Firestorm Cafe & Books
Firestorm Books & Coffee is a worker-owned and self-managed "anti-capitalist business" located in the "West Asheville" section of Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Named after the Earth Crisis song Firestorm, this infoshop operates with an eye on creating a sustainable, radical community event space. Firestorm features regular events, such as film screenings, political and economic teach-ins, local and traveling musicians and community workshops.
Firestorm opened in May of 2008, spearheaded by co-creators Libertie Valance and Neala Byrne (aka Kila Donovan). Since opening, Firestorm has hosted economist Thomas Greco, gay activist Wayne Besen, the Beehive Collective, environmental scholar Kirkpatrick Sale, and benefits for the animal rights group Mercy for Animals.
In May 2010, Firestorm was named the "#2 Best Slow Money Business in America" by the Slow Money Alliance. In December 2011, Firestorm was featured in a list of the "10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across the US" surveyed by Zagat, a U.S. publisher of popular restaurant guides.
In January 2014, the Firestorm Collective announced that they would be closing the downtown space and looking for a new location in West Asheville. Firestorm was closed from March 2014 to July 2015. In July 2015, the collective officially opened the new space on Haywood Road in West Asheville, under the name Firestorm Books & Coffee. The name change reflected the expanded focus on operating as a bookstore.
In August of 2018, Firestorm was cited by the City of Asheville for hosting a weekly harm reduction event that included the distribution of clean syringes and naloxone. Members of the Firestorm Collective alleged that the city was engaging in discrimination against "drug users, the homeless, neighbors who use syringes for legal medical treatment, and transgender folks" and retained a lawyer. The violations were later dropped without disruption to the activities originally cited.
Firestorm is owned and operated by the Firestorm Collective, a cooperative body that uses formal consensus decision-making and job complexes to equitably distribute labor and responsibility. In keeping with its identity as an anti-capitalist business, Firestorm is committed to operation without profit, returning 100% of would-be profits to the community.
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- Kate (2008-11-10). "Store Profile: Firestorm Cafe". AKPress.org. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
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- "Room with a viewpoint | Asheville News | Mountain Xpress". Mountainx.com. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- David Forbes (2009-09-23). "Asheville Currency project seeks alternative money". mountainx.com. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "Local gay advocates slam Exodus conference message | citizen-times.com | Asheville Citizen-Times". citizen-times.com. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Maryellen Lo Bosco (2010-04-07). "Kirkpatrick Sale on the secession of "Katuah"". mountainx.com. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "Animals Rights Events in North Carolina". Mercy For Animals. Archived from the original on 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-02-04. Unknown parameter
- "Our Favorite Slow Money Business". Archived from the original on 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2010-06-03. Unknown parameter
- Zagat (2011-12-27). "The 10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across The U.S." huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- Maria Peroni (2018-11-20). "Firestorm Books & Coffee Appeals City's Attempt to Shut Down Syringe Exchange Program". bookweb.org. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
- Tessie Castillo (2018-04-29). "Harm Reduction vs. Gentrification in Asheville, North Carolina". bookweb.org. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
- Matt Bush (2018-03-02). "City Drops Violations Against West Asheville Bookstore, Needle Exchange Program". bookweb.org. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
- Members of Firestorm Cafe & Books (2010-05-12). "Sound-bite vandalism". mountainx.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
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