Issue 51: Free at Last

By: Ryan Flanders

I am one of the newest members of the Rock City Cooperative. I’m one of the chefs employed by the business. I’ve lived in Rockland and surrounding towns all my life, and I’ve worked my way up in kitchens from the dish pit. I started at Rock city about seven months ago.

I am twenty one years old, and to be a co-owner of a business at my young age, is incredibly meaningful. At it’s core it’s job security. But, cooking is my passion, and I have a permanent creative outlet now, every person wants respect, and the ability to affect change. I’ve been given that opportunity. One of the ways it’s been so meaningful to me is that it has given me a greater sense of purpose.

There are seventeen owners currently. And we all walk into Rock City with the same sense of purpose, and ability to provide the best of our abilities. There’s a level of accountability which I don’t believe can be achieved in a traditional management setting. Sometimes you’re held hostage by fear of disagreement, or conflict with a single owner, or manager. Never truly being able to speak your mind, or thrive in the business. But having a level playing field allows for rational discussion, playing devil’s advocate, and the disillusionment of ego, all for the betterment of the businesses ability to serve it’s people, and customers.


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