Helix Cafe Opens with Opportunity

Helix logo representing community needs and youth unemployment, bridged by local businesses

Incredible buzz has surrounded Helix café since its’ inception and opening, and for good reason. Partners Caitlin Botsios & Sean Connolly have an innovative business model that moves beyond traditional coffee and pastries. They identified certain problems within our community, such as a lack of employment within young adults aged 16-24, and employers facing difficulties finding applicants for entry-level jobs. Following the Loyola Limited model from Loyola University Chicago, which co-founder Connolly oversaw, including community staples like Chainlinks bike shop, Helix café was born.

Employees standing with Alderman Osterman at the grand opening on May 10th, 2019

Their business has brought them to the northwest corner of Edgewater, on the corner of Thome and Clark. It has meant maximizing all of the amazing resources in our area, from nearby high schools and a community driven mindset. This area was especially compelling to them due to the support and diversity they found in the local community. All this comes to a head and is showcased on the Helix Herald, a newsletter community members can sign up to receive here. Not only will you hear the latest on new items added to the café, but the newsletter features a slew of community events and highlights local jobs that are taking applications. Now open for little more than a month, Helix continues to connect the local community to available opportunities. Call EDC to learn how you can easily open a business in this area.

In addition to serving local Chicago coffee and pastries, as well as an array of savory breakfast and lunch foods, Helix café will take the training of their staff seriously. This is more than customer service job, but an opportunity to develop important employable skills, developed through a mix of 75% shift experience and 25% classroom based professional development. This arc of employment, as Helix has branded it, will build the resume and experience of their employees, preparing them for other positions in the future. Their goal is not to retain employees, but build a network of professionals for ongoing support and leadership opportunities.

To keep up with Helix, their mission, and the café, follow them on Instagram @helix_cafe and like their Facebook page.