Worker-owner, Firestorm Books & Coffee
Libertie Valance was born in Western North Carolina, but reached Asheville in 2005 by way of Maryland. Coming from a family of craftspeople, Libertie was instilled with an appreciation of scrappy entrepreneurship, to which has been added a love of cooperative economics. Following work on a Local Exchange and Trading System (LETS) Libertie participated in 2008 in the launch of Firestorm, a cafe and bookstore co-op with an affinity for social movement.
While shelving books, Libertie dreams of a resilient Asheville in which former service workers build housing co-ops, community clinics, shared machine shops, and a theme park on the ruins of hotels and breweries that no one really needed after all.