Following a successful 12-year partnership, Starbucks Corporation announced the acquisition of Magic Johnson Enterprises’ remaining 50 percent interest in Urban Coffee Opportunities (UCO).
In 1998, Johnson Development Corporation (JDC), a division of Magic Johnson Enterprises, and Starbucks Coffee Company entered into a groundbreaking 50/50 partnership to build Starbucks stores in underserved neighborhoods. The partnership’s goal was to create economic opportunity and a stronger sense of community in the neighborhoods it served.
“We are incredibly proud of the work this partnership has accomplished,” says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president, and CEO. “Together we opened several successful locations, including our Harlem store, which led the redevelopment of that now vibrant neighborhood. The partnership helped create jobs with health benefits, build community gathering places where they’re most needed, and empower change makers to innovate and take action in their communities. Thanks to this partnership, Starbucks has deepened our commitment to community development in urban areas and plans additional programs to sustain that commitment.”
“Through our partnership with Starbucks, we were able to serve as an economic catalyst in urban cities through the creation of new jobs, use of local suppliers, support for community-based organizations, and by attracting other retailers to the area,” says Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. “Our success also validates the loyalty and support of urban consumers to companies who bring quality products and services which meet their needs into their communities. Magic Johnson Enterprises remains committed to serving Urban America and we look forward to working with Starbucks on its community development initiatives.”
Over the tenure of the partnership, more than 100 UCO locations were opened in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Starbucks stores in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, and the Crenshaw district in Los Angeles all anchored redevelopment of the areas.