Firestorm Cafe & Books
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Mon thru Fri 8am - 6pm | Sat 10am - 6pm | 48 Commerce St, Asheville NC (view map)

About Us


Worker-owners, May 2014

Firestorm Cafe & Books opened its doors in May of 2008. Established as a worker-owned and self-managed business, we aim to provide community space, critical literature and an alternative economic model based on cooperative, libertarian principles.

Here you'll find a wide range of events, workshops, film screenings, fund raisers and presentations. Additionally, we serve food and beverages all day long. Our edibles include delicious treats baked on site as well as hot and cold sandwiches and salads. For your caffeine fix, check out our extensive tea and espresso menu. We strive to maximize our use of local, organic and fair trade ingredients.

Our literature selection is a unique blend of off-beat, underground and independently published materials that you won't find anywhere else in WNC! We carry titles by AK Press, PM Press, Chelsea Green Publishing, Feral House, Autonomedia and many many others.

Behind the curtain, Firestorm Cafe & Books is run without bosses or supervisors, relying instead on a horizontal workplace. Each worker-owner is responsible for both weekly shift work and a share of managerial duties. Decision making is achieved using a formalized consensus process in which each participant has an equal voice. This cooperative environment creates a more empowering and enjoyable workplace while strengthening the business itself.

The ownership structure we require precludes us from applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status; however, we are committed to a not-for-profit model and we will reinvest 100% of our earnings in the community once we are able to compensate labor at the equivalent of a livable wage.

Mission Statement

Firestorm's mission is to demonstrate the feasibility and desirability of a workplace based on free cooperation. We seek to sustain and nourish our collective through fulfilling work, personal empowerment and equitable compensation while providing a hub for anarchist thought and culture in WNC.


  • 10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across the US
    – Zagat, 2011
  • #2 Best Slow Money Business in America
    – Slow Money Alliance, 2010


  • "Firestorm is one of Asheville's coolest community spaces."
  • "Asheville's ultimate counter culture cafe."
    Asheville Magazine
  • "I wanted to do cartwheels..."
    – Carolyn Scott, The Huffington Post