Worker-Owned Co-op Model Thrives at Alvarado Street Bakery

Baking is a job for early-risers like Miguel Calderon. It’s before 5am and the first shift of the bagel production crew is waking up, leaving their families sleeping peacefully at home.

The sun rises over Petaluma’s hills as Calderon joins the team mixing dough and sending fluffy golden rings down the line to be packaged. He’s been working on the production floor for seven years. At most bakeries in the country it’s likely he would be making around $12 an hour. But his salary hovers around $60,000 per year, on top of stellar health insurance, a 401(k) and a share of the bakery’s profits.

“I’ve worked here since I was 19 years old,” he said. “When I was in high school I was the manager at Taco Bell. I worked in construction, a car wash, restaurants, sometimes I had two jobs at once. I changed my work drastically with this job. Compared to other jobs, this company cares about the people that work here.”

Calderon works at Petaluma’s Alvarado Street Bakery, the largest worker-owned bakery cooperative in the United States.

Read the full article at Edible Marin & Wine Country


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