All Square had already been racking up national recognition by the time we profiled the restaurant in a January cover story.
Now/This, Fast Company—even Oprah—all loved the idea behind the grilled cheese restaurant, which only hires folks who have previously been incarcerated. And they'd only been open about four months at the time.
Still less than a year in, All Square has one more accolade to add to its cheesy trophy case, and it's a big one. Last week, Time called the small-but-mighty-necessary shop one of the 100 most important places in the world.
"All Square makes a mean grilled cheese, but its ambitions are much greater," Times' Ashley Halpern writes. "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."
She goes on to describe All Square's fellowship program, through which employees train in personal and professional development skills, as well as Hunt Turner's plans to replicate the model elsewhere and ideally reduce recidivism rates around the country.
In a statement, the All Square team said there are "hardly words for what this means to us."
But they weren't humble, either—nor do they need to be. Their statement includes a list of the reasons why, after some reflection, they agree that they're one of the world's most important places:
(1) We were funded into existence by a (local, national, global) community that denounces mass incarceration and believes that those who have paid their debts to society are ALL SQUARE,
(2) Our existence is in thanks to our fellows, who have braved owning their truth in immeasurable ways, and to the expertise and guidance of some of the country's boldest and most inspiring formerly incarcerated leaders who live post-release barriers daily yet still find ways to spearhead change, and
(3) Our home in the Twin Cities, a community of loyal grilled cheese customers (!) and committed criminal justice organizations, individuals, and change makers who we are collaborating with and learning from every day.
You can read our profile of All Square in full here. And you can get yourself a grilled cheese while contributing to the betterment of our community (and planet) at 4047 Minnehaha Ave. Minneapolis.