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Community Meeting on April 27 Highlights Shelter and Social Enterprise Business Plans

Community Meeting on April 27 Highlights Shelter and Social Enterprise Business Plans


April 17, 2017



Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Megan Snow, Media and Communications, msnow@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051

Community Meeting on April 27 Highlights Shelter and Social Enterprise Business Plans


The City of Tacoma will host a community meeting on April 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center (4851 S. Tacoma Way) to share renderings for the recently purchased property at 5401 S. Tacoma Way.


The building will be used for a youth and young adult drop-in center, young adult emergency overnight shelter and social enterprise retail location. Attendees at this meeting will also learn more about the shelter’s public safety plan and programs, and three social enterprise business proposals.


All three business proposals include a commitment to create a social enterprise improving people’s lives through a partnership to help local youth, ages 16-24, who have struggled with experiencing homelessness gain professional training and job experience.


Love by the Slice Baking and Catering Company, L.L.C. is a family-owned establishment that has operated in Tacoma since 2002. They have worked, in the past, with non-profits to recruit and train staff, helping individuals become self-sufficient as the company has grown. Their future objectives include generating half a million dollars in gross revenues through increased sales in year two, creating three entry-level jobs in year two and six entry-level jobs in year three, evolving into a national and international brand that captures a greater percentage of the Puget Sound bakery and catering markets, and generating an increase in revenue by year four. They also plan to implement customer loyalty strategies to drive an increase in sales, while collaborating with local and regional culinary programs to raise additional revenue over years two through five. In an effort to give back, they plan to donate a percentage of net profits to U.S. charitable causes devoted to education, the arts for youth in families affected by substance abuse, and professional and personal growth for women 18 years of age and older.

Tease Chocolates is a local shop born out of the Spaceworks Creative Enterprise Program, a joint initiative spearheaded by the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce which aims to make Tacoma culturally vibrant and economically strong through training and support for artists and creative entrepreneurs. They are devoted to making and selling artisanal chocolates and confections, and bring a combined 12 years of experience in the food industry as wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, instructors and business owners. They have supported many local organizations through product donations, and have successfully trained volunteers, interns and employees. Over the last two years, they have hosted several interns through their internship program. Their current business plan outlines goals relating to market expansion, neighborhood and community contributions, and job creation. Their future objectives include establishing a new location in the South Tacoma Neighborhood Business District, and expanding their product lineup to include desserts, baked goods, coffee and more. They also plan to open a cafe with seating and, with consistent business hours, a polished storefront and compelling interior merchandising, they plan to hire and train local youth to cultivate the levels of customer service and professionalism their customers have come to expect.

Rise UP! Baking Co. is driven by a group of community members passionate about helping youth in Tacoma access the professional resources they need to succeed. Their proposed bakery cafe business model has proven to be successful in other cities in helping individuals experiencing homelessness, and others experiencing professional barriers, gain employment. They envision offering made from scratch baked goods, teas, locally roasted coffees, slow cooked specialty soups and sandwiches. Their future objectives include investing in a youth internship program in partnership with the City of Tacoma where each prospective youth intern would, after obtaining a food handler's permit, get five one-hour classes on baking techniques and kitchen operations. Upon completion of these classes, they would then each be eligible to begin an internship on-site. Initial sales would focus on wholesale accounts with local coffee shops, delivery, special event and retail orders, and some online sales. Retail sales are expected to increase, once their reputation has been established locally. They plan to host open mic events, art nights and other community happenings directly benefiting local youth on site. Eventually, they hope to have a roof top or local garden for growing sustainable vegetable, fruit and herb ingredients which would serve as an occupational project for local youth, a project which would also benefit the larger community.

The business that is selected is projected to open in late 2017 in the approximately 1,500 square foot commercial space. The youth and young adult drop-in center and young adult emergency overnight shelter are anticipated to open in early 2018.


Details regarding the City's recent request for proposals from social enterprise minded businesses can be directed to India Adams in Community and Economic Development at iadams@cityoftacoma.org or by calling (253) 591-5142.

Questions about the youth and young adult drop-in center and young adult emergency overnight shelter can be directed to Tiegan Bradbury at tbradbury@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 573-2320.