Cracker Barrel on Regulating Responsibility

Business and the Environment

“More than a hill of Fair Trade coffee beans?”

The NY Times reports on the walkout of employees at Gorilla coffee:

Owner Darleen Scherer: “From a business owner’s standpoint, we feel like we’re doing everything right: paying everyone well and setting up health benefits and encouraging learning in coffee.”

The shop also sends workers to coffee conferences and on tours.

But the action by the workers, who were not unionized, was unusual, and may ultimately amount to more than a hill of fair-trade coffee beans.

Gorilla, which roasts its own beans and supplies hip and higher-priced shops throughout the city, has come to symbolize Park Slope’s socially conscious, eco-friendly sense of itself. And the labor unrest has left some customers feeling wary about returning to the shop, at Fifth Avenue and Park Place.

Gorilla hired a whole new set of employees and reopened a few weeks later – the day the article was published.  In true Park Slope fashion, it’s the dogs who are most upset that Gorilla was closed for two weeks:

But the biggest disappointment may have been for Jacub, his corgi, he said.

“This is an institution for him,” he said, as the dog shifted in place, wagging his tail. “Everybody stops and says hello and knows his name, and honestly, with this place closing down he’s gone into withdrawal.”


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