Grand Street Settlement’s ‘GrandLo Cafe’ Opens at Essex Crossing in January
Last to start, but first to finish, Site 6 of Essex Crossing is nearing completion. The twelve-story senior building has been on display since springtime, and is expected to launch in the coming months.
As previously reported, the Grand Street Settlement will operate both an onsite senior center, and a coffee shop called the GrandLo Cafe on the ground floor of 178 Broome Street. (It shares the overall commercial space with a $32.9 million, 55,000 square-foot outpatient hospital for NYU Langone.)
Contrary to prior reports, though, we are told that the new entity is not officially a joint venture with Think Coffee, but that its “founder has been helpful to us and is part of the cafe’s advisory committee.”
Upon its debut this January, this 2,500 square-foot coffee shop will serve sustainably sourced coffee. It’s a true nonprofit (aka “nosh for profit”), with all net proceeds to help fund its programming. In addition, GrandLo will double as job training for 16- to 24-year-olds.
Settlement spokesperson Erica Wong elaborated on the concept:
In addition to hard skills like kitchen math, cashiering, food handler’s licensing, and cafe management, our job training program will teach soft skills like customer service, interviewing strategies, and workplace accountability. We’ll also bring Grand St. Settlement’s full array of community supports to the table, helping our trainees secure housing, education, healthcare, and childcare so they can devote more of their time to school and a career. Job training programs like the one at GrandLo Cafe are important because when disconnected youth are not highly engaged in effective training and education, they face criminal involvement, gang violence, pregnancy, sexual health issues, emotional and social problems, and barriers to educational achievement.
We are also told that next month, a Kickstarter campaign will get going to raise additional funds for GrandLo. One hundred percent of all cash collected is earmarked for the job training program.