Firestorm Cafe & Books

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Firestorm Books & Coffee is a worker-owned and self-managed "anti-capitalist business"[1][2] located in the "West Asheville" section of Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Named after the Firestorm, this infoshop operates with an eye on creating a sustainable, radical community event space.[3] Firestorm Cafe & Books features a coffee bar, vegan food, free wireless internet, an extensive stock of books, and regular events (such as film screenings, political and economic teach-ins, local and traveling musicians and community workshops).

Firestorm Cafe & Books opened in May, 2008, spearheaded by Co-Creators Libertie Valance and Neala Byrne (aka Kila Donovan).[4][5] Since opening, Firestorm has hosted economist Thomas Greco,[6] gay activist Wayne Besen,[7] the Beehive Collective, environmental scholar Kirkpatrick Sale,[8] and benefits for the animal rights group Mercy for Animals.[9]

In May 2010, Firestorm Cafe & Books was named the "#2 Best Slow Money Business in America" by the Slow Money Alliance.[10] In December 2011, Firestorm was featured in a list of the "10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across the US" surveyed by Zagat, a U.S. publisher of popular restaurant guides.[11]

In January 2014,[12] the Firestorm Collective announced that they would be closing the downtown space and looking for a new location in West Asheville. Firestorm was closed from March 2014 to July 2015. In July 2015, the collective officially opened the new space on Haywood Road in West Asheville, under the name Firestorm Books & Coffee. The name change reflected the expanded focus on operating as a bookstore in addition to the cafe offerings.


Firestorm Cafe & Books is owned and operated by the Firestorm Collective, a cooperative body that uses formal consensus decision-making, working groups and management teams to equitably distribute labor and responsibility.[13] In keeping with its identity as an "anti-capitalist business," Firestorm is committed to operation without profit, returning 100% of would-be profits to the community.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  2. ^ Kate (2008-11-10). "Store Profile: Firestorm Cafe". Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  3. ^ Kate
  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Room with a viewpoint | Asheville News | Mountain Xpress". 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  6. ^ David Forbes (2009-09-23). "Asheville Currency project seeks alternative money". Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  7. ^ "Local gay advocates slam Exodus conference message | | Asheville Citizen-Times". 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  8. ^ Maryellen Lo Bosco (2010-04-07). "Kirkpatrick Sale on the secession of "Katuah"". Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  9. ^ "Animals Rights Events in North Carolina". Mercy For Animals. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  10. ^ Our Favorite Slow Money Business
  11. ^ Zagat (2011-12-27). "The 10 Coolest Independent Coffee Shops Across The U.S." Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  12. ^
  13. ^ ""
  14. ^ Members of Firestorm Cafe & Books (2010-05-12). "Sound-bite vandalism". Retrieved 2010-06-01.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°35′38.95″N 82°33′15.67″W / 35.5941528°N 82.5543528°W / 35.5941528; -82.5543528