Glitter Bean Café Co-operative
Preserving an essential queer-centred workplace via a unionized co-op conversion*
For the city of Halifax and its LGBTQ+ community, the prospects of the café at the corner of Springer and Carleton shutting its doors in early 2018 was devastating news; the only other queer-centered space in the city was a bar, which meant that it is inaccessible for under-aged or sober individuals. Hence, if it were not for the baristas coming together to take over the café - with the solidarity of another well-known Nova Scotia co-op and the baristas' union - and convert it to a worker co-op and form Glitter Bean, a crucial space for Halifax’s LGBTQ+ community could have been lost.
This is why the story of Glitter Bean’s conversion into a co-op is about more than saving its employees’ jobs and turning them into worker-owners of a café...although this is vitally important, too! Glitter Bean Café Co-op is also a story about preserving an essential community space in Halifax - by and for the LGBTQ+ community.
*Case study research and writing by Derya Tarhan (2021)