Starbucks says, “You Have a Choice.”

Latte or Flat-White? Starbucks says there’s more to it than that.

The latest ad campaign from Starbucks is another departure from selling coffee, as the chain aims to promote civility following a plea for change in America from its top executive.

The first of a two-page print ad that ran last Thursday features opposing ideas, set against each other in black and white.

During the company’s annual meeting Wednesday, Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said he struggled to find the right words about “the pain I feel about where America is headed and the cloud hanging over the American people.”

The ad ran in Thursday’s editions of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. It can also be seen on the company’s website, where a video that runs about seven minutes shows Mr. Schultz’s comments.

What will you choose?



Starbucks Pushes Baristas to Vote

The Race for the White House has thus far been quite interesting. I will just say, please be sure to get out and vote. If you work for Starbucks, you’ve likely heard this message from your boss in the past week or so.

Coffee company Starbucks is urging its American employees to register to vote, chairman and CEO Howard Schultz wrote in a letter on Monday.

“For decades we’ve created meaningful connections with our customers and served communities. We’re about to answer these questions once again by addressing a problem that many partners have identified as extremely important: increasing voter registration and participation across America.”

The company will be using TurboVote to make it easy for all U.S. employees to register to vote from both computers and mobile devices. Schultz said that he got the idea from a February forum with employees in Brooklyn when he asked what the company could do to emphasize citizenship.

There were even rumors last year that Schultz was considering a campaign for the White House himself, which he shut down with an August op-ed in the New York Times. However, that doesn’t mean that the CEO is loving the current batch of presidential candidates. Last month, Schultz said that the US presidential election has turned into a “circus” and he has “grave concern” about the country’s future.

This is not the first time Starbucks has promoted voting; they gave customers who said they voted on Election Day in 2008 a free cup of coffee. Here’s a flashback:

Starbucks is the Greenest Company EVER.

Forget the red cups. Starbucks has gone green.

The coffee giant just opened the 700th LEED-certified location worldwide. Officially, that the most of any company on Earth. Additionally, this number will nearly double by the end of 2016, when it reaches 1,200 certified stores.

The milestone is accompanied by news of LEED Platinum certification, the highest available, for the chain’s big Seattle roastery/tasting room that opened last year, in hopes of winning back geeks by producing a “hip” coffee fantasyland where the furniture is solid wood, the “coffee masters” wear artisan aprons, and the siphons come LED-equipped.

Read more here.


#RaceTogether – So Many Lessons, So Little Time.

There are hundreds of articles everyday that encourage us to explore our passions, live boldly and shy away from the ordinary. I am learning that being a passionate person isn’t easy. What’s missing is the point that oftentimes being passionate can be tough. There will be those who will fight you every step of the way, ridicule you and try their best to stop you. In essence, there will be haters.  3044124-inline-i-2-starbuckss-race-together-why-the-naysayers-have-it-all-wrong

Howard Schultz has a lot of haters. Starbuck’s market value is about $72 billion at present. Additionally, Schultz is passionate about the company being one with values. He makes sure part-time employees get company-sponsored health care, the company’s early stance in giving benefits to same-sex partners and grants stock options to baristas. In recent years, he has tried to use his voice — and Starbucks’ footprint, as he likes to call it — to help not just his employees but the country. All the while, people have hated and criticized.

Last month, Schultz started something he called Starbucks’ Race Together campaign, suggesting that baristas write #RaceTogether on coffee cups, and see where that led. It backfired. He was mocked for, being a well-off white guy who was tackling a subject that was above his head and was inappropriate for a corporation.

Props needs to be given. The fact is, he is willing to stand for more than quarterly profits. So far, he has held 10 forums for employees to speak their mind on race relations. He has promised that Starbucks will hire 10,000 youths who are neither in school nor in the work force. He is going to open stores in disadvantaged neighborhoods, including in Ferguson, Mo. All of his initiatives are geared toward one ultimate goal: to re-establish the American dream. He wants future generations to have the same chances he had.

There are lessons for corporate America in what Howard Schultz is doing. More than that, there are lessons for us all in how to fearlessly take a stand for what you believe in.

Oprah’s Got the Tea.

I Love Tea. I Love Oprah. I Love Starbucks. They have all come together. God is good.

A few weeks ago, Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo of Starbucks and Oprah Winfrey,  announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to co-create Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea.

Oprah Winfrey personally developed the tea with Teavana’s leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda. The distinctive blend of tea, features a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos.


I won’t spill it.

“I looove tea,” said Oprah. “My daily tea ritual is a vital part of my morning. Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a favorite of mine. To share one of my favorite things with the rest of the world and support youth education at the same time is truly the perfect blend.”

On Sunday, May 11 in celebration of Mother’s Day and moms everywhere, participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada and Teavana® Fine Teas + Tea Bars will offer a buy one get one free Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea Latte while supplies last. Customers are invited to bring in their mother figure to enjoy a free Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte of equal or lesser value with the purchase of another.

As part of this new core offering, Starbucks will make a donation for each Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea product sold in participating Starbucks and Teavana stores to benefit educational opportunities for youth through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

This warms my heart (and tongue). Take a look at the video below.

Will You #PayItForward?

Everyone knows I am a Starbucks addict. It is a costly habit. As I stand in line today, I truly hope the person in front of me decides to “Pay It Forward.”

Beginning today through October 11th, when you head over to your local participating Starbucks and buy the next person in line their favorite beverage, you’ll receive a FREE tall brewed coffee. screen-shot-2013-10-09-at-6-08-45-am

According to Starbucks, “In times like these, small acts of civility like these make a big difference. With that, we are extending a gesture.”


Click here for more information.