Atwater Village: Sowing Seeds of Economic Democracy

In a northeast corner of Los Angeles, not far from where I live, there’s a neighborhood called Atwater Village, and in that neighborhood an enterprise called the Proof Bakery does a thriving business selling a wide range of pastries, cakes, sandwiches, coffees, and other popular items. Three years ago, its founder and owner, Na Young Ma, decided to relinquish ownership after running the business for almost 10 years. But instead of selling the bakery to an outside owner, with all the possible consequences that could accrue from such a sale (including the firing of employees), she took the more challenging, time-consuming path of initiating a Transition to a worker-owned cooperative, inspired by the long-running, successful Cheese Board Collective and Arizmendi Bakeries in California’s Bay Area (Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Rafael, Emeryville)


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