Above: Store partners participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony as part of the LeBron James Family Foundation Community Store dedication.
On July 19, the LeBron James Family Foundation Starbucks first-of-its-kind Community Store located inside House Three Thirty in Akron, Ohio hosted a store dedication ceremony with remarks from Starbucks Regional Director of Licensed Store Operations Demetrius Chapman, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, incoming Akron Mayor Shammas Malik along with House Three Thirty’s first Community Conversation with Assistant Store Manager, D’Onjai White, LeBron James Family Foundation Executive Director Michele Campbell, Gloria James and Akron community members.
Starbucks Regional Director of Licensed Store Operations Demetrius Chapman speaks to Akron community members.
Operated inside House Three Thirty and led by local store partners, also known as House 330 team members, this Starbucks is the first-ever licensed Starbucks Community Store in Ohio and has been a cornerstone of connection in the neighborhood since it opened on March 30. Starbucks Community Stores across the country focus on helping provide economic opportunity in rural and urban communities through local hiring, partnerships with local artists and nonprofits, and intentional dedicated space for communities to come together for events.
Assistant Store Manager, D’Onjai White with store partner Ciara.
“We’re incredibly excited to see the positive response our store has received from the community since we opened our doors. Our Team Members have been working hard to provide a unique, We Are Family experience to every single visitor and we see today as another celebration of that,” said Starbucks assistant store manager, D’Onjai White. “It means the world to us to see people coming here every morning, and for us to be able to serve them in this special space. We’ve already seen the impact this location is having and look forward to reaching even more of our community members.”
With this first model of Starbucks Community Store, all profits go back to the LeBron James Family Foundation, and are invested directly back into the community. The store features art from a local Ohio artist, Terran Washington, and provides intentional programming, job training and experiences that support economic opportunity within Akron while creating pathways to opportunity for Starbucks partners.
Community Store partners taking part in the store dedication with community members.
The experience has been life-changing for local store partners, all of whom are I PROMISE students, parents, teachers, and other family members who have received job training through a reimagined program that provides retail industry training with an emphasis on essential life skills.
Gloria James wears her ceremonial green apron while speaking on a panel about the Community’s Store impact in the community.
Supporting Students, Supporting Families
The day prior to the dedication, Starbucks, in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation, hosted another community event where volunteers organized donations from a back-to-school supply drive hosted in support of I PROMISE School students and families.
Local Starbucks partners, House 330, and I Promise staff volunteered to organize more than 500 donated notebooks, pencil, crayons, glue sticks, and scissors for students. They helped put together attire kits for staff and incoming students and supported school cleanup projects including landscaping and trash cleanup, classroom schools staff lounge cleanup.
Volunteers at the back-to-school supply drive.
"We're excited to see the impact our Starbucks Community Store is already having in the Akron community from our Team Members that work there to each and every customer that walks through the door. Through our unique job training, we're setting our Team Members up to be in charge of their futures while learning hands-on skills and serving their community in a whole new way,” said Michele Campbell, LeBron James Family Foundation Executive Director. “We’ve already seen this location become a key part of peoples’ daily lives, and we’re excited for that to continue and grow.”
Since the beginning, Starbucks has recognized a responsibility to strengthen communities it serves, led by partners who know their neighborhoods best. Together with the LeBron James Family Foundation, Starbucks is investing in Akron and the partners that make their community so special.
Since it opened in March, House Three Thirty has hosted numerous community events and experiences that support economic opportunity. With a variety of offerings in dining, retail, entertainment, arts and mentorship, House Three Thirty was designed to provide life-changing opportunities while bringing the entire community together for unique and enriching experiences. The local volunteer event and store dedication are the first of a series of community conversations that will be hosted inside House Three Thirty as part of ongoing programming.