Two years ago, through the Exalt Youth program for youth in the criminal justice system, Christina Thomas got a six-week internship at Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local. She was 16.
The owners, Sheila Akbar and Dylan Ricards, liked her so much they offered her a permanent position at the end of her internship.
“I was like ‘wow, I did not expect this at all,” Thomas says. “The job is pretty straightforward. I also recently got my food handler’s license, so that helped me learn even more about the business and certain policies you have to implement.”
Sometime this summer, she’ll become a co-owner of the 100 percent organic corner grocery in the heart of Brooklyn. Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local is in the midst of transforming into a worker cooperative, one in which every worker-owner will have an equal share of a cooperatively owned and operated business.