Juan Duarte is the owner of 7 & 8 Food Store in Westlake. Mr. Duarte and his family have been running the business for more than 20 years. When the “Card Under 35” campaign was first implemented, 7 & 8 Food Store was identified as one of the first stores for KYCC to build a relationship with. During our assessment of liquor stores in Koreatown, Westlake, and Pico Union, 7 & 8 Food Store was one of the few stores that already had relationships with other community organizations.
The first few times we approached Juan Duarte, we were welcomed with open arms. We immediately noticed the family pictures that line the wall of the store and behind the counter, there were numeroud documents from organizations that they have worked with. “My family and I live here. It is where our children are playing and growing up,” Duarte explained. “This area is bad, dirty, and sometimes dangerous. We have been targeted a couple times, and I want to help make my community better.”
Duarte signed onto the “Card Under 35” campaign in March 2013. He has attended our four-hour responsible beverage service training and graciously lent his store as the site for a press conference that took place in June 2014. KYCC’s Prevention Education team greatly appreciates Duarte’s efforts in trying to make his neighborhood safe. He is a wonderful business owner and an amazing community member who is making a difference in Westlake.