Our Co-ops

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Anyone's Cafe & Bakery

Start-up worker cooperative

Non-extractive loan: $69,192.08

Non-extractive loan: $32,003.09

These loans financed the start-up of a worker cooperative bakery and cafe in Rochester, NY.

A team of skilled professionals who were fired from a cafe that abruptly closed have formed a team to start up a new vegan bakery and cafe cooperative. This start-up loan was to purchase the equipment necessary for launch from their previous employer, as well as to cover initial startup costs of the new co-op including a salary runway, fixed expenses to break even, and initial inventory.

Read more:

Rochester Beacon: Serving vegan food and the community

Anyone's Cafe & Bakery Instagram

Anyone's Cafe & Bakery Website


Rose Garden Early Childhood Center

Conversion to worker cooperative

Non-extractive loan: $87,500.00

This loan financed the conversion of an established child care business in Buffalo, NY to worker ownership as the founding owner retired.

The Rose Garden is a LifeWays representative Waldorf-inspired private child care center, which emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of children. After 8 years, the founding owner Judith Frizlen decided to retire and came to Cooperation Buffalo for help selling the business to its workers. Quality child care is in very high demand in Buffalo, and is core to supporting newly expanding professional industries. The child care sector, however, is in rough shape, suffering from high worker turnover, low wage ceilings, and high levels of burnout among workers. Putting childcare workers in control of their workplace and in control of their surplus business income can go a long way to stabilizing the sector and creating good jobs.


Read more:

Buffalo Rising: Rose Garden transitions into Worker Cooperative

Lifeways: The Rose Garden becomes a worker-owned cooperative

Rose Garden: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

Becoming Employee Owned: The Rose Garden

Cooperative Academy Graduates

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Extra Extra

Start-up worker cooperative

Fall 2021 and Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy

Putting people first! Buffalo's first cooperatively owned pizza shop and wine bar on West Utica in Buffalo, NY is slated to open in 2022. The two founding worker-owners attended Cooperation Buffalo's Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy, and the co-op's third worker-owner attended the following year's Academy.

Read more:

Buffalo Rising: Extra Extra! Pizza and Wine Cooperative Comes to Five Points

Buffalo News: Worker-owned restaurant focused on pizza, wine coming to Five Points neighborhood

Buffalo Business First: New Buffalo pizzeria to offer investors a piece of the pie

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Pure Vibes

Conversion to worker cooperative

Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy

Tiffany Snow Wesley created Pure Vibes in 2017 in University City, MO to create natural products that were gluten-free to help her live and feel well with polycystic ovarian syndrome. During the 2020 pandemic, she realized that everyone was searching for Pure Vibes to have a sense of community, togetherness and create equity and ownership in spaces where it simply wouldn't exist. Tiffany knew that her good friend Demetrius Neal would rise to the occasion through his ideology to "Live, Motivate and Inspire." Pure Vibes transitioned into a worker-owned cooperative and the company now boasts 4 worker-owners. Tiffany and Demetrius attended Cooperation Buffalo's virtual Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy.

Read more:

Introducing Pure Vibes, University City’s newest skincare shop

Oh, It's HERStory: 7 Black Women Making History In The Beauty Space

Forbes The Next 1000: Tiffany Wesley, Founder, Pure Vibes

Pure Vibes Website


Long Island Farmworker Cooperative

Start-up worker cooperative

Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy

This farmworker-owned flower cooperative is based in Long Island, NY. The cooperative's main focus is to sell flowers grown on the East End of Long Island with the goal of eventually growing and cultivating their own flowers. Organizers and workers attended Cooperation Buffalo's virtual Fall 2020 Cooperative Academy to support their business planning and launch.

Read more:

Long Island farmworker cooperative opens flower market in Riverhead

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Western New York Technology Collaborative

Start-up worker cooperative

Fall 2019 Cooperative Academy

WNY Technology Collaborative is a worker-owned, democratically managed IT Services company, that focuses on server hosting, free and open source software solutions, and socially just solutions. Founding worker-owner Corey Reichle attended Cooperation Buffalo's first Cooperative Academy training program in 2019 to support the launch of this new worker-owned business.

Read more:

WNY Technology Collaborative Website

Cooperatives in Western New York

Click here for a map of currently operating cooperative businesses in Buffalo, Rochester, and Western New York including worker-owned cooperatives, consumer-owned cooperatives, housing co-ops, credit unions, and producer cooperatives. If you have additions or edits, please contact us to let us know!