so, then Firestorm Café & Books, 48 Commerce St. downtown Asheville
is the place to go!
Co-owners Kila Donovan and Evan Scott create Asheville's ultimate
counter culture cafe. It's even vegan with soft cushion sofas.
In addition to an array of
vegan and organic cafe options, they offer a
wide range of counter-culture books, zines and other independently
largely unavailable in the area. The café’s back half,
partitioned off with a curtain when needed, provides meeting space for community
groups or events. The lectures have ranged from sustainability, to
women's issues, from anarchistic to spiritual...
Magazine staff can feel the revolutionary ambiance.
Ever since the close of Beanstreet's and
the pasteurization of too many Lexington Avenue shops, Asheville has missed the
beat feeling of non-conformity, power-to-the-people, as well as well
as a watering hole for intellects..
Café offering a
safe haven. The space features a comfortable setting with plush chairs, a
small stage, a PA system and projection screen, and free Internet
access, not simply wi-fi...including three computers. The simply ask
you to limit your use to 20 minutes so others can have access.
We also loved the crystal glass
chess set. But what really sets the café apart is
its business model, pioneered by Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse
Baltimore, Maryland. With business-planning help through Mountain BizWorks’ Foundations Program, and in collaboration with consultants
from the Asheville-based Southern Appalachian Center for Cooperative
Firestorm was officially established on May 1 as a
nonprofit, worker-owned LLC. Worker/owners —there are 10 so far,
ranging in age from 19 up into their 30s—who share equally in the
business. Many have a background in community activism and
organization through such groups as Asheville LETS (Local Exchange
Trading System), Citizens’ Awareness Asheville, the Asheville Global
Report and Sustainable Asheville.
The entire enterprise has been aided
and abetted by significant donations of volunteer labor and
supplies, and financed by low- or no-interest loans from
enthusiastic community members who believe in what they’re doing.
The only real encumbrance to date is a couple of thousand dollars’
worth of credit-card debt.
And in keeping with Firestorm’s
goal of promoting local self-sufficiency, any net profits are
used to endow grant programs to assist local community groups
dedicated to sustainability in its various forms.
Besides meetings, they offer book
readings, acoustic-music performances and film screenings in the
space. They've been opened since May 24, 2008, and we trust they
will be here forever! Or at least until we win the Revolution. By
the way, Virato, host of VIRATO LIVE! can often be seen in Firestorm
Café with his beloved, Dhiraja...planning their next
Firestorm Café is open 10 AM to 10
PM, 7 days a week. They can also be accessed from Patton Ave. just
to the right of the wine shop. Park at the Post Office across the
828-255-8115 firstname.lastname@example.org When
you call or visit please let them know you learned about them from
this Asheville Magazine HOT SPOT!