I am a fan of Starbucks, though I am a tea person. Caramel macchiato is my favourite as the flavour is close to the macchiato that I used to drink at home in Ethiopia. So when I saw that a visit to Starbucks Headquarters was included in our Experience Seattle trip plan, I was happy.
Their office welcomed us, Humphrey Fellows, with a smell of coffee. They are in a building, which used to be a warehouse and they transformed it to a cosy and informal, workplace. Each floor has the aura of coffee shop, and employees were having meetings and discussions around coffee tables. It is like walking through a big café and I liked it.
Employees that we met and the whole environment seems to breathe the Starbucks brand and you might even mistake it for a not- for -profit from the way they presented Starbucks to us. Obviously, Starbucks seems not be successful not only in bringing best coffee beans from places like Ethiopia 😉 but also pulling the right staff that advocate for it.
One of our Fellows asked how much a coffee farmer gets per a cup of coffee. However it was not easy to get direct answer but we were told Starbucks pays to farmers by far more than any other buyer. There was also explanation how people pay more for the Starbucks brand as they would do for any other for instance designer brand. In this case it would be for ‘Starbucks Experience’. That is debateable but my main take away from the visit, was their mission, “to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time”. I must say I am inspired by the statement, which encapsulates ingredients for their success. It gave me hope that if one takes their same strategy, one step at a time, it is possible to transform society or achieve any other goal.
I can’t say much about the flavour of the coffee there, because they didn’t offer us one; big surprise for all of us. But I guess they offered what they trade, Starbucks sells experience right?