No discussion of the Labor Movement in food-obsessed San Francisco would be complete without a mention of Rainbow Grocery, our own "independent, collectively run, worker-owned and operated" grocery and general store.
Rainbow's history is a rich and fascinating one. It began as a bulk food buying program for a San Francisco Based ashram in the early 1970, and by 1975 had opened on 16th and Valencia as a community food store, part of the People's Food System (a network of small community food stores throughout San Francisco and part of a political project using food distribution as a form of community organizing and political education). Eventually, the Rainbow collective broke with the governing body of the Food System. In 1993, in order to subsidize their growth and construction, the the collective acted to re-form as a cooperative corporation, legally defining once-and-for all that Rainbow is owned by its shareholders, which are its workers.