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Minneapolis restaurant All Square makes Time's 'World's Greatest Places 2019'


Did you know that a humble grilled cheese sandwich shop in Minneapolis is one of the "World's Greatest Places."

That's according to Time Magazine, which has included All Square at 4047 Minnehaha Avenue in the 2019 edition of its annual list.

It's included it in the "Food and Drink" section of the global list, but it's not so much for its food as it is for its social impact.

That's because, as we've written before, All Square employs a staff almost entirely comprised of formerly-incarcerated men and women.

Founded by civil rights lawyer Emily Turner, the grilled cheese dispensary aims at giving ex-cons a second chance and some much needed work experience in the service industry.

As Time notes: 

"All Square makes a mean grilled cheese, but its ambitions are much greater. Opened in September 2018 by civil rights lawyer Emily Hunt Turner, the sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated employees a professional­-development fellowship in addition to a living wage. Fellows work at least 30 hours a week at the shop, training in everything from wellness to social media. They devote 10 to 15 more hours to learning critical skills like résumé writing and personal finance. The program, designed to develop real-world experience and sterling references, recently graduated 11 fellows in its first class. Turner hopes to replicate the business model and reduce recidivism in cities across the country."

Describing itself as a social enterprise as well as a craft grilled cheese restaurant, its website says: "Our name refers to the shape of our sandwiches and communicates the notion that those who have paid their debts to society are ALL SQUARE and free to move forward with a clean slate."

Formerly imprisoned individuals who are returning to the community can be taken on by All Square, where they will undergo a 12-month training program as they serve up grilled cheese to customers.

With former inmates also on the organization's Board of Directors, All Square says its program has been put together by people with experience of prison and the criminal justice system.

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