Flat Iron Cooperative

Year Founded: 2021
Years of Employee Ownership: Since 2021
Number of Employees: 3 worker-owners; ~30 consumer owners
Line of Business: cafe

Flat Iron Cooperative is a cafe in Bellows Falls, Vermont. It was co-founded by three friends: Larisa Demos, a board chair of the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives and a board member of the Springfield Co-op; Bri Johnson, the owner of the Flat Iron Cooperative who has a background in art and as a librarian; and Jana Bryan, a landscape architect and former owner of the Flat Iron Exchange Coffee Shop.

Bryan opened the original Flat Iron coffee shop in April 2014, after purchasing the building in downtown Bellows Falls the year before. In late 2020, Bryan was considering putting Flat Iron and the building up for sale when Johnson offered to purchase the building and the cafe. From there, Johnson brought in Demos and the three began formulating a plan for reopening the cafe with a stronger business structure. The Flat Iron Cooperative opened its doors in December, 2021.