To apply the models of co-operative ownership and worker self-management to create the best brewpub in Austin.
Black Star Co-op is based upon the principles of co-operation, education, and community action. The Co-op fosters an environment in which member-owners and the general public can realize these principles while responsibly enjoying great beer from around the world (with a special focus on local producers). As the first enterprise of this type, Black Star Co-op seeks to realize an alternative business model for brewpubs and to help expand the co-operative movement into new and innovative areas, both in Austin and around the world.
Black Star Co-op is incorporated as a Texas Co-operative Association under Chapter 251 of the Texas Business Organizations Code. It is structured as a consumer co-operative and democratic workplace. This structure arose from the conviction that workers have a right to democratic management of their workplaces, but that their work is undertaken as part of a larger effort to meet the needs and aspirations of the community.
All of the member-owners of Black Star Co-op comprise the Members’ Assembly. The Members’ Assembly elects a 9-seat Board of Directors, and the Board oversees the Workers’ Assembly, which manages the daily business operations of the brewpub. Communication and accountability between the Workers’ Assembly and the Board of Directors is accomplished through a single individual known at the Board-Staff Liaison. Directors are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis, such that three seats are open for election each year. This ensures a constant flow of new ideas into the board room while maintaining a continuity of leadership. The Board employs the Policy Governance® model, which is a leadership model designed specifically for Boards of Directors and allows the Board to focus on large decisions while effectively delegating operational decisions to the Workers’ Assembly.