I heard about the Cheeseboard Collective completely by word of mouth from various people in the Bay Area. Fans are enthusiastic about them and plentiful. It was constantly on people's list of best pizza both for their wide cheese variety and their simplicity of making 1 really good, different gourmet pizza each day. With combinations like brussel sprouts and yam or squash and green apple, they are an innovative collective which has left its mark all around the San Francisco Bay.
So what does it really mean to be a worker-owned collective? I interviewed part-owner Ridwan Schleicher in the video below to find out.
Put simply, all 55 owners are both workers and owners of the business. Decisions are made at meetings where each employee gets 1 vote and everyone gets paid the same wage regardless of how long they've worked there. He describes the collective business model as "a great way of sharing this special business" and one that "really works."
The Cheeseboard opened in 1967 and has been a collective since '71. Since then it expanded gradually to a bakery with a Friday night pizza crowd to serving pizza 5 days a week for lunch and dinner. They seek to get as many ingredients locally as possible including the water buffalo milk they use to make melt-in-your-mouth soft serve ice-cream. They have also developed their own legendary green hot sauce to sell in-store and give out for free with pizza made with orange juice, poblano peppers and cilantro.
If you're around the Bay Area be sure to check them out. You can scope out the daily pizza, music lineup and find out more info at http://cheeseboardcollective.coop