Halifax café with queer community space coming from former Smiling Goat baristas

Former Halifax café to serve as queer community space
WATCH ABOVE: Former Halifax café to serve as queer community space

Former baristas say they plan to open a new café in the former Smiling Goat Organic Espresso Bar location, where they used to work.

The hope is to open Glitter Bean Café and its queer community space by around the second week of July.

“We want to make it like a true community space in a way that I think Halifax is lacking right now,” Lorelei Carey, a manager and a barista of café, said on Saturday.

“[We’re] sort of taking back the space and making it our own.”

The baristas, represented by a Service Employees International Union local, has accused their former employer of, among other things, not paying them fully.

Charlie Huntley, a member of the Glitter Bean’s board of directors, said that matter has yet to be resolved.

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“We’ve been through a lot together,” Carey said.

The idea for the café stemmed from the union. Part of the funding for it is coming from the union and the nine baristas.

Glitter Bean is being run as a co-op owned by the workers.

Huntley said there is a dearth of queer community spaces, so this space will be particularly valuable for underage people, though it’s not exclusive to people who identify as queer.

“It’s a space that we want everybody to feel welcome and safe in,” said Huntley.

Ninety per cent of employees at the café identify as queer, Huntley said.

Decorating, getting a permit, and further fleshing out the business are some of things the team is working on.

“We have had an explosion on social media,” Huntley said regarding community support.