In a win for coffee lovers all throughout the Capital City, Starbucks recently announced its decision to reconsider the closure of their Trenton location. Since the cafe originally opened its doors in 2017, the Trenton Starbucks Community Store has played an integral part in the economic and social revitalization of the Downtown community. From the moment this coffee giant arrived in the city, the Trenton Starbucks became a day-to-day destination for busy workers, city residents, and visitors on the hunt for a mid-day pick me up. A major driving force in the local economy, the investment of a major anchor brand like Starbucks signaled a seismic shift in the overall progress of Trenton’s revitalization.

The Starbucks Community Store model, which debuted in 2011, was designed as a resource to promote economic resilience in the communities selected for the pilot program. Beyond just a coffee spot, the Starbucks Community store model offers a transformative pathway for underserved communities to access job training, economic opportunity, and social enrichment. For many of Trenton’s residents, the Starbucks Community Store was their first job and a major steppingstone in their personal development. Trenton’s Community Store also became a hub of hope for many locals, as the space is frequently used for pop-up art displays, educational opportunities, and other community events. From the friendly faces of the hard-working baristas to the community billboard which shared countless resources, this cafe has quickly become a downtown mainstay. And now, thanks to the vigilant advocacy of our leaders, our community’s cherished cafe may just be here to stay.

The major coffee chain made the decision to rethink the location’s closure as a result of pleas from some of the community’s most influential leadership, including Mayor of Trenton, Reed Gusciora, Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, and countless other advocates who made their voices heard. In a impassioned letter to Starbucks leadership, Congresswoman Watson-Coleman urged, “Given the clear and obvious alignment of the Trenton location’s performance with the goals of the Community Store Program, is this closure a signal from Starbucks that you are moving away from your stated commitment to supporting and uplifting underserved communities? By closing the Trenton location, New Jersey would become one of only three states with no Starbucks in their capital city, joining South Dakota and Vermont, and depriving Trenton — an urban community with a 26.2% poverty rate — of the opportunity to continue on its path toward economic revitalization.”

In the coming weeks, leadership from Starbucks is expected to come to the Capital City for a walkthrough of the city’s location. This walkthrough comes on the heels of Governor Murphy’s discussions with Starbucks leadership, where he urged the company to keep this important community resource in place. Originally set to close at the end of March, Trenton’s Starbucks location will now remain open for the foreseeable future. As Starbucks and local leaders seek to increase foot traffic to the location, the hope is that Starbucks will continue to see the tremendous benefits reaped by their presence in the Trenton community. In supporting our city’s businesses, you are supporting the dreams of countless residents, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this cherished community cafe.

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