Jay Gentile, who runs U.S. operations for the family-owned company, told attendees of a Tuesday community meeting that his firm was "fully committed" to being a good neighbor and should be judged a year from now on how they actually perform.
"When lawyers get involved, it gets messy," Gentile told the Public Service Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council. "It's an uncomfortable feeling."
The 733 Centre St. coffee house is under construction and could open before the holidays if the company gets the remaining city license it needs. Word on that license could come as soon as Thursday from the Licensing Board.
Members of the Neighborhood Council committee crafted a "Good Community Business Agreement" during an Oct. 21 public meeting that Caffè Nero executives were unable to attend. Afterwards, Michael Reiskind of the Neighborhood Council and company officials worked out what items the coffee house would agree to and which they'd reject.
Here's the text of the agreement. Items with strikethrough were rejected by Caffè Nero:
Good Community Business Agreement
Participation in and Support Local Organizations
- Join and actively participate in local Jamaica Plain business groups. (JP Business and Professional Association, JP Centre/South Main Streets)
- Actively participate in and provide financial support for community cultural events (Wake Up The Earth Festival, JP Music Festival)
- Sponsor local youth organizations (Regan Youth League)
Designate at least 1/4 of 1 percent of the Jamaica Plain store's gross annual revenues in support of these organizations.
Cleanliness and Design
- Keep the areas in front and back of your store clean at all times.
- Add two well-designed trash barrels, some with recycling capabilities.
- Shovel snow and ice from the front sidewalk area prior to opening, and hourly during snow storms that occur during hours of operation.
- Do not install security grates.
- Keep food waste inside of the store until trash pick-up day; do not install any exterior Dumpsters.
- Imprint all take-out materials (cups, bags, plates, etc.) with the company name or logo.
- Bring exterior design matters to the Design Committee of JP Centre/South Main Streets for review and comment.
- Give preference in hiring to qualified Jamaica Plain residents.
Pay a living wage.
- Create a welcoming environment.
- Provide printed menus in English and Spanish.
Offer senior discounts.
Previous Jamaica Plain News coverage of Caffè Nero’s bid to come to JP:
- Caffè Nero Wins Approval from Neighborhood Group
- Neighborhood Group Won’t OK Caffè Nero Without Written Deal
- JP Business Group Stands Firm on ‘No’ to Caffè Nero
- Neighborhood Group Okays Caffè Nero By Wide Margin
- Caffè Nero Jamaica Plain: Here’s What It Would Look Like
- Dublin Suburb Vows to Boycott Proposed Caffé Nero
- Sneak Peek: What Caffè Nero Jamaica Plain Might Look Like
- Full Letter from JP Local First Opposing Caffè Nero
- JP Local First Urges Landlord to Tear Up Lease with UK Coffee Giant