Empire State Development Announces Opening of the Three Stories Coffee Company on Buffalo’s East Side

March 7, 2022

Not-For-Profit Café and Roastery Will Provide Training and Jobs to Residents in the Broadway/Fillmore Community

Funding Comes from Buffalo’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the grand opening of the Three Stories Coffee Co. at 1021 Broadway on the East Side of Buffalo. The small batch coffee roastery is a not-for-profit extension of 716 Ministries, which empowers individuals and transforms neighborhoods through job training. The coffee shop and café is located in a building that was renovated with the support of a $525,000 grant from New York State’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund.

“Governor Hochul is working hard to guarantee that every Buffalo neighborhood shares in the city’s economic recovery,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO- designate Hope Knight. “By allocating state resources that lead to local training and jobs, we are helping to build a better, stronger future for all Buffalo residents.”

Three Stories Coffee Co. is known for its passion for great coffee and intentional economics. Its name comes from the three pillars of the business: direct trade, locally roasted, and not-for-profit. The company is committed to being mindful with every step of its supply chain while also providing equitable wages, caring for the environment and investing in service to the community.

Jeremy Hazelton, Executive Director of 716 Ministries said of Three Stories Coffee, “Three Stories represents the latest social enterprise of 716 Ministries, where each business that we start is about redefining the bottom line—creating access to programs and services that make a real difference in the communities we serve. We don’t hire people to sell coffee, we sell coffee to hire people.”

A half-dozen employees of the coffee company are receiving hands-on experience in 716 Ministries’ customer service certification program. A variety of high-quality coffee, tea, and smoothie options, as well as breakfast and lunch items, are being served. Three Stories is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Herm Cooks, Three Stories Coffee Co. General Manager said, “Our staff reflects the wide variety of cultures found in the neighborhood. The entire team is proud to be serving the community delicious food in a café that is both warm and welcoming.”

Three Stories Coffee is reinvesting 100% of the proceeds from the café to create opportunities through workforce development, community investment, and employment, all in an effort to support some of the region’s most vulnerable residents.  More information about Three Stories Coffee can be found at https://threestoriescoffee.com/.

The cafe is located next to the Broadway Market at 1021 Broadway, a five-story building that houses a full-service health and wellness hub designed to help lift Buffalo’s East Side. More than 100 people work in the building overall, which includes multiple social service agencies, a pharmacy, a medically oriented gym and a dental clinic. There are also shared workspaces and conference rooms, a community kitchen, and new computers. Mosaic 659 Foundation renovated 3,250 square feet of commercial space on the first floor of the building, which now includes retail, restrooms, storage space, and elevator upgrades. Mosaic’s project received a $525,000 grant from the State’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund.

In March 2019, New York State announced the $50 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, an initiative to spark revitalization of Buffalo’s East Side through investments in the four main north-south commercial corridors: Michigan, Jefferson, Fillmore and Bailey avenues. Funding will help revive traditional main streets and commercial corridors through the preservation of historic buildings, funding of capital improvements in neighborhood assets, expansion of commercial opportunities, improvements to infrastructure, as well as the promotion of mixed-use private investment in these neighborhoods. The funding is designed to empower community residents to improve their businesses and neighborhoods, making it a ground up revitalization effort led by and directly benefiting the community. The fund compliments previous investments on the East Side, including $10 million for the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative and $5 million for the Buffalo Central Terminal, for a total of $65 million in investments since 2017.

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Three Stories Coffee Co. is not only investing in our city; they're investing in the people who call it home. As New York continues to fuel small businesses through the East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, I'm thrilled to see Three Stories Coffee open its doors and offer a thoughtful, empowering approach to growing both our economy and our workforce.”

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “The grand opening of Three Stories Coffee Co. located in Buffalo’s Eastside is a great use of the Empire State Development resources to help revitalize our community and strengthen our workforce. I applaud Governor Kathy Hochul, 716 Ministries, and all the other community stakeholders, whose leadership contributed to making this project a reality.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “The opening of the Three Stories Coffee Company is good news for the neighborhood and further proof of how new business and new economic life is percolating in the Broadway Fillmore area. Investments such as these grow career opportunities and help individuals on paths to future success while also invigorating the neighborhood.”

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “I congratulate 716 Ministries on the launch of this innovative coffee business that not only adds to the retail mix of one of Buffalo’s oldest business corridors, but also includes a job training component. The adaptive reuse of 1021 Broadway, which is now home to several medical and human services organizations, and now 3 Stories Coffee, is a great model for what we hope to see as my Administration works with Empire State Development on the $10 million initiative which will breathe new life into the Broadway Market and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309
Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239