Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons will partner with the Louisville Urban League to open the company’s first nonprofit community store at the new Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center in the west end of Louisville, Ky., a project that’s intended to kick-start economic development and revitalization of this area.
Thorntons will build this first-of-a-kind storefront into an exterior facing location of the facility and will operate the store as a sustainable not-for-profit venture to give back to the West End. Once the store opens, all proceeds from sales at this Thorntons store will be reinvested by the Louisville Urban League to promote equity and empowerment.
“We are passionate about contributing to the progress and wellbeing of our communities and investing in programs that make a direct and current difference,” said Thorntons President and CEO Simon Richards. “We promised this summer that when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion we will be better and we will do better. Thorntons is proud to partner with the Louisville Urban League to achieve their vision and open our first not-for-profit community store serving West End residents, and to bring employment and equity to the community. We look forward to becoming West Louisville’s favorite place to stop when they are on the go!”
Store team members will be hired from the community to serve the community, offering employment and professional development opportunities. The store will also serve as a local recruitment and training facility to increase access for the West End community to employment options across the Thorntons network.
The store, set to open in early 2021, will be open to serve guests seven days a week bringing fresh food and convenience to an underserved community. Guests will enjoy hot fresh foods, beverages, snacking and fill-in grocery needs. Thorntons will actively work with local Black-owned businesses to showcase their products and grow their businesses.
“This investment by Thorntons represents a truly significant opportunity for our community,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League. “It encompasses workforce development, Black business development, and a new healthy amenity for a community that needs it. The Path Forward signers have asked for corporations to step up and invest in Black-led, Black-serving initiatives. This commitment from Thorntons represents the kind of investment we are looking for.”
The Louisville Urban League assists African Americans and those at the margins in attaining social and economic equality and stability through direct services and advocacy.
The Louisville Urban League is realizing its vision to develop a world-class Sports and Learning Complex in the heart of the west end. Twenty-four acres of contaminated land has been cleaned and safely converted to build a state-of-the-art multipurpose event complex that will provide:
- Indoor/outdoor track and field venue to host NCAA, USATF and IAAF events
- Concert venue
- Community green space and STEAM learning inside and outside
- Space for the expansion of the Urban League’s programs and services
- Future retail, mixed-use and hotel development opportunities
Based in Louisville, Ky., Thorntons operates 206 stores that provide fresh foods, high quality beverages and fuel in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. The company is on a mission to be people’s favorite place to stop when they are on-the-go and people’s favorite place to work. Thorntons is a vertically integrated company with its own fuel terminal, blending plants, transportation fleet and commissary. Thorntons has a passion for giving back to the communities where Team Members and guests live and work. Thorntons volunteers make their communities better through community service, humanitarian day events and fundraising projects.