Not-for-profit café & roastery will provide training, jobs to residents in Broadway/Fillmore community
Empire State Development announced the grand-opening of the Three Stories Coffee Co. at 1021 Broadway on the east side of Buffalo. The small-batch coffee roastery is a not-for-profit extension of 716 Ministries, which “empowers individuals and transforms neighborhoods through job training.” The coffee shop and café is located in a building that was renovated with the support of a $525,000 grant from New York State’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund.
“Gov. Hochul is working hard to guarantee that every Buffalo neighborhood shares in the city’s economic recovery,” said ESD Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight. “By allocating state resources that lead to local training and jobs, we are helping to build a better, stronger future for all Buffalo residents.”
A press release noted, “Three Stories Coffee Co. is known for its passion for great coffee and intentional economics. Its name comes from the three pillars of the business: direct trade, locally roasted, and not-for-profit. The company is committed to being mindful with every step of its supply chain while also providing equitable wages, caring for the environment and investing in service to the community.”
716 Ministries Executive Director Jeremy Hazelton said, “Three Stories represents the latest social enterprise of 716 Ministries, where each business that we start is about redefining the bottom line – creating access to programs and services that make a real difference in the communities we serve. We don’t hire people to sell coffee, we sell coffee to hire people.”
A half-dozen employees of the coffee company are receiving hands-on experience in 716 Ministries’ customer service certification program. A variety of coffee, tea and smoothie options, as well as breakfast and lunch items, are being served. Three Stories is open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Three Stories Coffee Co. General Manager Herm Cooks said, “Our staff reflects the wide variety of cultures found in the neighborhood. The entire team is proud to be serving the community delicious food in a café that is both warm and welcoming.”
Three Stories Coffee is reinvesting 100% of the proceeds from the café to create opportunities through workforce development, community investment, and employment, all in an effort to support some of the region’s most vulnerable residents. More information about Three Stories Coffee can be found at https://threestoriescoffee.com/.
The cafe is located next to the Broadway Market at 1021 Broadway, a five-story building that houses a full-service health and wellness hub designed to help lift Buffalo’s east side. More than 100 people work in the building overall, which includes multiple social service agencies, a pharmacy, a medically oriented gym and a dental clinic. There are also shared workspaces and conference rooms, a community kitchen, and new computers.
Mosaic 659 Foundation renovated 3,250 square-feet of commercial space on the first floor of the building, which now includes retail, restrooms, storage space and elevator upgrades. Mosaic’s project received a $525,000 grant from the state’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund.
In March 2019, New York announced the $50 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, an initiative to spark revitalization of Buffalo’s east side through investments in the four main north-south commercial corridors: Michigan, Jefferson, Fillmore and Bailey avenues. Funding is intended to help revive traditional main streets and commercial corridors through the preservation of historic buildings, funding of capital improvements in neighborhood assets, expansion of commercial opportunities, improvements to infrastructure, as well as the promotion of mixed-use private investment in these neighborhoods. The funding is designed to empower community residents to improve their businesses and neighborhoods, making it a ground-up revitalization effort led by and directly benefiting the community.
The fund compliments previous investments on the east side, including $10 million for the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative and $5 million for the Buffalo Central Terminal, for a total of $65 million in investments since 2017.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “The opening of the Three Stories Coffee Company is good news for the neighborhood and further proof of how new business and new economic life is percolating in the Broadway Fillmore area. Investments such as these grow career opportunities and help individuals on paths to future success while also invigorating the neighborhood.”
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “I congratulate 716 Ministries on the launch of this innovative coffee business that not only adds to the retail mix of one of Buffalo’s oldest business corridors, but also includes a job training component. The adaptive reuse of 1021 Broadway, which is now home to several medical and human services organizations, and now 3 Stories Coffee, is a great model for what we hope to see as my administration works with Empire State Development on the $10 million initiative, which will breathe new life into the Broadway Market and the surrounding neighborhoods.”
ESD is New York’s chief economic development agency. Its mission is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. For more information on regional councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.