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May 22, 2009


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winter..... get a life. add up all the money you have wasted on this company.


coulda donated it to some baristas in need... due to low level pay



yeah exactly, tips arent quite enough...and yeah he should save his money for a real purpose in life....its just COFFEE dammit!!


Why would you do this? I'm confused. Trust me, I get that it's fabulous to be a fan but what is the motive behind this? If you just go from store to store you're not building up a connection with any baristas. And only rarely will you hit a Starbucks that will have something truly unusual to offer you.

I've thought about trying to find stores with test food and beverages items, but it took no effort at all give up that idea before I even started it. Too many stores, and pretty much like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Can someone help me understand the motive here?


Please Winter, the dream is over. It was a great run. Spend your money at your local Starbucks on drinks and tip the partners, the company is struggling at the moment. The least you could do is go in everyday to buy a cup of coffee or whatever else we sell and support the company THAT way instead of going around the damn place visiting every Starbucks around. You've ONLY visited 9000 stores? There's over 15000 stores and counting. I hate to break it to you, but just give it up. You look desperate and at this point, you really don't have a life.


I'm sort of having a moment of feeling like this guy puts me to shame. I've lived here for 20 years (in the City of Seattle) and still haven't visited every Starbucks in this city. I'm way too tired and incoherent at the moment.

Thought of the Day

I just want to know if he found any "bold coffee"?..... LOL!


To all the test market stores, what is a "Susie" and a "Larry"?


I like Starbucks as much as the next guy, but this guy seriously has a problem and really needs to get out and enjoy real things in life.

Field Partner

Some people collect things, Winter "collects" Starbucks visits. Part for his own personal satisfaction, part for the attention he garners. How did the press learn of his $1400 visit to a closing store? His own press release.

People get their attention in different ways....



Here's my take: Winter IS experiencing the new SBUX Experience. With PPR, suggestive selling, smoothies, oatmeal, sandwiches, etc. and the quest for 40,000 stores, it's now about volume and not about the connection. The cuts in labor are more than just dealing with the economic downturn - they're the new reality - this is a different company.

Juan's stats reflect this. Gone is the experience (in most places) that Juan provided when he was an SM. Even Winter acknowledges that there is better coffee elsewhere but Starbucks offers a CONSISTENCY. It's the McDonald's-ization of Starbucks. It's now about ubiquity and volume. Just like being able to get a Big Mac anywhere that tastes like one elsewhere, you can now go to SBUX and get a cup of SBUX. It's not about the coffee. The Starbucks Experience has been PROCESSED and is now no different than the cheese McDonald's puts on its burgers - designed, formulated, processed and packaged for consumption by the masses...

Like you, I was raised on the true Starbucks Experience. I was trained in the unique flavor profile of Starbucks bold roasts. Partners connected and engaged and did more than serve coffee within a set time frame. And I miss what I used to have.

It's a different time. A different company. And sadly, a different product (PPR, no bold after 12, no La Marzoccas, etc.) If only Howard could shift his story to more properly address the true direction he is heading...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I am the great and powerful Howard...

Pat Nerr

Melody... yer so jealous of Winter... You should try a Vivace sometime... I'm having good luck spending my money there. 2 bucks for an Americano that's always good, comes from a real machine and the place has some soul... and they have free WiFi

pissed off

Get a efin life Winter

If only you knew how bad Starbucks have treated their employees


@ Melody
you're not the biggest groupie anymore WINTER take over...It's time Mel realized the true hard-core Sbuuckie in you!! It' s a pleasure to hand the crown to you, wear it with pride WINTER :)


If you were my SM I would burn the joint down, or end up smacking you, one of the two


To all the test market stores, what is a "Susie" and a "Larry"?

Posted by: CamSpi | May 22, 2009 at 11:18 PM

a "Susie's" when you kick a female partner in the Vagina and a "Larry" is when u smell a male partners sack, hope that clarifies it for you!!

ilove the buck

Get a life. The only time I am going to be in a Starbucks is if I am clocked in and getting paid. I feel sorry for you. Should have saved all that money or donated to a charity.


The place has some soul? What a poser. Soul is within my friend, not at a location. If you need to feel cool by going to places you feel have soul, it says more about you than 'Bux or Vivace or any place else.


I wonder if Winter likes Pike Place Roast?

Melody hands Winter her Starbucks fan crown ...LOL (Thank you for the suggestion Papi)

And since I will be in the U Village area of Seattle a little later, I'll be off to Zoka's where I had no problem getting coffee ...http://www.zokacoffee.com/

@PatNerr - I am very slow to change. Going to Zoka's is a big step. Vivace might have to wait a little longer.


