Firestorm Books & Coffee is a collectively-owned radical bookstore and community event space in Asheville, North Carolina. Since 2008 we’ve supported grassroots movements in Southern Appalachia while developing a workplace on the basis of cooperation, empowerment and equity.
Firestorm’s mission is to demonstrate the feasibility and desirability of a workplace based on free cooperation. We seek to sustain and nourish our collective through fulfilling work, personal empowerment and equitable compensation while providing a hub for anarchist thought and culture in WNC.
We opened Firestorm Books & Coffee in May of 2008 as a worker-owned and self-managed business. Through the operation of a unique bookstore our collective aims to provide community space, critical literature and an alternative economic model based on cooperative, libertarian principles. In 2014, we moved our project from its original location in Downtown Asheville to a larger storefront on Haywood Road in West Asheville.
At 610 Haywood Road you’ll find a unique blend of off-beat, underground and independently published materials. We carry titles by AK Press, PM Press, Chelsea Green Publishing, Feral House, Autonomedia, Pioneers Press and many many others. Additionally, we host a wide range of events, workshops, film screenings, fundraisers and presentations. Throughout the day, we serve organic and fairly-traded coffee, tea, and delicious vegan pastries made locally.
Our co-operative operates without bosses or supervisors, relying instead on well developed team structures. Decision making is achieved “horizontally,” using a formal consensus process in which each participant has equal voice. This collaborative environment creates a more empowering and enjoyable workplace while strengthening the business itself.
The ownership structure we require precludes us from applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status; however, we are committed to a not-for-profit model and we will reinvest 100% of our earnings in the community once we are able to sustain our labor at the equivalent of a livable wage.