Sean Cate
Sean Cate
April 12, 2023 ·  3 min read

LeBron James opened a Starbucks, but it’s providing much more than coffee

None of the other nearly 33,000 Starbucks on Earth are like the one LeBron James just opened in Akron, Ohio. It is a part of his quest to break cyclical poverty in his hometown.

LeBron James, the famous basketball player, has opened a Starbucks in Akron, his hometown. James’ foundation has transformed the former Tangier restaurant into a community centre, which offers various programs, including a Starbucks, for the people of Akron1.

House Three Thirty

The centre is as much about providing services for the people of Akron as it is about having a franchised cafe to serve hot and food and drinks at. William Mcgee, a former high school teammate of Lebron’s and current LeBron James Family Foundation employee explains, “We’re trying to build something to where whatever you need, you’re able to get in this area, and by being centrally located we want all of Akron to be able to come and join in.”2

James believes that his coffee shop can be a place of opportunity for the people of Akron. AS employees work at this particular Starbucks, they’ll not only get paid a working wage but they’ll also be earning job-training credits towards certificates in the hospitality industry3. House Three Thirty, aptly named after Akron’s 330 area code, will also feature a clothing store, a taco shop (for the love of taco Tuesdays) and an ice cream parlour. The centre will also be able to host wedding receptions and small concerts. 

A Place for the Community

James has always been vocal about his desire to give back to the community, and House Three Thirty is a testament to his commitment. The coffee shop is open to everyone, and the community centre offers various services to the people of Akron. James, having grown up in Akron himself, believes that creating a positive change in his hometown is crucial to him. He says, “We designed House Three Thirty to create opportunities and open doors to show them that anything is possible and that they can do it right here in Akron. We believe House Three Thirty will be a staple for our city, and we can’t wait for people to come and experience it.”4

House Three Thirty is much more than just a Starbucks, and more than just a building; it is a provider of opportunity for growth, learning, and development. LeBron James’ foundation has transformed the former Tangier restaurant into a safe and inspiring environment for the people of Akron. The coffee shop serves the usual Starbucks menu, but the main focus is to serve the people of Akron. House Three Thirty offers various programs that can help the people of Akron find employment opportunities and a space where they can be inspired. The community centre is open to everyone, and LeBron James’ commitment to giving back to his hometown is a testament to his values.

Sources

  1. Doors open to LeBron James Foundation’s House 330.” Fox8 News. Dave Nethers. March 30, 2023.
  2. ‘It’s really huge for the city’: LeBron’s House Three Thirty officially opens in Akron.” Beacon Journal. Tawney Beans. March 30, 2023.
  3. LeBron James opened a Starbucks in his hometown to not just serve coffee but create a pipeline to the hospitality industry for local workers: ‘It’s changed my life a lot’.” Business Insider. Sarah Al-Arshani. April 1, 2023
  4. LeBron James opens unique Starbucks inside his hometown community center.” USA Today. Victoria Hernandez. April 1, 2023.