The Seasoned Spoon Café is a consumer/user cooperative where the people who use the co-op constitute its membership. A cooperative is an organizational structure that is governed by its members and based on democratic participation. Therefore, one of a cooperative’s key purposes is accountability to its members and consumers. According to the International Co-operative Alliance, a co-operative is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise." Cooperatives are based on principles of voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives, and concern for community.
As opposed to more traditional business models, which prioritize profits for investors, a consumer cooperative prioritizes providing quality goods and values self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity
Furthermore, as a not-for-profit business with a social and environmental mandate, the Spoon is also a social enterprise. Social enterprises use the market to achieve social, environmental ends. As such we use the money raised through the café, to achieve our mission and mandate.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Seasoned Spoon is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of up to nine members of the cooperative. The Executive of the Board consists of five positions:
● Education and Communications
We also to have our membership represented on the board by ensuring that the following groups have positions:
i. Two (2) Community Representatives
ii. One (1) Faculty Representative
iii. One (1) Faculty/Staff Representative
The remainder of the positions are usually held by Trent students. The Board meets every 3-4 weeks and is involved in developing policy, overseeing the Spoon’s finances, hiring staff, solving problems, writing grants and generally guiding the future direction of the organization. Participating in the Board is a great way to develop skills that can be used in a variety of careers or community development work. If you’re interested in knowing more about the Board or in getting involved, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of our by-laws can be found here: