Thorntons Opening First Not-for-Profit Community Store
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons LLC is partnering with the Louisville Urban League to open its first nonprofit community store at the Northon Healthcare Sports and Learning Center in the West End neighborhood of Louisville.
The project is designed to kickstart economic development and revitalization of this area of Thorntons' hometown city, according to the company.
Thorntons will build this first-of-its-kind storefront at an exterior-facing location in the center and operate it as a not-for-profit venture to give back to the West End. Once doors open, all proceeds from sales at this location will be reinvested by the Louisville Urban League to promote equity and empowerment.
The center is built on 24 acres of formerly contaminated land that was cleaned and safely converted to build a state-of-the-art multipurpose event facility. It features an indoor/outdoor track and field venue to host NCAA, USATF and IAAF events; a concert venue; community green space and STEAM learning inside and outside; space for the expansion of the Urban League's programs and services; and future retail, mixed-use and hotel development opportunities.
"We are passionate about contributing to the progress and wellbeing of our communities and investing in programs that make a direct and current difference," said Thorntons President and CEO Simon Richards. "We promised this summer that when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion we will be better and we will do better. Thorntons is proud to partner with the Louisville Urban League to achieve their vision and open our first not-for-profit community store serving West End residents, and to bring employment and equity to the community. We look forward to becoming West Louisville's favorite place to stop when they are on-the-go!"
Store employees will be hired from the community to serve that same community, offering employment and professional development opportunities. The store will also serve as a local recruitment and training facility to increase access for the West End community to employment options across the Thorntons network.
The store is scheduled to open in early 2021 and will operate seven days a week. Offerings will include hot fresh foods, beverages, snacks and fill-in groceries. Thorntons plans to actively work with local Black-owned businesses to showcase their products and grow their businesses.
"This investment by Thorntons represents a truly significant opportunity for our community," said Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League. "It encompasses workforce development, Black business development, and a new healthy amenity for a community that needs it. The Path Forward signers have asked for corporations to step up and invest in Black-led, Black-serving initiatives. This commitment from Thorntons represents the kind of investment we are looking for."
Thorntons operates 206 c-stores in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.