Where do you get your favorite coffee? Finding a cafe located in or near a hub is not uncommon. You’ll see cafes at a train station, or even a grocery market. What if the place you get your cafe goods and grocery good handled social good as well?
Grocery markets cover multiple aspects of social good related to people, community, and food concerns. People can feel more secure having easier access to healthy food, but also look towards job opportunities at the market. Inside the community, the local economy flows better with citizens relying on local grocers more often to stock their pantries. Food concerns, such as nourishment or food deserts, can be addressed through properly located grocery markets that care about food quality. Los Angeles has an initiative that is taking care of these social good aspects for their community.
In this series, called ALL Ways, we’ll grow to know social enterprises by their charming points. We say “charming” to refer to branding and approaches that help us see another way to manage social entrepreneurship. We’ll also suggest ways to interact or use these charming points in our own involvements with social enterprise (personally and professionally).
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise interaction and engagement.
In today’s post, we look into the supremely fresh With Love Market & Cafe creating a central hub to feed the mind and body. With Love Market & Cafe manages grocery and cafe operations alongside additional perks for community members, like meeting room rentals.
Knowing the company: With Love Market & Cafe
Based in Southwest LA, With Love Market & Cafe offers a variety of services to the local community related to food and business. As stated in the name, the initiative mainly brings value to the community through the grocery market and cafe. Giving the community access to quality grocery products and cafe selections is the main priority at the foundation of With Love Market & Cafe.
Amazingly, the team created ways to build an extension of the resources they can provide to the community. With Love Market & Cafe offers catering services, which is one of the most natural extensions of their work. Making the most of the space they have, the initiative’s cafe includes an outdoor patio and a meeting room available for reservations. With Love Market & Cafe structured their location as a place to “stay for a while” instead of keeping the atmosphere as a “quick stop”.
Creating a central hub where people can actually relax or come to for reasons beyond food surges the feeling of community. Such a feeling may inspire innovation and productivity to arise. The concept of combining a market, a cafe, and a central hub is innovative in its own right.
What Surprised Us
If you make your way to Southwest LA, and engage with With Love Market & Cafe, you’ll find there are many more activities going on past the innovative combination when you first view the location. One of the strong points in how the initiative creates impact is the With Love Community Programs, which is the literal title of the nonprofit arm for the social enterprise. With Love Community Programs includes educational & exercise classes, youth internships, and a community educational garden. A business model where a social enterprise forms a separate nonprofit entity to support is not uncommon. In this case, it is a positively unexpected surprise.
Further inside the layers of social impact is a connection to business directly. Above the coffee bar in the cafe is a workspace called Heart Work LA. Like other workspaces, people can buy memberships, purchase a dedicated area, and even rent tech-equipped meeting rooms. For the grocery market, the initiative operates a delivery service in partnership with Mercato, a tech platform specifically fulfilling online shopping orders for local groceries.
To With Love Market & Cafe, that still is not enough impact, at least that’s what someone might think when they discover the initiative also supports a Pay-it-Forward program with care boxes. People can choose from four Care Boxes available to Pay it Forward by buying the package for a family in need from the South LA community. With Love Market & Cafe also supports a subscription partnership where weekly produce boxes are sent to subscribers. With Love Market & Cafe’s website describes the partnership as the following:
“Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) is an economic partnership designed to meet the growing need for fresh, organic produce in urban communities while creating stable markets for local farmers. With Love Market and Café has partnered with South Central Farmers Organic Cooperative to bring a CSA to our neighborhood. Now, you can subscribe to the CSA and receive a regular, seasonal variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. CSA supports local farmers and meets a need for fresh organic produce in our neighborhood. It also supports local hiring and small businesses in the area.”
What is the benefit for good
Overall, With Love Market & Cafe put together a social enterprise with various ways to supply social impact, and multiple ways of being a self-sustains initiative. Doing good is social good, and making sure you can continue doing good is social good.
For the initiative, a portion of the profits from the market section goes to support community Programs, local hiring (they commit to having at least 75% staff come from the immediate local community), and the maintenance/ beautification of the central hub.
On the about page, With Love Market & Cafe expresses the exact sentiment that seems to guide their efforts:
“Let’s all live a healthier life and thrive together!”
We like to encourage actively participating with positive initiatives. Each person making their own choice to participate adds up! Whether you engage for fun, inspiration, or expression, here are our suggestions for engaging this initiative:
- Visit the With Love Market for your weekly groceries.
- Spend a day at Heart Work LA.
- Host a meeting at the With Love Cafe workspace along with the catering service.
- Send a compliment to With Love Market & Cafe about what surprised you about the initiative).
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.
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“A factor many social enterprises have trouble with is their business model. Securing funding, operations, and logistics can take a toll in the ongoing process of refining. “
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