When Jennie Scheinbach opened the Pattycake Bakery at its 3009, North High Street home in Clintonville some eight years ago, she knew she wanted to create a place where the community would come first. Catering primarily to the vegan sect in its inception, Pattycake soon became an icon, and leader, in Central Ohio for its commitment to locality and sustainability. It’s no surprise then that on May 1st, Pattycake Bakery became the first worker-owned food-based business in the city.
Now billed as the P-Cake Allstars Cooperative, the company offers employees of at least one year the opportunity to buy an equal stake in the organization. With this share comes responsibility for the operation, a consensus-based system of decision-making, and equity in all profits.
“Pattycake’s employees were already so invested in our mission and values, it seemed a natural extension for them to take part in real ownership,” Scheinbach relays. “We’ve been working on making the transition to a co-operative for years…It’s really gratifying to have finally made it happen.”
This fall, Scheinbach and her partner, Sarah Bryant, along with the new co-op, will launch the City Beet Café, a natural foods eatery that will occupy the rest of the building Pattycake already currently monopolizes. It will feature the same high-quality, 100% natural, trans-fat free fare customers seek out.
The upside for patrons is intangible: consumers who share Pattycake’s ethical and sustainable ideals will feel a greater sense of loyalty, and any business where the workers are the owners produce better goods because their fates are directly tied to client satisfaction.
“It makes for a healthier, happier, more productive work environment when people feel a sense of ownership,” says Bryant. “Pattycake would love to see other Central Ohio businesses make the transition.”
The City Beet Café will officially be located at 3003, N. High Street, and to follow the progress of the opening, check out www.facebook.com/pages/City-Beet.
Renderings provided by Tim Lai Architect.