LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Thorntons convenience-store chain has partnered 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, a project designed to kick-start economic development and revitalization of this area of the company’s hometown city.
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, the company said. 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.”
- Related: Simon Richards discusses the not-for-profit store exclusively in an Outlook Leadership Community Talks From the Top webinar.
Store team members will be hired from 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.
“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 store, set to open in early 2021, will be open to serve customers seven days a week bringing fresh food and convenience to an underserved community, the company said. Products sold will include hot fresh foods, beverages, snacks and fill-in grocery needs. Thorntons will actively work with local Black-owned businesses to showcase their products and grow their businesses.
“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,” Richards said. “We look forward to becoming West Louisville’s favorite place to stop when they are on-the-go.”
Based in Louisville, Ky., Thorntons operates 206 stores that provide fresh foods, beverages and fuel in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. It ranked No. 39 in CSP’s 2020 Top 202 list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.