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Dec 26, 2023

"The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." --Mitch Albom

Cooperative Ways to Weather the Silver Tsunami

When Baltimore's Common Ground Cafe abruptly shut down in mid-2023, it wasn't just the loss of a beloved coffee shop, but a devastating jolt to the 30 employees who relied on it for their livelihood. But they weren't ready to give up. Rallying together, the baristas raised thousands of dollars and leaned on each other's strengths. They formed a worker's cooperative and took control of the cafe themselves. "Making it is when we get to a point in our lives where we can take care of our friends," according to barista Jacqueline Du. Their journey reveals lessons about workers' ownership as a potential solution for the "silver tsunami" of baby boomer business owners retiring without a succession plan. Their coffee may be excellent, but what's truly special about the newly reopened cafe is the spirit of camaraderie and community that fills it.

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