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Local Business Highlight: Wrigley Coffee

Beatrix Whipple
Feb 16 5 minutes read


Support a Good Cause with The Perfect Cup

By Lindsey Goodrow

We know it isn’t hard to find a great cup of coffee in Long Beach. On any street corner, there is a wholly unique and loveable craft coffee shop. However, we are incredibly excited about the grand opening of Wrigley Coffee, a small cafe with a big purpose that opened its doors on Febuary 1st. This remarkable business not only pours a perfect cup of coffee, but aids famililes who need help securing housing stability by employing them as baristas and offering them the training, resources, and support they need to succeed.

This coffee shop is located at 437 W Willow St, which was formerly Fox Coffee House. With “good bones” in place, it was a smooth transition for Five Walnut Construction to take over and transform the space. This construction team was thrilled to help this project come to fruition, knowing it was led by “good souls looking to do good in the world”

Wrigley Coffee is operated by the nonprofit Family Promise of the South Bay, whose mission is 

“to help families seeking stable housing…achieve sustainable independence through a community-based approach.” 

This new coffee shop will be a dedicated project to lead in this mission. Overseeing this progressive community program is Andrew Nishimoto, the Executive Director of Family Purpose and General Manager of Wrigley Coffee. 

Family Promise runs a significant number of programs that help families achieve sustainable independence, such as: a rest care center in San Pedro, three transitional homes for families who are saving up to find permanent housing, a summer day camp for children, prevention and diversion services, and stabilization services (which provide resources for those who have secured housing but want to maintain that security). Wrigley Coffee was just next on the list for a great idea to help out families in need.

Wrigley Coffee has set up a 90-day workforce development program that goes like this: Individuals are initially referred by shelter case managers. Then a community program manager will interview them one by one to make sure they are the right fit. After selecting individuals that are a good match for the program, they are immediately trained not only in the art of making coffee, but are directed through various seminars and workshops all geared to give them sustainable work skills (such as resume writing, interview preparation, customer service relations, etc.). 

At the end of the 90-day program, these individuals will have garnered the necessary skills and training to be placed in a position outside of Wrigley Coffee. With the help of other businesses that have partnered with the coffee shop, the trainees will be offered long-term and full-time employment. The even bigger picture is that within 18 months of graduating the Wrigley Coffee program, the participants will be able to step into people-leading roles, whether that is a shift lead, supervisor, or manager position. This program is not limited to the coffee world, but is intended to expand out and translate to any industry, especially ones that the participants are interested in and passionate about.

Even though the program wants individuals to know they can branch out from coffee, that does not mean that good coffee is not a priority — it very much is. 

“When we created Wrigley Coffee,” Andrew tells Whipple Group, “our three goals were this: 

  1. The workforce development program. 

2. To make it a community space that people can use for various things. We're going to have a local high school do their senior poetry Slam, things like that. 

3. The perfect cup of coffee, because in order for this to be a successful program, we need to be a successful business. [This is why we] partnered with Solid Coffee Roasters”.

Solid Coffee is based in Artesia, and works directly with their farmers to produce, handle, and roast the finest seed-to-cup coffee. The Coffee Program Manager at Wrigley Coffee, Riley, is “all about the coffee”. Riley creates all of Wrigley Coffee’s recipes. When you step into the cafe, you’ll notice that the menu highlights the basics. There are not “frills”. This is intentional. They don’t want to take away from the flavor of the coffee. They also want to promotes consistency in the work place, because it will make their participants more successful in the program.

When you bring your business to Wrigley Coffee, you are not only getting a perfect cup of coffee, but you are supporting a workplace that offers life-changing opportunities and increases a sense of belonging in our community.

To find out more about Wrigley Coffee, you can visit their website here.

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