Gabriel Sims-Fewer The Anarchist Toronto pay what you can cafe to close as leftist eschewing capitalism, privilege, conservatives and the elite wishes he could be privileged too.
Maybe in his next lifetime, one Toronto cafe owner will come back as a nepotism baby… to thwart any inconvenience of having to bother about making a living.
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.
Gabriel Sims-Fewer, the owner of The Anarchist, in an announcement on the company’s website stated that he appreciated the opportunity to experiment with ‘living and working in ways that don’t enthusiastically embrace the pure misanthropy of capitalism.’
Citing business failure
The Toronto shop, which opened in March 2022, and which is slated to close on May 30, blamed 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.
Yes kids you can already tell by the squatters and digital nomads on a $1 a day budget living next to the bakery bin that this formula is a winner.
The store also carried a selection of radical books, art, pins, t-shirts and more for sale.
‘The misanthropy of Capitalism.’
The ‘anti-capitalist café, shop and radical community space on stolen land’ according to its website, raised eyebrows when it first opened — especially among conservatives and supporters of capitalism.
Sims-Fewer previously wrote on a frequently asked questions page that his ‘pay what you can’ pricing scheme for drip coffee was meant to make coffee more affordable, admitting that the model gradually lost him money despite the hope that the losses would be counterbalanced by more expensive items.
‘I hate how everything in specialty coffee is so inaccessible to working class people, and inhospitable to everyone but the white upper middle class,’ he had written on the website. ‘That’s also why I continue to scrutinise my prices and look for opportunities to lower them. Maybe when the shop has a couple more workers, allowing us to make significantly more drinks per day, we’ll be able to do an across-the-board price cut.’
Locals took exception to what they decried as high prices at the coffee shop — calling the owner hypocritical for charging so much when he claimed to be against capitalist values and aspirations.
Beyond the apparent lack of access to capital faced by The Anarchist, businesses in Canada have been severely impacted by government lockdowns and vaccine mandates over the past three years.
Despite its closure, 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,’ the entrepreneur said in a statement on The Anarchist website.
The sign off also went on to mention other notables which may or may not have played into the anarchist’s failure.
‘F–k the rich. F–k the police. F–k the state. F–k the colonial death camp we call ‘Canada’,’ Sims-Fewer signed off.