Bread & Roses Offers a Fresh Spin on Food

Bread & Roses Community Grocery is proving originality by being a food cooperation that is member owned and operated.

Caroline Hackney, who is a part of the store management team, volunteers by overseeing store functions and assisting members and customers who visit the store.

“It is completely member owned, managed and operated,” Hackney said. “So there are no owners, there are no bosses. Everyone who comes in here is free to do as they please. It is based off of the principle of mutual aid, which is basically everyone puts in a little, everyone gets back a little.”

Bread and Roses offers healthy, organic, vegan and vegetarian foods.

“We always try to buy natural, organic foods. We buy local if possible. We have a priority in ethics,” Hackney said.

Unlike well-known food stores, Bread and Roses is dedicated to analyzing food ethical issues and its production when selecting suppliers. Keyholders research who profits from the sale of the products and the treatment of the people who produce the food.

All products in the store are labeled with two prices, member and nonmember. Benefits of being a member of the cooperative include access to lower product prices and voting rights in making store decisions.

Senior Florida A&M University student Keina Stewart usually shops at local farmers markets and whole food stores.

“My first thoughts when I learned about Bread & Roses was that it was very interesting and I had never heard about something like that before – the way that they set up their business. I also thought that it was a good way for people to come together to try to make holistic living work,” Stewart said.

There is an opening inside the store that leads to the Bread and Roses kitchen. Susan Petty and Sari Janzlik opened the kitchen a year ago. Petty explained that they took a risk when opening the business, but she now believes it was a good idea.

“I think between Sari and I everything is –you know- handmade, from scratch. We don’t do any of the processed stuff. We just have a lot of colors on the plate and a lot of love and we try to create a really accepting and cool and interesting atmosphere,” Petty said.

Petty and Janzlik make most of the dishes with locally grown produce.