Lately John and I have been looking into buying into a co-op. There are different type of co-op companies but what I have seen so far is that the most common is at the grocery level. I have considered a grocery company by the name of Wheatsville but I am not sure if that is right for our very first buy. Unknown to many Austin, Texas actually has the very first co-op of its kind and I believe that is where I am most interested. It is a beer pub & brewhouse called Black Star Co-Op, the world's first co-operatively owned and worker self-managed brewpub.. Of course as a co-op member-owner there are patronage benefits like discounts, events, and voting rights but with Black Star Co-Op I am most intrigued by the socially responsible benefit that they offer the their employees. All of Black Star's employees are paid a living wage, not minimum wage or a basic wage standardized by our business society and economy. A livable wage that means that the employee can actually afford to live in a safe home and have a decent amount of groceries on the table and enjoy time with their family and friends with a little less stress. Something that I think everyone can appreciate. Way too many times I (and I know each of you have experienced this) have had jobs that the employer did not appreciate your work and especially did not appreciate the value of your work or the value that it took to support your family. While John and I are still early in our careers and possibly too young to invest money in such wild adventures, I do feel that it is time that we show responsibility and stand our ground for something that we believe in. This is something that I can definitely appreciate.