About Stone Soup

Stone Soup is a housing cooperative. Household expenses are shared between all members. This has enabled us to collectively own or rent property, pay utilities, purchase organic food, attend retreats, and make major home repairs at a low monthly cost to individuals.

We are also an Intentional community which means, in part, that we share in household work–such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, grocery shopping, building maintenance–and in decision-making. Stone Soup differs from a commune in that we are all independently employed, we don’t pool our income, and we all have our own personal space.

Our organization is non-hierarchical. We use consensus, as opposed to majority rule, to make decisions in our weekly house meetings. Our process encourages dissent, participation and solidarity.

Our motto, Joy And Justice, represents the founding vision of Stone Soup as a positive space where members can enjoy a comfortable standard of living while they work to effect social, economic, and environmental change.

The name Stone Soup comes from an old folk tale in which a hungry traveler discovers a poor village and offers to make soup for its villagers. He sets about boiling stones and slowly convinces the villagers to add their meager food scraps to the communal pot. In the end, all enjoy the cooperatively-made “stone soup”. The moral of this story is that by pooling resources, and combining our efforts, we are each and collectively better off. Stone Soup Cooperative believes this is true and operates on this principle.

Stone Soup hares mural by Erica Il CaneThe Stone Soup fable is depicted in a mural painted on Ashland’s dining room wall by Italian artist Erica Il Cane.

The story of our Stone Soup begins with a group of social justice advocates coming together in the mid-90’s for weekly potlucks. Their idea of living together was realized in 1997 when Our Lady of Lourdes Parish agreed to lease their convent, which has come to be known as the Ashland House. Recognizing the additional benefits of home ownership, members at Ashland raised funds to put a down-payment on the Leland House in 2000, and joined with an existing collective to purchase the Hoyne House in 2003.

We continue to hold weekly potlucks–Tuesdays at Ashland and Thursdays at Leland–as a means of fostering community within our co-op, neighborhood, and extended networks.

Anti-oppression dialog in Ashland's meeting room
We also conduct community-wide, monthly anti-oppression dialogs to address issues of social inequity that exist in, and impact, our community. Our goal is to make Stone Soup safe, supportive, inclusive, and accessible to everyone.

We strive to maintain a diverse community where we can learn and grow from each other’s unique perspectives. We encourage folks from all walks of life to consider membership.