A Maryland “food co-op” which bills its fare as “food for people, not for profit,” has turned to crowdfunding in the hopes that its “comrades” will help save the failing restaurant.
The Maryland Food Collective is an “anti-profit,” vegan and vegetarian restaurant that operates on the University of Maryland’s campus. It offers a self-described “safe space” from the evils of capitalism which, no doubt, permeate the campus and other local restaurants, and boasts a managerial system that shuns bosses and managers in the name of equality.
But lately, students have turned to for-profit organic grocers like Whole Foods and other, tastier vegetarian restaurants. And, after a series of setbacks that include a broken walk-in refrigerator, the Maryland Food Collective is now forced to beg for operating funds in order to continue its grand, communist experiment.
And because the restaurant operates on a “profit-sharing” model, some employees are still forced to forgo paychecks, because there’s simply not enough to go around.
According to Maryland Food Collective’s YouCaring page, the restaurant is asking for $15,000 from its “comrades,” who believe in sticking it to its “unprecedented corporate competition” with healthy, freshly made food and legendary open mic nights that no doubt feature both feminist slam poetry and terrible acoustic folk music.
The Maryland Food Collective, though, is not just a victim of its own lack of foresight—after all, Communism has generally proved unsuccessful every time its been tried—but also a victim of the American entrepreneurial spirit.
Sensing an opening in the market, a University of Maryland dropout opened a competing establishment, MOM’s Organic Market, on campus. Its owner, Scott Nash, started the business at 22 out of his mother’s garage, and grew the market into a chain, which now operates 15 stores across the DC area. Nash’s stores have fresh, healthy, organic food, as well as environmentally conscious policies (they ban plastic bags and disposable water bottles, for example).
Its this “corporate hegemony” that threatens Maryland Food Collective.
Fortunately for the memory of Lenin (and perhaps thanks to a systemic lack of education in economics), Maryland Food Collective has raised more than $8,500 from students, so that it can continue to offer its “Comrade Tsao’s Tofu” and other vegetarian delights until its model inevitably fails again.