Last spring, Bodhi Coffee on 10th Street became Quaker City Coffee. It has the same owner but a new mission: to provide jobs and mentorship for formerly incarcerated Philadelphians. The business works with partners at the Community College of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and the Mayor’s Office of integration Services (RISE) to hire and train employees reentering the workforce.
Owner Bob Logue grew up in Frankford and saw that many of his neighbors faced systemic racism, a lack of equal job opportunities and ultimately poverty. Today, as a co-owner of both Federal Donuts and Bodhi Coffee, he is part of the upscale food and beverage business community in Philadelphia. He’s noticed that people from the kinds of communities he grew up in are often excluded from that world.
One example? Logue’s new partner in Quaker City Coffee, Christian Dennis. The men met at CCP’s commencement ceremony for the college’s Reentry Support Project. Dennis, 35, who was released from prison in 2010, also grew up in Frankford. His speech at the ceremony that night inspired Logue: “We could create a cooperative business environment between the creative affluent communities of Philadelphia and the working-class neighborhoods,” Logue says.
Barista jobs are just the entry position. Logue and Dennis launched a line of coffee, roasted by High Point in Mount Airy, to create white-collar jobs in sales and business. After We Work awarded the company a $72,000 grant in January, Quaker City Coffee is well on the way to giving more formerly incarcerated Philadelphians a fair shot at life on the outside.
Quaker City Coffee
263 S. 10th St.