The much-anticipated homegrown cafe aims to provide sustainable food to students
What’s better on a crisp fall day than a warm bowl of chili or a grilled cheese sandwich on sprout bread? Picking it up on your way to class from a café where you are part owner.
This is the opportunity being given to Concordia students this year with the opening of The Hive Solidarity Cooperative. The Hive is the result of an ongoing project, which has already lasted many years. All the planning finally paid off when, in the Concordia Student Union (CSU) by-elections last fall, 87 per cent of students voted in favor of starting a student-run, nonprofit cooperative on the second floor of the Hall building.
The result of this vote is the café itself, the purpose of which is “not only to provide sustainable food on campus, but to have a food provider on campus that students can engage themselves in and have a direct say in,” said Jessica Cabana, Vice President of Sustainability with the CSU.
This business plan leads to two huge benefits for students.
First, it allows the Concordia population to own and have a say in what they want from a homegrown café. Membership to the co-op costs five dollars and lasts a lifetime. Benefits for members include a tantalizing 10 per cent rebate off of everything in store. Concordia’s community has been eager to join the coalition, adding over 1,000 new members in the first two weeks of the academic year.
Second, it will aim to introduce sustainable foods into the diets of Concordians. At present, their sustainable food options are rather limited, with the exception of the excellent sprout salad grown in Concordia’s greenhouse. As a result, many items on the menu are brought in from outside caterers. The goal is to move towards more sustainable food, as the current catered items are not. According to Cabana this is only temporary, as The Hive will move gradually towards a self-catered food model as opportunities become available.
In the meantime, the food and drink will remain of high quality and reasonable price. The reason for this, Cabana said, is that the Hive is “for the people, not the profit.”
Already the co-op has been showing these words to be true in their involvement with the Loyola luncheon program. The luncheon program provides free vegetarian lunches on campus for students in need, similar to the People’s Potato initiative but for the Loyola campus.
The café’s work thus far this session has been impressive for such a young organization, but their work is far from over. On Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., The Hive will open the doors of its second location, on the second floor of the Student Center at the Loyola Campus, which is in the SC building.
With a location open on each campus The Hive will offer the Concordia community the unique opportunity to celebrate what we can do as a group, to watch a café grow and blossom, and to be a part of it every step of the way.
Grand opening of The Hive Solidarity Cooperative is on Sept. 29 2014, 10 a.m. For more information, go to: