1511 NW 2nd Street Gainesville, Florida is home to Central Florida's newest worker owned cooperative. I interviewed Anny Murray and John Proser, members of Civilization to explain what being a co-op member means to them. Working in the Resturant

"This is the first time I actually feel like an adult working in a business. My opinion matters and I have a voice. So even though I am forty, I never have really felt like an adult in a business type situation before."

Ann Murray wears many hats at Civilization. Often times she waits tables, preps food for Terranova catering jobs, bakes food for the Famer's Market, helps calculate pay roll, and her newest venture: trying to get a dishwashing shift. With over fifteen employees/owners many take on various roles just like Murray.

"Right now I try and help out as much as I can" Murray says.

Similar to Murrays approach to the business, John Prosser, the main person for organizing this cooperative, tries to figure out ways to best help out at Civilization.

"I am the guy that tries to coordinate the different areas of the business and tries to facilitate everyone's getting along. I try to help people better communicate with others as to not cause anger, resentment or strife" Prosser says.

Prosser describes qualities’ needed in order to be a successful co-op member. For instance, being honest and open-minded are imperative attributes to acquire. Prosser worked many years in traditional restaurant models as a cook and did not like how most decisions that were made did not involve the workers.

"I don't like the way the economy is so undemocratic. At Civilization we let each person be heard and hold weekly meetings for members voice their opinions. The point of meetings is to share ideas and complains and to figure out how to solve the problems."

Murray also believes that you must being willing to listen to everyone's opinion and from there come up with a superior answer.” Understand a decision made by a group is often times a better thing than by a single person."

Cooking in the Resturant Servering in the Resturant