The Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, founded in 1996, develops democratically run businesses whose worker-owners are in control of their livelihood. The first Arizmendi Bakery opened in Oakland in 1997, with a production model based on the Cheese Board in Berkeley, which generously donated its recipes and know-how to the project. There are now six thriving bakeries in the Bay Area. In 2016, on the heels of our 20th Anniversary, the Arizmendi Association began to diversify our cooperative family beyond bakeries. Root Volume, a landscaping design/build cooperative, is the first in what we hope will be many cross-industry cooperative businesses. Another project in development includes a construction cooperative, Arizmendi Construction.
Our worker-owners bring a variety of life experiences to their work and reflect diverse backgrounds in employment, education, and culture. What unites us is our strong work ethic and our dedication to democracy in the workplace.
The Arizmendi Association is itself a cooperative made up of nine member businesses: six cooperative bakeries, a landscape design/build cooperative, a construction cooperative and a development and support collective. Members share a common mission, share ongoing accounting, legal, educational and other support services, and support the development of new member cooperatives by the Association.
Our organizational mission is to:
- Assure opportunities for workers’ control of their livelihood with fairness and equality for all
- Develop as many dignified, decently paid (living “wage” or better) work opportunities as possible through the development of new cooperatives
- Promote cooperative economic democracy as a sustainable and humane option for our society
- Create work environments that foster profound personal as well as professional growth
- Exhibit excellence in production and serving our local communities
- Provide continuing technical, educational and organizational support and services to member cooperatives
- Seek to link with other cooperatives for mutual support, and to
- Provide information and education to the larger community about cooperatives
If you would like to learn more about our Association here are some helpful media links: