Starbucks opens its first store in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago

Starbucks opens its first store in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago
Starbucks opens its first store in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago


CHICAGO, 2016-Sep-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today (September 28, 2016) opened its first store in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago at 63rd and Halsted. The store is part of Starbucks nationwide initiative to support local economic development in at least 15 diverse, low- to- medium-income communities by 2018. Three such locations have already opened in Ferguson, Phoenix and the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, NY. Similar to those stores, the new location in Englewood will support efforts to revitalize the community by creating meaningful local jobs, providing a unique in-store job skills training program for youth, and investing in local minority-owned contractors and suppliers. Starbucks also announced plans to expand the national initiative to five new communities in 2017, including neighborhoods in the Baltimore, Birmingham, Long Beach, CA, Miami, and Seattle areas.

“While communities like Englewood have been plagued by crime, poverty, and a severe lack of opportunity, there is in fact a long-term movement underway to revitalize these neighborhoods and return the story to one of hope, resilience and progress,” said Rodney Hines, director for community investments for Starbucks U.S. Retail Operations. “Our goal with this initiative is to show that when the private and public sectors come together to drive meaningful investment, we can create new jobs and economic opportunities that have the potential to reverberate for generations to come. Opening in Englewood is not just an opportunity to grow our business, but to be part of a local solution for social change.”

For Starbucks, the new store in Englewood and others like it form a key part of the company’s long-term commitment to connect opportunity youth – 16-24 year olds who are out of work and school – to jobs. Nationally, 1 in 7 young people are disconnected from the economy, a challenge that is exponentially worse in low-income communities, particularly among people of color. In Englewood, where an estimated 72% of people ages 20-24 are unemployed[1], Starbucks plans to work with local community groups and civic leaders to provide a pathway to opportunity for its local partners (employees) through training and development, career options, and industry-leading benefits that include the opportunity to get an online, tuition-free bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Starbucks will also work with Teamwork Englewood, a non-profit that brings community services together, to provide a multi-week job skills training program for local youth – based on Starbucks own world-class customer service training curriculum for new hires – in a specially-designed classroom space located within the store. In addition to this training program, Starbucks will work with the community to leverage existing programs that help connect young people with internships, apprenticeships and jobs, and foster the type of dialogue and engagement needed for continued social change.

“Many in the Englewood community believe that our neighborhood is on the rise again,” said Perry Gunn, Executive Director for Teamwork Englewood. “A journey of renewal has begun as investment is returning to the neighborhood.  Yet, one issue that remains a major concern for Englewood is employment. Fortunately, something can be done to change this dismal plight as many of our youth and young adults are seeking training opportunities to prepare them for the world of work. Starbucks in-store training program will serve as an opportunity to set many of our young people up for their first jobs.”

As part of its commitment to investing in the community and partnering with women- and minority-owned businesses, Starbucks is also working with Rachel Bernier-Green, owner of Laine’s Bake Shop, to supply a Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie to the store in Englewood. In addition, the business is supplying baked goods to the nearby Whole Foods, which also opened today in Englewood Square. Bernier-Green, who works with her husband to operate Laine’s Bake Shop, has also started an internship program at her shop that provides job skills for young people and teaches them the basics of baking. Starbucks is working with similar businesses in Phoenix and Ferguson, including Sassy Cakes by Nina and Natalie’s Cakes and More.  Starbucks also worked with Ujamaa Construction Inc., a minority owned general contracting and construction management services company in Chicago’s South Side, for the development of the store’s site at Englewood Square.

In addition, to investing in communities like Englewood and Ferguson, among others, Starbucks is a key driver of the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative” –  the nation’s largest employer-led coalition dedicated to connecting America’s opportunity youth to jobs. This summer the coalition announced it had already hired 100,000 young people two years ahead of schedule, and is now working to hire 1 million opportunity youth over the next three years. Following the coalition’s launch in Chicago last summer, Thrive Chicago, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s local partner organization in Chicago, has hosted two additional job fairs for young people living in Englewood and other communities in the south side of Chicago. Among those hired through the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is Hagar Johnson. Since joining Starbucks in August 2015, Johnson has been promoted to shift supervisor, and was recently recruited to join the new team in Englewood as a shift supervisor. She is one of 26 partners working at the new location.

Starbucks Expands its Local Economic Development Initiative to Five New Cities in 2017
Starbucks announced plans to open similar stores in five additional communities, including Baltimore (Dunbar Broadway), Birmingham (Hwy 11 & W Street), Long Beach, CA, the Miami metropolitan area, and White Center in the Greater Seattle Area. The first of these stores is set to open in early 2017 in Baltimore, MD, where Starbucks has been working with local community, civic and business leaders with the collective goal of addressing the opportunity gap facing the city’s young men and women.

