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Imagine the Possibilities

Starbucks Community Stores

Imagine the possibilities. Imagine a place that is bustling and vibrant. There are no abandoned buildings. Homes line the streets with windows so clear that you can see for miles. There is no blight. People are smiling and happy and commerce is flourishing. Imagine that what had once been the inner-city is now a safe, vibrant thriving community.

I know it is hard to imagine these things with the level of economic uncertainty facing our local communities. Imagine being one of millions of people living under these conditions without a positive outlook. Now just imagine growing up under these conditions.

In under-invested urban communities, systemic issues such as consistent quality education, access to jobs and other opportunities for revitalization are further exacerbated by the financial crisis.

That is why Starbucks is taking an innovative approach in helping address these concerns by sharing the success of our stores in two neighborhoods.

One store in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles and one in the Harlem community of New York City will be pilot stores for this new approach. A portion of each store’s profits will be reinvested into the neighborhood through two local non-profits, the L.A. Urban League and the Abyssinian Development Corporation. We are collaborating with these amazing organizations, which are leading holistic and sustainable change in their respective communities by helping to improve economic development, education and access to social services. This marks a new way of doing business and supporting our non-profits by sharing the success of these stores within their immediate neighborhoods.

These stores are a new way to support our communities by engaging the very people that will benefit from the program’s success. The more involved the residents become in owning their “community stores” the more they will frequent the store and make it part of their social fabric. The connections this can create mean more than sharing profits. It also means restoring a sense of pride and the ability to once again, imagine the possibilities.

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