Court-circuit is a café-restaurant born in November 2010. It offers homemade meals prepared with organic ingredients from regional producers and farmers. The establishment chooses its products with care: they are selected in function of their quality and their ecological impact.
The identity of Court-circuit is inseparable from the Guilllotière neighborhood in Lyon. This latter was, during the XIX century and until the 1970s, an important meeting place for different migrants passing through Lyon. Today the neighborhood is characterized by the settlements of Italian, African, and North African migrants. Being located close to Lyon city center, Guillotière has changed through the recent years. New residents, artists and enterprises are now coming to install themselves in the numerous empty, abandoned areas of the city. This change has provoked different interrogations and reactions. Some people have evoked the gentrification, and the loss of identity, while others claim that Guillotière is the new « place to be ».
Court-circuit wants to be a sociable place for the residents and wants to be accessible to everyone. It plays an essential role in the neighborhood’s nightlife, organizing regularly concerts and expositions. In a short time, it has become an emblematic meeting point. The free events organization in Mazagran square (where Court-circuit is located) is a central point in the neighborhood’s life for public associative structures, cooperatives and other organizations. In its own way, the café-restaurant maintains the popular neighborhood image of good living, where solidarity, friendship and work ties are strong and where many enterprises or associations share locally the same values of mutual help and cooperation.
Court-circuit is a Cooperative and Participative Society (SCOP). This statute has been chosen because it corresponds to the humane values at the center of its way of doing business. Capital is owned in its majority by associated-employees working in the organization. In addition, the voting of decisions is not proportional to the detained capital but the principle one person = one voice is exercised. Its statute also implicates the obligation to have a majority of employees among the membership. Beyond these base principles, Court-circuit has decided to push the democratic experience, developing specific instruments: the employees have the enterprise capital majority, and they are also those who take decisions concerning everyday activity and structural strategic orientations. 50% of benefits are invested into the enterprise, while the remaining 50% are distributed equally by employees in function of their work time.
The impact of Court-circuit on the neighborhood is very strong because it is not isolated in its action. Many associations as «Les verts solidaires», «Locaux Motiv’», «Bieristan» or «Marmite urbaine» are a network of enterprises created by the same core of people contributing to the development of the neighborhood and in a less measure for urban cohesion. This strategy is particularly remarkable. Based on the same values and purposes, they help each other. They make a project based on the same know-how, competences, resources and aims. Joining their forces, they are stronger than they would be otherwise.