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Starbucks Coffee Company

The global coffee chain started was founded in 1971 in Seattle.

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SEATTLE — Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz requested in an open letter to all Americans Tuesday that customers no longer bring firearms into Starbucks coffee shops or outdoor seating areas.

“Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns,” Schultz wrote. “In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.”

Howard-Schultz-Starbucks1He later went on to say, “Recently, however, we’ve seen the ‘open carry’ debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

“For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

“I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose ‘open carry,’ we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion ‘open carry,’ please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

“I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors,” he said.

———————-

The full letter is below:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer

Dear Fellow Americans,

Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.

From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.

Sincerely,

Howard Schultz

 

Offbeat
08/29/13

Can’t wait for pumpkin spice? Try the code

photoSEATTLE — For many, the upcoming fall season means dreary weather, shorter days and the end of t-shirt season

But it also means the return of one most popular Starbucks drinks — the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

And while the spice latte is officially available at Starbucks on September 3, pumpkin lovers who can’t wait until Tuesday to get their favorite fall drink can offer a special code to baristas at some area Starbucks to get an early taste.

Customers say the special code — PSL10 — to baristas and get the drink at most area Starbucks.

And with all this rainy weather, the code seems to have come just in time. We even bought a couple for our newsroom.

starbucks sandwich

A Starbucks employee was fired after grabbing a breakfast sandwich that had been thrown away. Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

SEATTLE– A Seattle Starbucks employee was fired last week after he fished a discarded sandwich out of the trash.

The employee, Coulson Loptmann, said he couldn’t get enough hours to pay his bills and survives partly on food stamps, according to The Stranger.

The plastic-wrapped breakfast sandwich that he grabbed out of the trash had been marked as out-of-stock by a co-worker. He figured it wouldn’t be a problem since the food had been thrown away. However, he was fired by his manager after being told his action was considered stealing and was against company policy.

A Starbucks spokesman confirmed that Loptmann’s actions were indeed a “violation of our policy to consume marked-out products” to protect the health of employees.

Starbucks spokesman Zach Hutson said, “We are empathetic to this partner’s personal situation and normally would not discuss a former partner’s employment history, however there are several important facts to clarify in this specific case … For food safety reasons, it is a violation of our policy to consume products that have been marked-out because they are expired. We do not want our partners to consume potentially spoiled products and get sick. We take this policy seriously and in most cases would coach a partner for violating it if they otherwise were performing well. In this case, this partner had multiple documented performance issues over the past year (including failing to show up for shifts when scheduled). He was let go for violating our mark-out policy only after being disciplined for ongoing performance issues.”

Local News
08/27/13

Walmart coffee better than Starbucks?

coffeeSEATTLE — Hundreds of tight-jeaned coffee aficionados could soon be crowding local Walmarts for a sip of their favorite coffee.

In a recent blind taste tests, Walmart’s coffee matched the taste produced by a Starbucks bag of ground coffee, Times Magazine reported. The test, held by Consumer Reports, maintained that coffee aficionados garnered just as much satisfaction in taste from Walmart’s at-home brew coffee, which costs $3.88 for a 11.3-ounce bag, as they do for a 12 oz. bag of Starbucks roast, which costs $9.50 at most grocery stores.

The test also reveled that many at-home coffee brewers are using single-serving K-Cups. However, the single-serving cups cost 65 cents for a six-ounce cup, nearly doubling the price of other at-home drip coffee.

 

 

Local News
08/09/13

Cup of joe and a 9mm gun

557844_338630182882073_1182296057_nSEATTLE — A national debate over guns has hit local coffee chains in the Seattle area, according to a Facebook post “I love guns and coffee” that has Starbucks once again looking down the barrel of a gun between gun rights advocates and gun control groups.

Several thousand gun rights activists plan to visit their local Starbucks with their firearms for “Starbucks Appreciation Day.” The event is scheduled for Friday.

“Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank Starbucks for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th,“  a post on the Facebook page read.

“We ask that if you choose to carry a firearm during this event that you follow all local, state, and national laws; and if you choose not to carry that you wear pro-gun rights apparel.”

The company faced pressure from gun control advocates to ban firearms from their store, so gun owners began staging the “appreciation days” a few years ago.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz resisted the move, saying in one interview, “I’m not a politician. I run a coffee company and we’re trying to abide by the laws in which we do business,”  he told the Washington Times,

swordEDMONDS, Wash. – An alleged stalker followed a Starbucks employee to her work where he waved a large sword shortly before leading police on a 95 MPH chase Sunday, Edmonds police said.

Edmonds police officers responded to calls of an unruly customer around 3:30 p.m. Sunday at a Starbucks located in the 21900 block of Highway 99. The customer was allegedly a frequent customer of the store, and known to stalk a 22-year-old female employee. The 30-year-old man often left gifts and various packages for the employee. Police said the man and the woman both attended the same class at a nearby community college.

When the man entered the store, other employees told the alleged stalker to leave and stop hassling the female worker. He became agitated and went out to his car to grab a large sword. He came back into the store and did not threaten anyone but made an attempt to reach the female employee, police said. He fled the scene in a car as soon as police arrived.

Police followed the suspect out of the parking lot and onto 220th Street SW. He allegedly ran red lights and reached speeds more than 95 MPH in the chase. Police abandoned the chase until they later received calls of a car matching the suspect’s description driving erratically.

At 7:45 p.m., sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspected vehicle parked outside a home in the 14800 block of 29th Avenue West. The suspect refused to exit the car, and Edmonds police used less-than-lethal bullets to break out the rear window of the car. The suspect then exited the vehicle and was booked.

The 30-year-old Lynnwood resident was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on first degree burglary charges from entering the Starbucks armed after he had been told to leave and attempting to elude police.

most expensive starbucksENUMCLAW, WASH. — One enterprising Starbucks customer thought it would be a novel idea to find out just how much a cup of joe could set you back. At an Enumclaw Starbucks, he ordered a frappuccino that included everything from 48 shots and protein powder to banana and strawberries — all topped with caramel and chocolate. The cost? A mere $47.50.

starbucksSEATTLE — Starbucks customers plan to send a big message to company executives with a rally Wednesday at 10 a.m. outside the coffee giant’s global headquarters.

Supporters will be writing messages on a giant 3-foot tall coffee cup, which will be sent to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

The movement, sparked by the coalition Working Washington, is in response to the company’s recent campaign that called for baristas to write “Come Together” on coffee cups. Schultz’ called on Starbucks employees to incorporate the political slogan while Congress was under deadline to reach an agreement on how to cut federal spending and avoid the fiscal cliff.

Protesters say the political slogan supports deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other government services.

Howard-Schultz-Starbucks1In a letter to Starbucks employees made public on Wednesday, Chief Executive Howard Schultz asked employees at its approximately 120 D.C.-area stores to write “Come Together” on coffee cups when serving customers on Thursday and Friday.

“Rather than be bystanders, you and your customers have an opportunity — and I believe we all have a responsibility — to send our elected officials a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to find common ground,” Schultz wrote.

Last week, Congress and President Obama broke for the Christmas holiday still far apart on a plan to address widespread tax increases and automatic government spending cuts starting next week. Both sides are due back by Thursday and have vowed to make a final attempt.

To read the complete CNN story, go here.

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