As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the communities where it does business, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced the opening of its third profit sharing Community Store in the East End neighborhood of Houston.
As part of Starbucks unique community-centric business model, Starbucks Coffee Company will contribute funds based on the performance of the Gulfgate Center Mall to The Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), giving Starbucks partners (employees) and customers the opportunity to collectively create positive change within the East End community. The Gulfgate store has undergone an extensive remodel so that the store now reflects the unique nature of the relationship through an outdoor mural and indoor artwork that aims to promote community gathering in a creative and aspirational setting.
“This is an important moment for Starbucks as we take what we have learned over the last year and reaffirm our commitment to collaborate with change making organizations in the nonprofit community,” said Blair Taylor, chief community officer, Starbucks. “By expanding upon our Community Store model with this third location in Houston, our hope is that as we continue to embrace the opportunity we have to support the rebuilding of the neighborhoods that we serve, we can inspire other like-minded corporations to do the same, creating long term, sustainable impact.”
Expansion into Houston Market
The Houston location is an expansion of the already successful Starbucks Community Store pilot program and becomes the third store in the U.S. to collaborate with nonprofits in this way. The launch of the Houston store falls on the anniversary of the pilot stores in the Harlem and Crenshaw neighborhoods of New York and Los Angeles.
By selecting nonprofits committed to addressing the unique needs of the communities they serve with proven programs, Starbucks helps organizations extend the impact and potential reach of their work. The partnership with AAMA will help to advance the lives of at-risk and disadvantaged youth and families through an array of innovative programs in the areas of education and health and human services. It also reflects Starbucks ongoing interest in supporting the development of leadership skills across communities and cultures. AAMA is a grassroots organization serving nearly 30,000 people in the Mexican American and broader Latino and new immigrant communities of Houston and was recently recognized by The National Council of La Raza – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – as Affiliate of the Year.
“Working together with Starbucks on this shared growth model is exciting and fits perfectly with AAMA’s culture of collaboration and community engagement,” said Beatrice Garza, President and CEO of AAMA. “We admire Starbucks ongoing commitment to the communities it serves and cultivation of best practices. We believe there is such potential to learn from each other and work together to create opportunities that empower and inspire Latino families in Houston’s East End.”
Pilot Program – One Year Later
Additionally, the stores in Harlem and Crenshaw will also be celebrating their first year anniversary, by reflecting on the personal and financial impact the relationship has had over the past twelve months. In total, these stores have received nearly $245,000 in funding.
“We have learned so much in the last year about how to create a successful community store model,” said Cecilia Carter, vice president of Global Diversity, Community and Advocacy, Starbucks. “While the financial support is important, more than anything we have heard so much about the value of integration so that both the store and the nonprofit can be advocates for one another and especially how the store can serve as convener of conversation and interaction, shedding light on the role each can play in creating community connection.”
Opened in 1999 and transitioned to the Community Store model in 2011, the store in Harlem supports the Abyssinian Development Corporation’s efforts to comprehensively serve the children and families of Harlem through affordable housing, economic development, social services, quality educational opportunities and civic engagement. Since October 2011, contributions under this model have supported a number of ADC’s programs including the School Turnaround initiative which continues to make an impact on the Abyssinian Schools (Thurgood Marshall Academy Middle and High School, Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School, Bread & Roses Integrated Arts High School and MS 80), reaching more than 2100 students.
The Crenshaw store in Los Angeles originally opened its doors in 2006 and was transitioned to the Community Store model in 2011. The Crenshaw store is working to bolster LAUL’s efforts to revitalize a defined 70-block area in the Crenshaw neighborhood through their Neighborhoods@Work™ program. This holistic, neighborhood change model focuses on education, safety, housing, health and employment. This strategic initiative has brought targeted resources and interventions to the community of Park Mesa Heights as well as to parents, students and teachers at Crenshaw High School which lies at the center of the model. Since last October, the contributions under the Community Store program have helped support LAUL’s initiative to improve Crenshaw High School’s learning environment, resulting in lower suspension rates down to 16 percent from a high of 45 percent several years ago.
These Community Stores also serve as the hub of Starbucks community service and additional training programs in the area, which provides leadership, job and life skill development, positive learning environments, and overall health and wellness.