Oakland Local: Baristas become bosses at new south Berkeley cafe
At the intersection of Adeline and MLK in South Berkeley, six baristas have opened the Alchemy Collective Cafe.
Located in a small storefront at the Firehouse Art Collaborative, one block from the Ashby BART station, the alchemists are attempting to set themselves apart with the best caffeinated elixirs in the area.
“This isn’t something that’s prepackaged,” Payam Imani, worker-owner and a grad student at the Academy of Art, said, as he stood watching fellow alchemist Christopher Myers construct a table from reclaimed materials. “It’s something that’s constantly being built and shaped with our own hands. It’s about the process as much as it is about the product.”
For the past year, the Alchemy Collective has served single-cup drip coffee at Phat Beets Farmers Market in North Oakland and at the Arlington Medical Center. While they were waiting to find a space that would fit their needs and their budget, the worker-owner baristas were running a full-service coffee cart at the BioFuel Oasis.