Humans of Vic Park: Sierra Love
I actually have a background in Science so running a restaurant was quite new to me. One big thing that I really missed in my science fieldwork, was community. I am really passionate about the environment and people and I think a strong community is key for both of those things. If you don’t have a good support network and don’t have a good community you will not have a healthy society. Our restaurant, The Allium, is a worker cooperative, and I think we really embody those things.
A worker cooperative is where a group of people get together and pool their resources to create employment. Everyone is their own employer. By consensus, we make decisions together for the business. We have hubs that make daily decisions for different areas of the restaurant. If you’re new, you undertake a six-month probationary period. At the end of that time, if you find that you love the restaurant and are compatible with the cooperative, then you have the opportunity to buy a voting share and become a full member. It’s a hugely collaborative process but it just makes our restaurant that much more exciting and empowering.
From the social side, we're addressing a lot of inequalities, especially in restaurants. A lot of people may not know this, but chefs get the short end of the stick when it comes to pay. A lot of them do a lot of training and education, they work really hard, and for long hours and they get little to no tip out at the end of the day and they often only make minimum wage. In our restaurant, everyone is compensated for the work they put in, even on the administrative side. The cooperative ensures that everyone is supported.
I see in Vic Park, a bit of a renegade passion in doing some things a little different, so we feel right at home here.
- Sierra, The Allium