Bellarmine MBA grads add BBQ restaurant to 'Love City' initiative in Louisville's Portland neighborhood

June 4, 2018

Shawn and Inga Arvin

A couple who met in Bellarmine University's executive MBA program are sharing their love with their new neighbors in Portland.

Shawn and Inga Arvin moved into the Portland neighborhood in 2014. Their new home came with an unexpected twist -- they also had to buy the shuttered community center next door. With that purchase, they saw an opportunity for community services that would train and employ people from the neighborhood, which is one of the city's poorest. They founded a nonprofit, Love City, and began renovating the community center.

"We want the neighborhood to be the ones to (make changes)," Inga Arvin told the Courier Journal recently. "It's not about us doing it. It's about them realizing how great they are."

The couple's investment in the Portland neighborhood through Love City includes:
  • A community center offering clubs, classes, tutoring, summer camps and open gym time.
  • A "social impact" entrepreneurship incubator funded by Google, to help people in the neighborhood develop the skills they need to launch a business.
  • Porkland BBQ, a new restaurant on the former St. Cecilia Church campus that allows customers to volunteer if they can't pay for their meal.
The community center employs 23 Portland-area residents, according to the Courier Journal, which reported that the couple is planning to add a preschool and walk-up health clinic over the next year.

Read the full story in the Courier Journal, or visit Love City and Porkland BBQ.


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