"In 1999, Maggie’s Functional Organic’s president, Bena Burda, helped start a worker-owned sewing cooperative in Nicaragua. The folks at Maggie’s always wanted to bring the model of worker-ownership back to the US, and specifically to areas that have been hit by job loss in the apparel industry, and even more specifically to North Carolina where the majority of their socks are still knit. Bena was invited, by worker-ownership pioneer, Frank Adams, to speak at a conference in Asheville North Carolina. There Bena met the folks from SACCO (Southern Appalachian Center for Cooperative Ownership/Ownership Appalachia). Organizers from SACCO and the Center for Participatory Change (CPC) made the connection with the workers, all from Morganton, NC, which is one of the many towns across the South with boarded up manufacturing mills, talented workers, and extremely high unemployment. The designers and visionaries at Maggie’s, along with the workers in Morganton, started working on designs- the result is Maggie’s Menagerie followed by the Barnyard Series (designed by the coop)."