WHO WE ARE
Tosha Wilson and Jacqui White are the co-creaters of The Laundry Cafe project. They were both born and raised in Evanston, IL and have a strong sense of belonging to the city. They want to bring a unique spin to doing laundry in Evanston, while bringing a community element to such an essential chore. The Laundry Cafe-Evanston will be where community meets necessity.
Jacqui and Tosha are cousins and come from a very large family. They were two of three girls growing up on the block, while the other seven kids were boys, so being tough came early. Jacqui excelled at basketball and became a collegiate athlete while Tosha just admired her, but didn't quite become as great as her big cousin in that arena.
Jacqui is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University where she majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice. Tosha received her B.S. from Illinois State University where she majored in Communications and minored in Sociology. Tosha also received her Master's Degree in Children's Law and Policy from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago.
They have 40 years of combined experience in law enforcement and have seen many tragic moments on the job. They have witnessed the worst in people during traumatic times and despite these moments, they recognize the goodness in people. There are so many great people in the world and so many more wonderful things to do to advance us as a society. They are ready for the challenge, but they learned a hard lesson as children and that is: no one should have to do it alone. We hope you support this endeavor.
What will The Laundry Cafe be?
Enjoy our relaxing atmosphere, while your laundry is washed.
TLC Evanston will be more than just a laundromat. On average people spend 2 hours in a laundromat. Now, imagine washing your clothes, sitting in a comfortable chair or sofa, using free Wi-Fi and having a cup of coffee brought to you. An extra space for Yoga and meditation, book readings for children, and more family engagement. It will give such a mundane chore a special kind of vibe, that we all can enjoy.
Where will The Laundry Cafe be?
We will revitalize our community, one load at a time!
The Laundry Cafe will be located at 2223 Washington St in Evanston. We searched for buildings in the historically Black neighborhood of Evanston. Many would consider that the 5th Ward, but we also know that includes so many places in Evanston and that includes this 16,000 square foot building in Evanston's second ward. We have found a place to thrive in and surround our community with love, livability, laughter and laundry.
When will The Laundry Cafe open?
The Laundry Cafe and it's partners will bring pride back to our village!
The Laundry Cafe is still in its infancy stages, but never underestimate the power of a hungry baby. Our location has been found and we are pushing on all fronts to get philanthropy and other avenues of funding. See our update page to see what we've been up to. It's exciting to build on what the community wants and needs through entrepreneurship and innovation. These kinds of ideas take time, but time is on our side. Stay tuned.
Why is The Laundry Cafe needed?
Thriving Black businesses in Evanston is the key to a healthy community.
Diversity, inclusivity and economic development have been sold to many people that have moved to the Evanston area. In the process, the Black community has lost its footprint on its middle class status and now struggle to remain in our historic communities. We want to bring more Black businesses into the fold and build our legacy back to its rightful place. Thankfully we come from a community of many people that support this endeavor. We will get it done.
Services we plan to provide
We plan to provide the basic needs in laundry, but the community aspect is where so much of this business model will be different. We plan on a space for computers, book room for children's literacy programs, and a cafe that will be run by qualified individuals to bring you a small taste of home.