Don McGinn’s Uprising Breads Bakery started as a workers’ cooperative back in the heady, hippie days of the 1970s. McGinn himself was a longhaired co-op member in the 1980s, slicing bread or driving a truck for equal pay, as the day’s job rotation demanded.
Little did he know that 25 years later, the co-op would be gone and he would have not only shepherded the bakery through growth and transition, but also nudged the little east Vancouver icon into Vancouver’s trendy west side.
Back in the co-op days, Commercial Drive was awash in potfuelled dreams and Uprising Bread’s carob squares. The bakery’s business decisions were made in earnest, endless, consensus-seeking worker meetings – majority votes were considered unfair – and the young McGinn, a former gardener with a young family, saw nothing but unfulfilled retail opportunity.