I've been on the website several times, just to look. I know the store I work at is on there, but I didn't think much of it. Until I read that story. I remember him. He had his Sbux shirt on and asked about a store that was being built nearby. It was random because most people don't know about it and he wasn't a partner.


I like his photos. Otherwis, he's a pretty confused individual in my not so humble o.


Winter here. I would have responded sooner, but I was busy actually doing things in the real world instead of just sitting in front of the computer and trying to drag other people down.

First, I'm not sad that Starbucks stores are closing. If they are doing well, great, and if not, closing make sense. But the closures do interfere with a goal I set 12 years ago, and that is what bothers me. It's as if I wanted to visit every Picasso in the world, and somebody was out there buying them up to put in a private vault.

Next, to the "get a life" comments. What qualifies you to determine what is or isn't a life. Are you a great philosopher? The greatest philosophers in history have tried to answer the question of what the "good life" reaching consensus. What is it that you are doing that constitutes "a life"? Working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year to produce widgets, or to support people who are producing widgets? Working to support children that will most likely be a drain on the environment? What are the values of those "lives"? Rather than meaningless criticism, why don't you write something meaningful about what a life should be, if you've ever even given it any thought.

Same goes for the comments about "purpose". How many people have actually ever bothered to define a purpose rather than just surviving or acting on some purpose that somebody else, or some book, has defined? I've given it much thought--have you?

To the people who say I should quit, why would I ever want to stop having fun? Why would I want to stop visiting new places and meeting new people? Why would I want to stop taking a photographs, an avocation that I love? Should I just sit in front of the computer for the rest of my life and comment on what others are doing? No, thank you--I'd rather be out there seeing the world, even if it is one Starbucks at a time.

To clarify, I had never never issued a press release.

I have no comment on whether the Starbucks experience has changed. There are pro and con arguments either way, but my mission is not about Starbucks, not about the coffee, not about their employees or labor issues. It could have been baseball stadiums or artwork or McDonald's but other people already have those covered.

To the "confused" comment, what exactly am I confused about. It's easy to throw out meaningless judgements without backing them up with evidence, but that makes you no different than sleazy yellow "journalists". If you are not willing to THINK before you judge, then you should not form that opinion. To do otherwise is socially and intellectually irresponsible.


Winter, I was just browsing your photos on your website, and one thing you've done (perhaps inadvertently) is captured a lot Starbucks history. Thank you for that.

It doesn't appear that you ever made it to Northgate II which is now closed.

It's just an unusual hobby you have. Hell, I'm "that Melody" so I'm in NO position to cast stones. I suspect we're both household names, so to speak, at the SSC.


Okay Winter I found your twitter profile"


It would be interesting to know your Starbucks history. I couldn't find that on your website. Lots of people have long Starbucks histories creating their attachment and loyalty to the brand. Again, I'm writing you as one fan to another fan. Though having read your blog, and your quest, you're really more deserving of the coffee crown than I.

I could give you my Starbucks history but it doesn't fit in YOUR thread.


winter , just keep doing what you are doing and enjoy your life. i agree that others opinions of your life are not important because it is your life and if this is how you wish to spend it then go get them buddy. i think about all the people you have met in the world and i'm jealous of your experiences. with nothing to tie you down or hold you back then i say do what the hell you want and the others can go eat cake! i hope your journeys are free of conflict and your heart beats long to finish your dream. you should hook up with susan boyle and take her out in scotland to prove that dreams can come true. peace



Susie and Larry are two DMs in the San Diego Area.

The test is for frappuccinos being the same price no matter what kind (just price changes with size) and so they have two different pricing systems they are testing out (one for Susie's district and one for Larry's, it was easier for the partners to know which button to ring up, except Larry's district ended up not doing it, it was actually another district because Larry couldn't roll the test out or something like that)...

It actually kind of sucks, because you have to sell the frappuccino at the price for that district, even if in real life it is less (because that is the test area...)


Wow, Winter reads SG?... cool. :-)


Actually, I did get to Northgate II, but it is on my closed stores page (there's a link on my home page). When I have time, I think I'm going to put the closed stores back on the individual city pages at the bottom, in a "closed" section.


OF COURSE I read Starbucks Gossip!


Winter is following his passion - and there's nothing wrong with that. He's part of the Starbucks culture and lure - a true piece of Americana. I have been following his journeys for years and often joke to friends that I might do the same as well! You go Winter!

