Openings

In Fort Lauderdale, Starbucks Opens its 23rd "Community Store"

Artist Nate Dee with the mural he painted inside the new Starbucks Community Store in Fort Lauderdale.
Artist Nate Dee with the mural he painted inside the new Starbucks Community Store in Fort Lauderdale. Photo courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks is making headlines across the nation as its baristas unionize. But at the corporate level, the Seattle-based caffeinator-to-the-world is doing some community organizing of its own.

Take the new Starbucks at 2890 W. Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The fast-casual coffeehouse, which opened in mid-March, looks a lot like most new Starbucks stores. It's draped in wood paneling and outfitted with towering glass windows. Newly planted trees surround a front patio emblazoned with the company's unmistakable green mermaid logo, and a huge wraparound drive-thru lane allows drivers to skip the store for their caffeine fix.

This location, however, is Starbucks' first “community store” in Fort Lauderdale, and its 23rd nationwide.  The company plans to open 100 such locations by 2025 and 1,000 by 2030.

Before opening a store, Starbucks says, it recruits diverse, local contractors to construct it. The Broward Boulevard store was built by BRV, a construction company owned by a Black woman. (BRV also built the Starbucks Miami Gardens Community Store, which opened in 2017.)

The company then seeks to hire hyper-locally — in this case, according to the company, 25 jobs were created. Starbucks also features artwork by local artists in its community stores and partners with local organizations and charities.

“In order to scale this program in a way that provides the greatest value to its communities, Starbucks is partnering with Measure of America to leverage the Human Development Index to inform where and how Starbucks expands these stores to better serve vulnerable communities across the country,” a company spokesperson tells New Times.

At the Broward Boulevard spot, the community-store vision equates to a massive, colorful mural by South Florida artist Nate Dee, showcasing symbols of unity, the artist’s Haitian heritage, and animals native to the countries where Starbucks sources its beans.

On another wood-paneled wall, a statement reads, “Let’s work together. Let’s grow stronger. Let’s build on the love that’s already here. This community store is dedicated to this neighborhood.” Nearby, a dedication statement is rendered in English, Spanish, and Creole.

Additionally, Starbucks has partnered with United Way of Broward County, local police and fire departments, Hope South Florida and the Hosanna Corporation, with promises of collaborative programming down the line with this location.
click to enlarge The modern-meets-artsy interior of Starbucks' new Community Store in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in March 2022 - COURTESY STARBUCKS
The modern-meets-artsy interior of Starbucks' new Community Store in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in March 2022
Courtesy Starbucks

“This Fort Lauderdale community store, in all of the partnerships it represents, is what it truly means to bring our Starbucks mission and values to life,” the Starbucks spokesperson notes. As for its next South Florida move: “We continually evaluate our store portfolio as a regular course of business so we can determine where and how Starbucks can make an impact for vulnerable communities across the country.”

Starbucks Fort Lauderdale Community Store. 2890 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-902-4171; starbucks.com. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.