Nerd Business Spotlight: Red Emma’s

Red Emma’s is not your ordinary bookstore/coffeehouse. They consider themselves a radical infoshop and are run as a worker-owner collective. It was first opened in 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland on the location of Black Planet Books. As a worker-owner collective, each collective member has a share, and voice in the business decisions.

The reason that they named the business Red Emma’s, is a tribute to Emma Goldman, a Lithuanian woman born in 1869. Emma immigrated to the U.S.A, and shortly after joined an anarchist group, to fight tyrany, oppression, and capitalism. As a result of her protests, she was jailed, vilified, and ultimately deported. Her dedication inspire the worker-owner collective.

While the original location was in Fells Point, they have moved a couple times. You can’t stop the signal though. The current location of this organization is at 1225 Cathedral St., and they are open from Tuesday to Sunday, selling fair trade coffee, vegetarian food, vegan food, and books.

What makes Red Emma’s space more then your ordinary bookstore/coffeehouse is what they do besides just running a bookstore. Red Emma’s provides computer access, wireless, film screenings, political classes, as well as community events.

Red Emma’s is the worker cooperative behind the restaurant, bookstore, and community events space at 1225 Cathedral St., dedicated to putting principles of solidarity and sustainability into practice in a democratic workplace.

They consider themselves to be an “Infoshop”, similar to underground bookstores, hobohemian hangouts, and Utopian alternatives. They want to provide places for people to distribute their viewpoints and information to others, and to receive information as well.

They specifically state that while a bookstore has to sell to stay in business, it has never been their “Mission”, but that they want to distribte the information, more then make a profit.

Places like this are different then the internet, for those thinking that the need has already been filled, because if you think about the internet, one of it’s strengths is the thing destroying it’s value. Annonimity and not being actually present, it can close people off to the ideas that they are hearing, and not give it the appropriate weight. When it’s physical, when it’s in front of you with a person willing to say it face to face, it has more value to people.

Stop by Red Emma’s at 1225 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD or visit them online HERE.

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