Project Equity was proud to assist Niles Pie, located in Union City, CA, with its transition to employee ownership in 2017.
Niles Pie, a pie shop and café, with retail sales, classes, dinners and catering, is a unique presence for local artisanal food in Union City and, as of July 2017, is the first cooperative on the 880 corridor. The owner, Carolyn Berke, sees the coop conversion as a way to to bring job stability and growth to the business, as well as a way to provide staff with profit sharing and ownership. It is also a way for her to eventually retire from the business, and she will continue to build it with her 8 employees for the coming years. Niles Pie works with several organic farms at the Sunol AgPark, as well as an organic apple farm in Watsonville, and also buys from farmers at the many farmers’ markets where it sells pies throughout the year. Project Equity guided Niles Pie successfully through its transition to a cooperative in the summer of 2017 and looks forward to continuing to support its success.
Baking a Co-Op
Niles Pie Company rolls out a business plan that lets employees share in the profits
By Rachel Trachten
“Sharing the pie” has taken on a whole new meaning over at Union City–based Niles Pie Company. As customers line up for summertime pies bursting with strawberries or peaches, the shop’s original owner, Carolyn Berke, is divvying up ownership and responsibilities in the process of turning the business into a worker cooperative.
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