OAK CLIFF (CBSDFW.COM) – A new Starbucks is opening in North Texas. If the words forming in your mouth are ‘so what’ — wait, there’s more.
The new Starbucks “community store” on West Camp Wisdom Road in Oak Cliff will not only serve up drinks and food, but connect local youth with education and employment opportunities and hopefully spark economic development in the area.
Community stores are part of a Starbucks initiative in underserved areas of the country.
According to the company, there are an estimated 104,000 16 to 24-year-olds disconnected from work and school in Dallas. The Oak Cliff store has a dedicated in-store pace where young people can receive customer service and retail training, based on the same that Starbucks employees receive.
The goal is to have 200 local young people complete the multi-week training program over the next two years.
When the store opens at 6:00 a.m. on November 30 customers in the Red Bird area will be introduced to new company employees that may have familiar faces. The business created 24 local jobs — with all of the employees hired from Dallas and Oak Cliff.
Both full-time and part-time employees at the store will be able to take advantage of the company’s benefits, that include healthcare coverage, tuition assistance and stock options.
Starbucks worked wth minority owned general contractor 3i Contracting to build the store and commissioned two custom murals for the space by Dallas artist group Sour Grapes.
The new Starbucks location marks the start of a facelift of the old Red Bird Mall. Once a South Oak Cliff economic engine, the nearly empty mall has been running on fumes for years.
The vision for “Reimagine Red Bird” includes an old name but a new development, complete with a park, restaurants, residential and office space.
“Starbucks believes in investing in the communities it serves, and we are so proud and excited to be part of ‘Reimagine RedBird,’” said Traci York, a regional vice president at Starbucks. “Our store partners are eager to demonstrate a successful business model that represents all of the opportunity that exists here. This store was built by and for this community, and we are excited to become the local hub for coffee, connection and community.”
The Oak Cliff Starbucks community store location is the 12th for the company nationwide.