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Storied: San Francisco

Jan 10, 2023

In Part 2, we pick up our conversation with Cody about Rainbow's bulk section. There's even talk of "The Bulk Section at Rainbow" as a spinoff podcast. Then we move on to the cheese department.

Gordon Edgar is a name you should know if you even remotely tolerate cheese. With Gordon at the helm, Rainbow has won many, many awards for its cheese department. If you're anything like me, you know exactly why this is true.

The rest of the podcast includes our talk about how Cody worked at a health food store in Sacramento before moving to San Francisco in 2006. In 2007, he started at Rainbow in the package department. We go over what it takes for Rainbow employees to become worker/owners as well as the decision-making process at the 200-ish-employee store.

As with Other Avenues and Arizmendi, Rainbow offers its worker/owners flexible time-off and vacations and generally a very positive work/life balance. Cody speaks to the idea of Rainbow expanding to other towns, but says the feeling is that communities should create the thing they need. To that end, Rainbow has been known to seed-fund new co-ops.

We end with perhaps my favorite Cody quote, one that I believe sums up our series on co-ops in San Francisco: "Collective effort makes change."

Photography by Michelle Kilfeather