A self-described “anti-capitalist” café and coffee shop in Canada named The Anarchist with a “pay what you can” business model will close at the end of the month after just over a year in business.
The Toronto shop, which opened in March 2022, will close on May 30, its owner announced in a statement, blaming a “lack of generational wealth/seed capital from ethically bankrupt sources.”
The café offered drip coffee to customers with a “pay what you can” price tag while charging for other beverages like espresso and tea drinks as well as breakfast pastries to subsidize the lost revenue. It also allowed the public to use its restroom and hang out in the storefront without making a purchase.
The store also carried a selection of radical books, art, pins, T-shirts and more for sale.
The so-called “anti-capitalist café, shop and radical community space on stolen land” raised eyebrows when it first opened — especially among conservatives and supporters of capitalism.
Locals also criticized what they said were high prices at the coffee shop — calling the owner hypocritical for charging so much when he claimed to be against capitalist values and desires.
Despite its closure, shop owner Gabriel Sims-Fewer called his short-lived business endeavor “a huge success” that sparked debate, raised the blood pressure of conservatives and experimented with “living and working in ways that don’t enthusiastically embrace the pure misanthropy of Capitalism.”
“Unfortunately, the lack of generational wealth/seed capital from ethically bankrupt sources left me unable to weather the quiet winter season, or to grow in the ways needed to be sustainable longer-term,” he said in a statement on The Anarchist website.