Coffee Shops Brew Community Revival in Chicago's Underserved Areas

Coffee Shops Brew Community Revival in Chicago's Underserved Areas

Momentum Coffee is transforming Chicago's neglected neighborhoods. Co-founders Nikki Bravo and Tracy Powell use their six coffee shop locations to provide jobs, quality food, and welcoming spaces. They initially started as co-working spaces but pivoted to coffee shops due to the pandemic. Opening in areas like Englewood and North Lawndale, Momentum partners with local organizations to boost community development. Their locations are part of larger hubs that include other businesses and services, aiming to rebuild business corridors. Besides hiring locally, they offer an apprenticeship program to train future managers and potential store owners. Momentum also runs a food incubator program to help new entrepreneurs. Their shop in Millennium Park boosts brand visibility and supports other locations. Despite the challenges, Bravo and Powell see their efforts as part of a larger mission to impact communities positively.

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