There are coffee shops, then there are coffee shops with causes. Three Stories Coffee Co. is a coffee shop with a cause. That’s because the non-profit coffee company is based around a series of ethical practices. As an extension of 716 Ministries, Three Stories is not only “direct trade and locally roasted,” it’s also in place to provide job training, for people that are looking for hands-on experience in a work sector other than the building trades. In the case of Three Stories, employees learn firsthand about ethical business practices, customer relations, sales and marketing, etc.
“It’s a well-rounded enterprise that workers can be proud of,” said Jeremy Hazelton, Executive Director of 716 Ministries, who toured me around the expansive café.
The café is also primely situated at 1021 Broadway, on the first floor of the Western New York Human Services Collaborative building, in the heart of the historic Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.
Three Stories Coffee was established in 2017 as a Coffee Roastery to answer to the question: “Can we make a difference with how we consume the coffee we drink?”
This is certainly no ordinary café, and the employees and the customers know it. Three stories is proud to share its stories with the community. Whether a story happens to be about the cafés West Side roastery, or how the employees helped to create the distressed shou sugi ban bar counter, there’s plenty to share.
100% of proceeds from Three Stories Coffee are reinvested in community programming bringing support to some of the regions most vulnerable residents.
What it all boils down to is the belief in Intentional Economics – the idea that the money we spend and products we consume should be on purpose. Every cup of coffee purchased is invested right back into the program, thus ensuring the security and the longevity of the café. That means that more people can be trained and hired, whether it’s serving the food or making the scratch coffee. It also means that the money generated stays right here in the community, strengthening our neighborhoods.
“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,” said Hazelton. “We don’t hire people to sell coffee, we sell coffee to hire people.”
“Our staff will look like the neighborhood, and the future will be bright for the members of our team,” said General Manager Herm Cooks, a Buffalo native and Trustee of True Bethel Baptist Church, who brings over 30 years of culinary experience to the floor.
The opening of Three Stories in a 3000 sq. ft. suite was made possible thanks to a collaboration between Empire State Development and the Mosaic 659 Foundation. The café serves a range of coffee, tea, and smoothie options, as well as breakfast and lunch items.
The next time that you get a hankering for a cup of coffee, or a bite to eat, why not consider making a small investment into a neighborhood café that is more appreciative of your business than you can ever imagine?
More information about Three Stories Coffee can be found at www.threestoriescoffee.com.
Menu includes latte, cortado, Americano, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, hot tea, smoothies, bagels, breakfast wrap and sandwich, avocado turkey quesadilla, avocado toast with spring salad, pastry, daily soup special, grilled cheese, deli sandwich, chicken salad croissant, house salad, turkey pesto panini…
About 716 Ministries – 716 Ministries is a faith-based entrepreneurial non-profit that empowers individuals, transforms neighborhoods, and uplifts multicultural communities through workforce development TRAIN 716, construction services BUILD 716, and facilities support SERVE 716 in Western New York. More information is available at www.716ministries.org.