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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.

comments (12)

Comment FAQ

    • smrourke
    • 10/4/2011 9:20 AM

    "A portion of each store’s profits will be reinvested into the neighborhood..."

    What is the portion? If it's something like 1-2%, that's only about $20,000 for the average urban store.

    • giarose
    • 10/4/2011 9:36 AM

    I think it's a good idea, but why not get more stores involved that are near these areas. I'm sure there's a lot more profit in a store in Manhattan or on Wall Street than in Harlem. That's where the major money in NY is located. Getting THOSE stores to donate portions will make the change happen faster & with a much greater force.

    I do love the idea though, Starbucks. Thanks for helping change the community!

      • skinnyvanillalattegirl
      • 10/4/2011 11:32 AM

      In reply to: giarose

      You know what they say, give a man a fish, feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime. If Starbucks just gave a portion of the profits from any store to these organizations, it would just be charity dollars. These locations give the people of these communities an opportunity to help themselves. By buying Starbucks products and by making these locations more of community centers, the people will be investing in a gift that keeps on giving.

    • mboehret
    • 10/4/2011 9:46 AM

    This is a great idea! It's nice to see a company actually offer some of it's success to the communities that make it successful. And, that's why, I don't think they are going to take the profits of the more profitable stores of Manhattan, etc. (besides, they are still a company). This program, however, makes the community involved in the change of their own neighborhood.

    Lets see how it pans out.

    • roughone87
    • 10/4/2011 10:33 AM

    I think this is a great idea and an even better opportunity to our communities
    Better them selves I more businesses should consider doing the same I commend Starbucks for thinking out side the box and couldn't be happier to be a customer /supporter

    • paulinlim
    • 10/4/2011 12:04 PM

    Will the drinks be a lot cheaper than they are everywhere else?

    • Princessaprillove
    • 10/4/2011 5:52 PM

    This venture did not work out for your Lauderdale Lakes, FL store located at 3999 University Drive. The store now sits as an empty shell with busted windows and is an eyesore and embarrassment to the community and to the Starbucks brand. Unsuspecting customers were robbed in the drive thru.

    • eharki
    • 10/4/2011 6:33 PM

    What's the address of the stores? I'd like to patron the one in Harlem if it's not too far away!

    • Lotevakarausb1
    • 11/4/2011 9:31 AM

    Thank you Starbucks! I am hoping that your public intiative will be spreading to more locations.Its a give and take act that will run a long way.Very good business approach with the communities and more volume for Starbucks!

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