To build community, foster creativity, and contribute to the revitalization of Old North St. Louis while serving a quality cup of joe

Located just an ice cream cone’s throw from Crown Candy Kitchen in the heart of the 14th Street Old North St. Louis revitalization, The Urban Studio Café is a social venture project of The Urban Studio. The cafe will serve a variety of beverages and baked goods, and will actively seek neighbors’ input to create a community-centered atmosphere. However, this venture is more than just a neighborhood coffee shop.
Impact on Individuals: Employment at the café will provide direct earnings that will increase economic well-being and reduce dependence on government assistance for employees and their families. This job-skills training will enhance employees’ ability to be hired in the future, while the employee matched savings program (Individual Development Accounts) will increase financial literacy and encourage long-term saving. Additionally, café profits will fund youth art and tutoring programs. Studies have shown that low-income youth participating in these types of programs are more likely to succeed academically and have shown increases in attention span, self-esteem, and tolerance.

The Impact on the Community: By being the first new business to open in the 14th Street redevelopment area, the Café will demonstrate confidence in the neighborhood and will serve as an anchor and a catalyst for commercial investment. As additional local businesses open, there will be additional benefits through the local economy, as money is spent and re-spent in the area. The café will also be a model social enterprise for other businesses and organizations seeking a multi-faceted approach to creating an economically and socially thriving community. Finally, the neighborhood will gain from the enrichment that the café provides.

1. The Café has five critical goals: To generate profits to provide sustainable funding for The Urban Studio programming

2. To create jobs and provide job-skills training and financial literacy

3. To serve as a gathering place for neighbors to strengthen the social fabric of the neighborhood

4. To create an atmosphere of creativity and possibility through events and programs held at the cafe

5. To be a catalyst for economic revitalization in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.