Dear friends and allies,
Times are tough. Unemployment is on the rise, and by some estimates nearly 20% of Oregonians are unemployed or underemployed. Many of those who have managed to hang onto their jobs are underpaid and struggling to make ends meet.
In our notoriously fickle industry, 50% of restaurants close after 5 years. Only 30% of restaurants survive for at least a decade. We recently celebrated our 11th birthday, and we plan to be here for many years to come. As worker-owners, we have been willing to make sacrifices in order to keep our doors open.
Over the years, we have worked without pay during the start-up phases (both when we first opened in 2000 and when we moved in 2007), accepted pay cuts and reduced hours, and done a whole lot of behind the scenes work (from financial management to booking and promoting events) on a volunteer basis. We do it all because we believe in the mission and values the Red & Black represents.
Here are some reasons why we think the Red & Black deserves your support:
- All our coffee and tea is fair trade, organic, and sustainably harvested.
- Nearly all of our ingredients are organic, and many are locally produced.
- Most of our food is made from scratch in-house, including our many sauces and proteins.
- Our menu is 100% vegan. Our offerings are less land- and resource-intensive, and are cruelty-free!
- Our produce, coffee, sweets, and a lot of our other ingredients and supplies are delivered by bicycle.
- We are worker-owned and collectively-managed since 2000! We’re a member of the US Federation of Worker Co-ops.
- We are a closed IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) shop! We are union members, and we support fellow workers in their struggles for workplace justice.
- We have 2 free internet computers, wireless, games, a zine library, and other reading materials. Unlike most cafes, we allow folks to get out of the cold, use our bathroom and hot water, and enjoy all these resources free of charge and without buying anything. Whenever possible, we donate coffee to protests, meetings, and events. We need your support in order to subsidize these offerings.
- We host several events every week. Our events include readings, lectures, film screenings, benefit shows, and prisoner letter writing. Most of the events we host highlight developments in social, economic, environmental, and animal liberation struggles. Unlike many venues, we do not charge individuals or groups for use of our space! Our monthly calender can be found here.
- Our events have raised thousands of dollars for political prisoners and other comrades in need of support.
We urgently need your continued support! Here are some ways you can help:
- If you are going to treat yourself to a meal or even a cup of coffee, please choose the Red & Black!
- If your group needs to hold a meeting, come meet at the cafe!
- If you’re planning a benefit or special event, head over to our Event Booking page to set something up!
- Order a gift card for yourself or as a holiday present for someone you love! You can do this online! Just PayPal the gift card amount to firstname.lastname@example.org and specify “gift card” in the transaction note. We will e-mail you to confirm the details and send the gift card in the mail! Feel free to e-mail us at the same address for assistance.
- Small loans and donations of cash, supplies, or equipment always help! You can send money via PayPal to email@example.com, or e-mail this address for more information.
So please, help us weather this recession! Support the Red & Black so we can continue to support you!