Business of the Month

Java Grounds owner Joe Eriquez accepts Mayor Cathy Carlat’s Restaurant of the Month award.

Mayor Cathy Carlat announced Java Grounds as the Mayor’s Restaurant of the Month for January 2018.

Located at the southwest corner of 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road, Java Grounds isn’t your typical coffee house. Although the baristas have a solid reputation of whipping up delectable coffee and espresso treats, it is the far-reaching and philanthropic efforts of the organization – and the story behind the baristas - that make this café so unique.

Owned and operated by a non-profit organization called Heart for the City, Java Grounds is serving up a much higher purpose. The passion behind the purpose is Founder and CEO of both Java Grounds and Heart for the City, Joe Eriquez, whose ministry background led him to a life of service. Eriquez’s sole mission for both of these organizations is to provide an opportunity for underprivileged kids to be successful in life.

Heart for the City is committed to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of inner city kids and their families. Eriquez, dedicated to creating innovative and practical solutions to the difficult economic and social problems that these kids face daily, has developed programs to work with the “whole kid.”

Java Grounds is a direct result of this philosophy. Heart for the City’s mission is infused in to the Java Grounds business model; creating a unique opportunity for young people to learn job skills, in an environment of support and mentorship. This model has had incredible results, helping hundreds of teens develop practical training while getting a view of a world of hope and possibilities that may never have been available to them inside the “walls that trap inner-city youth,” as Joe describes it.  

When it comes to the physical well-being of the children, Heart for the City gives low-income kids a chance to learn the valuable lessons taught through team sports and compete for the college scholarships available to those who work hard. Dedicated volunteers provide coaching, daily transportation, equipment and mentoring.

If sports are not your thing, a variety of programs are available at the Rose Lane Recreation Center where Heart for the City provides a safe place for kids to go after school and during the summer. Also, since one out of three kids from low-income homes eat fast food every day, they have a community garden to provide access to information on nutrition and gardening.

Heart for the City never misses an opportunity to give back to the community in meaningful ways. This past Thanksgiving, they teamed up with Larry Miller Dodge in Peoria to donate a full Thanksgiving dinner to 50 families. In addition, when Christmas time rolled around, they teamed up with the Arizona Cardinals and Tyrann Mathieu to surprise needy children with more than 3,000 presents.

Each year, Heart for the City hosts its annual Valentine Affair fundraiser in February. Marking its 10th Anniversary, this year’s event is sure to be a fun night filled with great people, wonderful food, exciting silent auction items, and a chance to win a brand new 2018 Toyota Camry that will be raffled that night.

To learn more about Java Grounds, visit www.thejavagrounds.com, or www.heartforthecityaz.org.

Residents are encouraged to stay up to date with Mayor Carlat by following her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.