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Arizmendi Association

About the Association

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:

Our Name

Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta

photo of father Jose Maria ArizmendiarrietaArizmendi is the shortened name of Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, who as a young priest inspired and helped found the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country of Spain. Although worker cooperatives have functioned in most parts of the world since the 19th century, the success of the Mondragon Cooperatives has attracted worldwide attention. What started as one firm and roughly 25 people in 1956 is now a major international business with a work force of over 34,000, employed in some 100 worker-owned enterprises and affiliated organizations. These cooperatives continue to be inspired by Arizmendi’s belief that worker ownership and participation in the workplace should be an integral part of a just and democratic society. Through their financial, technical and organizational alliances, the Mondragn Cooperative Corporation helps develop new businesses, supports existing ones, and facilitates mutual support among member cooperatives. The name Arizmendi acknowledges his inspiration in our effort to expand democratically owned and operated workplaces.

Our Cooperatives

East Bay — Bakeries

photo of cheeseboard bakery

The Cheese Board
1504 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA



photo of arizmendi lakeshore bakery

Lakeshore, Oakland
3265 Lakeshore Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 268-8849

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photo of arizmendi san pablo bakery

San Pablo, Emeryville
4301 San Pablo Ave (at 43rd)
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 547-0550

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San Francisco and North Bay — Bakeries

photo of arizmendi 9th avenue bakery

9th Ave, SF
1331 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 566-3117

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› 9thave.arizmendi.coop


photo of arizmendi valencia bakery

Valencia, SF
1268 Valenica Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 826-9218

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photo of arizmendi 4th street bakery

4th St, San Rafael
1002 4th St
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-4093

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East Bay — Construction & Landscape Design/Build

photo of cheeseboard bakery

Root Volume
(510) 764-3169


photo of cheeseboard bakeryArizmendi Construction
(510) 995-6509




Regional, national & international organizations dedicated to supporting cooperative development: