Success Stories

The City of Chicago is committed to strengthening local business corridors and enhancing neighborhood vitality through Community Development Grants. The grants provide additional opportunities for the City to invest in catalytic local development, expanding upon DPD’s existing investments and support.

View Chicago Recovery Plan grant finalists

Neighborhood Fresh Foods at Cultivate Collective 

 4942 W. 44th St., Garfield Ridge 

Grant $250,000

Cultivate Collective, a six-acre community and sustainability hub, opened on the site of the former Leclaire Courts public housing complex on Chicago’s Southwest side in October 2023. The center, which aims to holistically support area residents, includes a neighborhood market that was funded by a $250,000 Community Development Grant. The Neighborhood Fresh Foods Store fills a void in the area's grocery landscape and also sources produce from the on-site urban farm, increasing access to healthy foods. 


"We are immensely grateful to the City of Chicago and Department of Planning and Development for their generous support of our Neighborhood Marketplace in LeClaire Courts. This funding directly enabled a key aspect of Cultivate’s holistic community hub model that will provide fresh food to our residents in Southwest Chicago, in an area that is not within direct access to a grocery store.”

— Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, CEO, Cultivate Collective 



 2601 W. Fletcher St., Avondale

Grant $250,000

In 2022, Thattu was awarded a $250,000 Community Development Grant which funded the interior build out of a vacant building, transforming the structure into the colorful space that houses the restaurant today. After opening in May 2023, Thattu recognized on New York Times 2023 “Restaurant List” and named one of the best new eateries by Food and Wine. 

“Opportunity came with the Chicago Recovery Plan grant, and helped make our restaurant happen. We don’t have any debt; we are profitable, and we are actually able to pay our employees a living wage,”

Vinod Kalathil, Co-Owner, Thattu. 

Vegan Now 2 Go 

1536 E. 75th St., South Shore 

Grant $250,000

The owners of legendary Chatham restuarant Soul Veg City were awarded a $250,000 Community Developnent Grant to open a new fast-casual concept, Vegan Now 2 Go in South Shore.  Vegan Now 2 Go focuses on serving up plant-based goodness for on-the-move customers. 

“I believe if we did not get the grant from the city of Chicago we would not be open at this location within a year’s time.”

-Arel Brown, Co-Owner, Vegan Now 2 Go

Junior Chefs Kitchen 

2448 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park 
Grant $250,000
Niki Cordell received a $250,000 Community Development Grant in 2023 to open her classroom and kitchen on Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park. The school features an open layout including a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and a large space for classes and other events such as birthday parties. This location is just a starting point for Cordell, who is already working with Chicago Public Schools and hopes to expand to new locations in the South and West Sides in the future.  
I’ve long dreamt of opening up a school to teach our youth the art of healthy eating and cooking, because these are essential life skills. Receiving a Community Development Grant helped make my idea a reality. Junior Chefs Kitchen was able to quickly open its doors in Lincoln Park, and it’s really going to be the blueprint for future locations,"
— Niki Cordell, Owner, Junior Chefs Kitchen.  

Magnifico Coffee Roasters & Coffee Shop

3063 N. Milwaukee Ave., Avondale 

Grant $217,000

When the Acebedo family decided to open a coffee shop featuring the flavors of their native Colombia, they thought they would have to build out the Avondale storefront themselves. Thanks to a Community Development Grant that covered Magnifico Coffee’s construction costs, the family instead focused on sourcing the best Colombian coffee and finding local artists to highlight on a gallery wall.  

Magnifico Coffee opened its doors in Avondale in March 2023 and serves locally made pastries, with coffee grown by two women-owned Colombian farms and roasted in-house, along with Colombian pastries. 

“The Chicago Recovery Plan elevated the work and just opened so many doors. We honestly couldn’t have been able to provide our community a place like this without the support of the grant.”

-Angelica Acebedo-Frint, Co-Owner, Magnífico Coffee Roasters & Coffee Shop

Community Development Grant finalists can visit the grant finalist resources page for more information. 

For any additional questions, please email