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Starbucks introduces two community partnership stores

Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, introduced a new community model in the neighborhoods of Harlem, N.Y., and Crenshaw, Calif., where community organizations will share in the profits of a store in each community. Starbucks will donate a minimum of $100,000 to a local community organization for the first year of the partnership as it assesses the success of the program and gathers learning in hopes of creating a new type of corporate engagement in communities, the company says.

Starbucks Coffee Co. is partnering with the Abyssinian Development Corp. (ADC) in Harlem and the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) in Crenshaw to create a  private sector engagement with these organizations, which the company says have a proven record of creating progress for disadvantaged communities.

“Starbucks is partnering with two organizations doing heroic work to address the economic, social and education challenges in their communities,” said Howard Schultz, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Co., in a statement. “These two partnerships are intended to help us learn how our company can successfully join with change-making community organizations in a localized, coordinated and replicable way.”

The Starbucks stores in Harlem and Crenshaw, which were redesigned to reflect and embrace the individual culture, character and needs of each of these neighborhoods, represent a new business model that brings together the scale of Starbucks, its partners and customers to collectively create positive change in these communities, the company says.

In addition to creating a model for financial contribution, Starbucks hopes to work with both ADC and LAUL to increase local awareness and engage local residents; share business expertise with them to help organizations meet their mission and their targeted community impact metrics; provide strategic technical management assistance; join together on community service imperatives; and work with the organizations to plan unique ways Starbucks can support their jobs training and placement work.

The Harlem and Crenshaw stores also will serve as the hub of Starbucks’ community service and additional training programs in the area, which will provide leadership, job and life-skill development; positive learning environments; and overall health and wellness, it says. The company hopes the program will potentially provide a model for other companies to consider emulating, according to Starbucks.

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