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March 19, 2008


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It's 6:20 in the morning in the Emerald City and I'm so excited about the meeting!

I read that article above and what I want to know is where are the 50 stores that supposedly are already scooping coffee out of the bins? I can think of one store: Pike Place (301). Or is he counting all the Clover stores because they're selling coffee not in "flavor-lock" bagging. But it's still not really scooped. It's a hybrid - it comes in special packaging to the store that it cannot be re-sold in, and then if a customer wants to buy the specialty coffee, the packages are opened up and the customer's coffee is weighed out and sold. He must be counting the Clover stores as the 50 stores ...

Holding time of coffee will be cut? This would be nice, but during a rush it's usually tough to get someone to re-brew the coffee when the timer goes off. How about an automatic drain-and-re-brew system? How about a system that is pour-as-you-go, like the home machines we sell? Some customers hate it when you tell them they have to wait 4-5 minutes until the coffee is done brewing. We sometimes have another carafe on hand, but most of the time we don't.

How will they redesign stores ? Maybe they will stop using the most costly materials available to man. And maybe the snotty designers will get a clue about cutting cost and what that means for the company.

Super Shifter

Clo-vers, clo-vers, clo-vers, clo-vers......


Those quotes sure do sounds like clovers. Imagine how much more brewed coffee they would sell, and at a markup. I hope it's true. I hope that the Clovers are coming!

Interesting stuff. I've been a regular customer for many years in several cities. I go to Starbucks for one reason only: it has good expresso. I never order the frou frou drinks, but they don't bother me. Nor do the CDs or merchandise.

I almost always get excellent service. No one bugs me if I stay for an hour or more, even if bring in my own food. (We're talking a discreet tupperware container, not a pizza!)

Clovers or tasting nights would interest me.
The other changes don't much interest me -- as long as you maintain what I like.


Charging 2.50 for brewed will not go over well with the general public no matter what. When you dump six packets of sugar and half a cup of cream or milk in the coffee it doesn't really matter how high quality you started with. The freshness? An hour is pretty fresh to begin with. Never had any complaints about stale coffee. I did have complaints about having to wait while we re-brewed. Many times the customers would just ask if they could have the old stuff (I wouldn't charge).


$2.50 isn't what everyone wants for a cup of coffee, but what about offering the Clover at around $2.50 and then cutting the price of drip coffee.

It would take more coverage, but once someone orders a Clover, they would be hooked if they wanted a good cup of coffee. It really is that much of a difference.

For the people that don't care about how it tastes, the $1 shorts, and maybe $1.75 venti's for drip seem like they would increase the number of people who would come to Starbucks, and then be tempted to buy an expensive pastry while there.

Vicki Verona

Jim can we get a dedicated thread to talk about the conference as its being broadcast?

Vicki Verona

"When I think back about why I came back as CEO, it wasn't just about shareholder value, but it was personal"

Vicki Verona

"Its time to give you reason to believe in Starbucks again"

Vicki Verona

"We do not want to use the economy as an excuse"

Vicki Verona

"We will get into health & wellness business with respect to food and beverage. We will get into energy category"

Vicki Verona

"We lost our edge....we went away from entrepreneurial to mediocre"


Sorry, Howard. Your company grew too much too fast under Jim Donald, and look what happened. The problem isnt you, its the customers. Their impatience forced Donald to make Ststbucks into a fast food coffeeshop. The customers, not the partners, need to realize a good latte takes more than the 2 seconds they want it in.

-Barista Joe


Let's make Bux the meeting place that Howard envisioned 30 years ago and what he saw when he visited Italy.

Stores that are the Core B design will never be able to do scooped beans unless they reconfigure the store.

Clover sounds like a nice add on, not a silver bullet.

Let us return to being the Coffee Experts: More seminars, french presses going all the time in the stores, make samples to GIVE to customers, offer free refills (since we dump more coffee than most sell).

Oh wait we can do those things NOW.

Vicki Verona

"This was a sad year in terms of people we lost at Starbucks"

Vicki Verona

The investor of the frappuccino extract, Don Valencia, passed away this year.


A meeting topic has been set up.


Wow... does it make me a bad person to say that I'd never give a kidney to a customer?


"But in a sign of lost luster, Starbucks suffered the indignity last year of being beaten by McDonald's coffee in a Consumer Reports ranking."

People are still bringing this up... First, who really cares? Good for McDonalds. That doesn't mean our coffee is bad. It just means McDonalds also has good coffee. Second, keep in mind some McDonalds have their coffee supplied by... that's right, Starbucks. Speaking of which, you'll notice I said "some", meaning that while the coffee tasted by Consumer Reports may have been good, their suppliers, and their coffee with it, varies. Third, their methodology wasn't very thorough. This wasn't the same as them testing a car for hundreds of thousands of miles, or running a washing machine for weeks on end. A small panel of "trained" tasters (i.e. not the average consumer) each tried one cup of coffee from each of the stores tested. It wasn't a blind study. They didn't survey hundreds of consumers. One taste. And probably plenty of anti-starbucks bias from the "trained tasters".

"Starbucks coffee houses are a real-world mash-up of Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, adds Jeff DeGraff, a consultant."

Who's a mashup of who now? Coffee houses were here first. The social web is a virtual mashup of the real world. I don't take offense to the above statement. It just makes me laugh a bit.

"Get Healthier"

I agree. And the real way to get healthier is to stop getting your Venti Mocha with nonfat milk or skinny. It's instead getting a much tastier, though a bit more calorie and fat filled short latte with whole milk. The way good coffee should be enjoyed. Of course a 20 ounce mocha is bad for you. A 20 ounce anything is bad for you.

"Sell energy drinks"

I thought we were supposed to get healthier. Energy drinks are not healthy. Even the ones with fake sugar (which has its own pitfalls) are still not very healthy for the most part.




Bring back the Chantico!

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