Marshall Thompson, original member and Godfather of the acclaimed musical group, The Chi-Lites, recently visited Overflow Coffee with his star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Marshall and the Chi-Lites celebrated Marshall's 80th birthday with a cake cutting and coffee from Overflow in the place where they got their big break–1449 S Michigan Avenue.
In late 1968, The Chi-Lites signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records, which followed Vee-Jay Records as occupants of 1449 S Michigan Avenue, now owned by nonprofit Entrenuity, and currently housing the Entrenuity headquarters, Mox.E Coworking and Overflow Coffee. After Vee-Jay Records went out of business in 1967, 1449 S Michigan Ave was converted into the new Brunswick A&R office. At the time the building was a simple two story building with a recording studio on the first floor and offices on the second floor. It was here that these electrifying artists cut hit records for Brunswick, including "Have You Seen Her" and "Oh Girl" and helped form the unique sound that became known as Chicago Soul.
The Chi-Lites scored eleven Top Ten singles on Billboard R&B charts between 1969-1974 and were featured on television shows such as Soul Train, American Bandstand, The Midnight Special, etc. The Chi-Lites were sampled by such greats such as Jay-Z, Michelle, Fantasia, and Beyonce. In 2021 the Chi-Lites were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
What an incredible honor to welcome Marshall and The Chi-Lites back in the space where such legendary hits were made!
#marshallthompson #thechilites #chicagosoul #soulmusic #rnb #brunswickrecords #veejayrecords #overflowcoffee
Determined to be the change she wanted to see in the world, pastor, educator, and urban farmer Shaunte Brewer founded @VISIONOutreach. With just a vision and an initial donation of $50, Shaunte stepped out on faith with great conviction that she could make a difference in the lives of Chicago youth.
VISION Outreach is a youth-focused community outreach program with the sole purpose of helping the youth of Chicago and surrounding areas progress and excel. VISION's mission is to provide a morale boost to youth--installing hope, optimism, inspiration, and positive practices in their lives. The organization seeks to empower youth by providing education, inspiration, and revelation.
The pandemic sparked a shift in Shaunte's personal and professional life. While she missed being in the classroom with Chicago youth, she enjoyed documenting her journey of transforming her personal backyard into a mini urban farm and becoming a certified urban farmer. Shaunte is pleased to be back in the classroom and has added urban agriculture to VISION Outreach's programming with VISION Urban Ag.
VISION Urban Ag brings tangible results to school communities, providing youth a sense of agency and empowerment to change the landscape of their school community as well as improve their mental and physical health. Participants learn life skills that assist in the fight against food insecurity, economic disadvantages, childhood obesity, and poor eating habits.
Shaunte receives business and leadership coaching from Entrenuity founder L. Brian Jenkins, focusing on effective pricing strategies for VISION Outreach. She was also the focus of a recent collegiate article highlighting her work in Chicago.
World Business Chicago, in partnership with CIBC and SomerCor, presents the inaugural Black and Latino Excellence Investment Summit. The first cohort program connected 11 business owners from the city’s South and West sides interested in scaling their operations with the key ingredient crucial for success—technical assistance resources and solid connections to banks, funders, and available grants.
Local banks, CDFIs, and Angel Investors all worked hard with their partnered businesses to explore growth and expansion opportunities as well as access to capital. Some businesses were aided with debt refinancing, mentorship for expansion, and assistance with future projects and initiatives.
Overflow Coffee was one of the participating businesses and L. Brian Jenkins had the opportunity to share the Entrenuity story with the audience and affirm the importance of BLEIS and other programs that connect minority business owners with access to capital resources, particularly relationships with funders and investors.
>>>CBS News Clip (aired 06-22-22 at 10 pm)
Jennifer L. Hodges
10ft X 2ft
Through my abstract work of art, I intend to capture and give voice to the myriad aspects of the human experience. My work represents a contemporary exploration of the Black experience with a spotlight on the various aspects of Black femininity. I intend to evoke feelings, stimulate thought and enhance ambiance. My work is a place for me to explore without boundaries, relish in liberated creativity and challenge thought, education and experience. It is my voice captured in one moment, and on one canvas in time. I draw creative inspiration from the metaphysical, psychology, and spirituality. My choice of color combination and texture through mixed media aims to inspire spirituality, cultural connection, and an overall sensory connection for the viewer, making them feel represented in the work of art.
Legendary Reflection is an extension of Jennifer’s Beauty In Darkness Series, which represents the individuality, beauty, and resilience of Black American experiences.
Legendary Reflection honors Overflow Coffee’s history as the former home of Vee-Jay Records. The art is comprised of original records broken and assembled on the canvas along with authentic piano rods, guitar strings, sheet music, bamboo paper, mesh, hemp string, and wire. Recoding artists who released hits on the Vee-Jay label are featured in the art, including Jerry Butler, The Beatles, Betty Everett, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and the Dells.
In 2011 a group of investors interested in taking a different approach to addressing a key social issue decided to pull together funding to launch CleanTurn, a professional commercial cleaning company founded in Cleveland, OH. The goal was to create a for-profit company intentional about leveraging its profit to fund supportive services for its team members and to reinvest in community outreach activities. CleanTurn is dedicated to changing perceptions and shattering the myth that a person’s past dictates their future and creates supportive employment for justice impacted individuals.
In 2021, CleanTurn launched a second branch in Chicago. In an effort to raise awareness of the need for justice reform and supportive employment, CleanTurn, in partnership with Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBI) and Represent Justice, hosted a screening of the feature-length documentary, Apart, at Mox.E Coworking. The documentary follows three unforgettable mothers as they return home from prison and confront the multiple challenges to rebuilding their lives after being incarcerated and separated from their children for years.
Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the country, and the majority are mothers, further impacting future generations. More than 80% of women who enter the carceral system have experienced victimization or abuse in the past. Approximately 200 women in the US are released from jails and prisons every day. Reentry resources that take into account the trauma they have endured and the unique challenges they face are desperately needed for women impacted by the justice system. Opportunities with supportive employers as well as entrepreneurship education and resources can even the playing field for women and their families who’ve been impacted by the justice system and provide hope for the next generation.
The Common Cup in Rogers Park closed in Feb 2021 to reevaluate and regroup after the worst of the pandemic. Systems were strengthened and the shop reopened later that Fall. The Common Cup is now STRONGER THAN EVER!
Our customers have noticed and they love to show their appreciation!
Thanks to the leadership, barista team, and awesome Common Cup customers for this success story!