Photo by Michael Garcia.
Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, city development officials, district and store managers and local community members celebrated the opening of North Long Beach’s first stand-alone Starbucks Coffee shop on Monday, October 16.
Located in the shopping center on the corner of South Street and Downey Avenue, the new Starbucks joins LA Fitness, Baskin Robbins and Walmart among other places of interest. It officially opened September 21 but held its ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday to celebrate its economic significance in the city.
“I think this is evidence that our strategies of focusing on the property owners and improving our corridors is starting to work,” Vice Mayor Richardson told the Post. “We’re starting to see investment happen here and I hope folks see this as a signal that North Long Beach is open for business.”
The vice mayor said the opening of this store is just the beginning of a bigger picture into the economic inclusion and growth for North Long Beach.
“In the last three years this shopping center went from a center that folks didn’t really know to being one of the biggest sales tax generators in the entire 90805,” Richardson said at the opening. “I anticipate this Starbucks will do very well and be an example that this is an untapped area that’s open for business and ready to thrive.”
Store manager Guinevere Parks and Vivian Shimoyama, a board member for the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, thanked Starbucks for the opportunities employees and partners received from this store.
“Some people say it’s just another store but it’s a hub for the community,” Margaret Wehrly, district manager and 15-year tenure with Starbucks, told the Post. “Our coffee shops are a place for connection, they’re office spaces and a place where families can go and students can study.”
The Starbucks is located in the shopping center on 3503 South Street.