and international movement (ica.coop). Be part of the creation of our co-op, Be one of our signatures of support for Mo’Coffee from students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Tell us what you need. We hope you will consider pledging your support for Mo’Coffee by signing the link below. We’re excited to start serving you and furthering the goals of the College soon.