“We’ve heard young people share how they didn’t even know about a particular career path,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “So many young people, particularly those in low-income, diverse communities, are limited by what they see in their home and their neighborhoods. These types of training opportunities are such a great way to introduce young people to the workplace and get them ready for that first job. I applaud Starbucks for bringing this unique store concept to our city, and helping connect Baltimore’s young people to our local economy.”

To determine which communities are a good fit for the initiative, Starbucks looks at all the available data on the socio-economic health of America’s cities to understand which communities have the biggest opportunity gaps, which have the biggest need for business investment and leadership, and where there is local movement underway to build a better future for its residents. Starbucks plans to accelerate the development of these stores over the next two years with the goal of opening in at least 15 cities by the end of 2018.

Media contact:

Phone: 206 318 7100

Source: Starbucks


Whole Cities Foundation awards grants to organizations in Englewood increasing access to nutritious food

CHICAGO, 2016-Sep-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Five organizations with healthy food programs in Chicago’s Greater Englewood neighborhood will be awarded a grant of up to $8,000 from Whole Cities Foundation. Whole Cities Foundation, a nonprofit established by Whole Foods Market, partners with communities nationwide to improve community health through broadening access to fresh food and nutrition information.

“At Whole Cities we have a big vision where fresh, healthy food access and high quality nutrition information are available to everyone, no matter what your zip code,” says Executive Director, Meredith Smith. “We build partnerships with community-based, grassroots organizations that are improving health and food access in their own neighborhoods.”

The foundation teamed up with the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), a grassroots organization that strategizes to address community needs and creates tangible solutions, to design a grant program that extended the reach of existing neighborhood food access projects and fully engaged the community throughout the grant making process.  Community led organizations presented their food access projects to neighborhood residents, and the Greater Englewood community voted on which projects would be funded.

Asiaha Butler, R.A.G.E. co-Founder and President, says, “Our association truly enjoyed creating this voting process, because the community had the opportunity to make the decision on who would be awarded this grant, which is not the typical process. The residents felt empowered that their voice was heard on what projects should be funded by Whole Cities Foundation. We look forward to future partnerships with this foundation and others who want to fund in an innovative way.”

The grant is one iteration of the Whole Foods Market “Community First” value, where community-led organizations and residents lead the way to build their local food system.

Sixteen groups applied for the grant in July. A Task Force made up of Englewood leaders nominated by R.A.G.E., selected nine groups to move forward as finalists. Finalists were determined by the sustainability of their projects and their alignment with the foundation’s mission. Throughout August, residents of Greater Englewood were able to vote for their favorite neighborhood revitalization project.

On Saturday, August 20th, the groups presented their food access initiatives at “So Fresh Saturday”, the summer park festival hosted by R.A.G.E., and had the opportunity to speak to over 1000 residents about their projects aimed at building community and health. The event marked the last day that residents could cast their ballots. Votes are currently being tallied.

Five of the following projects will be selected for funding:

  • Ditch the Weight and Guns – aims to place healthy food vending machines in churches, schools, businesses, and libraries throughout Greater Englewood.
  • I Grow Chicago – has transformed an abandoned lot into a Peace Garden to increase access to fresh, healthy produce in the community and will build a hoop house to enable year-round food production.
  • Imagine Englewood If – will expand their Community Garden program in order to continue training and equipping youth with gardening and nutritional knowledge and skills.
  • M.U.R.A.L. (Magnifying Urban Realities & Affecting Lives) – will expand their Mobile Markets to reach more Englewood families and provide fresh produce and recipes in more locations.
  • Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation – will add a hoop house and refrigeration unit to their community garden, increasing its yield and extending the growing season to serve more of the community.
  • Southwest Federation Block Clubs of Greater Englewood – will start the Greater Englewood Community Bucket Garden Project, demonstrating how to grow fresh vegetables in small containers residents already have on hand.
  • The Canaan Community Church – is starting the 5 Loaves Co-op, a fresh, healthy food provider in the heart of Englewood. They aim for 60% of the groceries to be hyper-local fruits and vegetables grown within a 4-block radius of the church.
  • The Englewood Running Ministry – is starting a community garden to provide more access to healthy food and teach residents how to plant and grow their own herbs and vegetables.
  • Ujamaa Community Land Trust – has created the African Garden Project (AGP) with a focus on produce based in the culture of Africa and Africans in America.  Locally grown produce from Perry Ave Community Farm will continue to be sold based on the “pay what you can afford” model.

Whole Cities Foundation and R.A.G.E. will announce the grant awards at the Whole Foods Market store opening in Englewood on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

This grant was made possible by the generous donations of the following Whole Cities Foundation sponsors: Annie’s, Grimmway Farms and Stonyfield.


Michael Sinatra
551.574.8031 (cell)

Jessica Ventura
212.829.0002 ext.104

Source: Whole Foods Market