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Community Based Cafe to Replace Whole Earth at UCSC?

I strongly feel that a new cafe based on community needs replace the Whole Earth at UC Santa Cruz.

Somewhere that people can eat quality food at a reasonable price.

Somewhere that both meat eaters and vegetarians can eat.
I strongly feel that a new cafe based on community needs replace the Whole Earth at UC Santa Cruz.

Somewhere that people can eat quality food at a reasonable price.

Somewhere that both meat eaters and vegetarians can eat.
Their is a cafe at UC San Diego called the Che Cafe:

If you have ever been to UC Santa Cruz and been hungry, then you are probably familar with the Whole Earth cafe near the Bay Tree Bookstore. The Whole Earth served up food hungry students, staff, faculty, and guests at UCSC for over 30 years, but the UC Regents has recently given the Whole Earth the royal boot. I am not sure of all the details, but I do know that the Whole Earth had to move from their longtime home last year.

The Whole Earth also had to upgrade all of its expensive cooking equipment last year too. Unfortunatley all that equipment is in storage and their is no cafe in the "student plaza."

I strongly feel that a new cafe based on community needs replace the Whole Earth.

Somewhere that people can eat quality food at a reasonable price.

Somewhere that both meat eaters and vegetarians can eat.

Somewhere that allows musical performances.

Somewhere that is available for meeting space for student organizations.

[Add your own desires here].

Their is a cafe at UC San Diego called the Che Cafe:

The Che Cafe cooks only vegetarian and vegan foods, i.e. with absolutely no animal products used. I suggest that "responsibly raised or captured" meat be served to ensure equal access to the cafe, even though I myself am vegetarian.

There is currently an on-line survey on the UCSC website asking people what kind of food establishment they want.

I personally would not like to see some chain like Togos or Quiznos (or dare I say McCarl's Bell)

Now a little bit about the Che Cafe at UC San Diego:

About the Che Cafe:
The Ché Café is a Non-Profit, student/community run and owned Co-op at UCSD. There are four primary foci of the Ché Café; All-ages Shows, Vegan Food, Radical [progressive, leftist] Politics and Organic Gardening. Where these all come together is in a shared vision for an alternative community. The Ché Café is collectively run, meaning that there are no bosses and everyone has equal participation and responsibility in the community.

We are committed to providing a venue where independent and local bands can play for an all ages audience at a price that is accessible to all (usually $5). When a member of the community wants to see a show but doesn't have money, they usually volunteer for part of the show. In addition to shows, we have other events like poetry slams, art shows, open mic, and film screenings to name a few. We usually have 2 - 3 events per week.

All food cooked at the Ché is vegetarian and vegan, i.e. with absolutely no animal products used. During the school year, we have Vegan-All-You-Can-Eats once per week (Thursday's at 5pm). We also provide food at shows and other events. Every Sunday, at 11am, a group called Food Not Bombs meets at the Ché and cooks food to take to the homeless. From time to time, the Ché and or Food Not Bombs will cater political and cultural events.

The Ché Café is used as a meeting and gathering space for radical/left/progressive political groups and events. We have had activist camps, large scale preparations for rallies and many meetings at the Ché. The Ché Café has played an important historical role at UCSD in campus activism and in advocating for students rights.

Outside, behind the Ché facility is a large wooded area. There are many rare trees and other plants as well as an organic garden hidden amongst the eucalyptus. Produce from the garden is used in prepared food at the Ché but just as important is the space, which is unique in San Diego.

The Ché Café Collective is committed to radical social change and equality. All parts of our community contribute to this commitment. Our community works to create itself as an alternative while, at the same time, attempting to open a space for and support other grass-roots organizations. Anyone who comes to participate at the Ché is a part of this community and is welcome to participate in meetings and decisions provided they work collectively and are committed to the goals of the collective.

Let your voice be heard!!!
(or bring your own lunch EVERYDAY)


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takes a lot of work

that's a good idea, but most of us here in Babylon Serf City, especially up at the University, are far too lazy, stoned and incapable of initiating and perpetuating such an undertaking. Bad enough as it is we can't get fuggin tree sitters or daily FNB or all kinds of things done; I think a personnel-needy task such as another food co-op on campus would be too hard. Especially if no one gets paid. I'd of course do it for money....

On co-ops for economic and social justice

I would tend to agree with jefe to a certain extent, but that's no reason not to advocate and organize for such a thing. I think the most significant problem with the campus co-ops, whether they've failed (like Whole Earth, the JunXion, Sluggo's or PedX on the Hill) or whether they're still around, is that they have been dependent on a stream of energetic and eager students. While this gives student co-ops verve, it isn't a recipe for longevity. If a co-op is to take over that space (i've advocated for this on the UCSC survey, as an alum), i think it needs to be a worker collective that will really provide a livelihood for people who are already working on campus. It would have been great if the folks who were running Whole Earth (and who'd been doing it for some time) could have found a way to revitalize that joint by organizing with the folks getting shafted in the kitchens of the dining halls.
Generally, campus co-ops are more concerned with providing a training ground for students in the priniciples of cooperative organization. Unfortunately, they rarely go beyond that to serve the actual economic needs of the workers. If cooperative economies are ever to replace the profiteering of companies like Sodexho-Marriott, they need to stop relying on a workforce willing to work for little to nothing because their needs are taken care of elsewhere (by a decidedly non-cooperative economic arrangement).
The challenge isn't to find a bunch of crusties willing to throw their lives into running a crusty restaurant, but to organize with people who already work in that industry, who know their shit and who might actually benefit by throwing the boss off their back. They may not cling to an ideology telling them to buy only organic and local produce, but they may do so anyway simply because they have a brother whose job in the fields they want to support and an uncle debilitated by pesticide poisoning who they want to vindicate.
Use your priviledge as students, alumni/ae, and residents of Santa Cruz to pressure the University to provide real economic and social justice to the folks who've been paid shit wages in the back kitchens of University dining halls, many of them for over a decade. The University will be ill-inclined to support a bunch of crusty punks and hippies trying to establish a nice little cooperative venture (like so many before it) who they know will likely flake off and make the restaurant into a blight on their beloved new plaza.


The UCSC Student Environmental Center (SEC) is organizing to get organic/pesticide free food in the on-campus dining halls and restaurants by creating an independent coalition between groups on and off campus including sustainable organic farms in the area.

If you would like to help, please contact the SEC at enviroslug (at) or visit their website at

Great idea

Let's support local, organic farmers. Charlie Hong Kong has wonderful dishes, healthy food, and great portions! Any socially responsible business will do,though. You don't want those crappy pesticide waxy veggies anyway. :)


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