SBUX Alum Bill

@ Winter:

Just to clarify, what is your goal? Is it to visit every Starbucks that was in operation when you started 12 years ago, or is it to visit those stores plus every store that Starbucks has opened since then? If you finish your quest & visit every store that SBUX has ever opened, and then you take a month off while another store opens, does that mean that you must visit that additional store to complete your quest? If so, that sounds mighty ambitious!

Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't worthwhile. If you enjoy doing it, that's all that matters!


Winter = loser.

I pity your miserable, pathetic, and embarrassing existence.

Visiting every Starbucks? Seriously?

What next - every 7-11? McDonalds? Wal-Mart?

So sad. Again, you have my pity.


@Winter - You are very obsessed with this mission, but I am like SBUX Alum Bill. When does the journey/mission end? What is the logic? What internal program do you have written on your life? I hope you did not author a loop to go SBUX every time one opens. That would be crazy!!! I hope your mission is to have the ability to say "I have visited every Starbucks around the world!" --- END (of program)

But hold on a minute!!! Please include visiting indie cafe which DOES NOT have SBUX coffee....then END (of program)

Dude, I applaud your efforts because I am in a way obsessive compulsive and have a thing about having things complete. But dang!! This is a program (mission) I would've deleted. SBUX coffee is not all that. When you were here in Seattle, you should've went Vivace, Caffe D'Arte, Stumptown, Victrola, Ladro, and many other indie coffee spots. If you ever wanted to start a new mission to visit all the coolest indie coffee shops in the world, that would be cool. But every SBUX?!? Indie coffee shops are much more unique and tend to serve way better coffee than SBUX. If you tried any coffee from those places, you would be like, WTF was I thinkin' (on SBUX quest)?!?!


Yes, I fully intend to visit every store that opens, not just the ones that were open 12 years ago. But at least I'm only visiting company-owned stores--that cuts out a few thousand.

And actually, I agree that visiting indie cafes would be really cool, but it would be extremely difficult to define a fixed goal around that idea. Part of the philosophy behind my project is to define a goal and actively pursue it, rather than just living a survival life, which is what most people in the world are doing.

Pat Nerr

Winter... always been a fan...

Missing the Old Starbucks

OMG... Are these actually your parents above me Winter? I'd be so embarrassed... Reminds me of my parents, except I always cleaned my room, haha! Good luck on your Starbucks store visit quest.


My gosh people! I commend him for trying to do this, yet everyone is raking him over the coals! If you don't like what he's doing, STFU!!!! All this "oh we are so underpaid," "Oh this company is going to the can..."...we are tired of hearing it!!!! If you don't like the company, hit the bricks!

Dunkin' Dough Nut

Winter here. I would have responded sooner, but I was busy actually doing things in the real world instead of just >b>sitting in front of the computer and trying to drag other people down.

Do you think they're here 24/7? You're here as well. I'm here. Nobody's here 24/7 except maybe Melody. :)

(Melody, you sound like a nice person and any co. should have you as a fan.)

What amazes me is that any of us is here at all...including me. It's a phenomenon as Peets' many fans can't seem to get a site like this going.

I'm not a fan but I read anyway. I read because it amazes me this is happening.
I haven't been to Starbucks for..can't remember how many months/years?? But I think it's because the co. sends out PR every time someone passes wind, so it's just part of the world culture and now we're waiting to see what happens in these 'trying times'.


@Dunkin' Dough Nut, I think Winter was just trying to make the point that slamming others on the internet is an even worse waste of time than collecting sbux store visits. It's just his personal hobby, and there's no reason for those who don't even know him to suffer and/or express any distress about it, (which is also just another weird/useless hobby).

I used to cruise around town and spot a new sbux store that I hadn't been to, and I'd make a note to self to stop by... just because. A store that I hadn't yet visited felt like something important left undone, something left unexplored. When I went out of town I was also curious about sbux stores wherever I visited. It's also one of the reason Juan Valdez's columns are so interesting. So I can somewhat relate. And like I said, I can easily think of worse things.


@Winters - So clearly, you are SBUX4LIFE! Even if you are 99 years old, you would still attempt to visit the next opening SBUX. More power to you my friend. SBUX ought to make you into some type of Ronald McDonald type of character....maybe even replace the mermaid's face with yours LOL

I tell you. I am a Seattlite and a big fan of our indies here, to a point where I try to at least visit them once. My goal is to try to find out who has the best coffee. But I am so torn between many of them. There is a certain attribute that I think is really cool about most of them. Even to me, visiting all these shops in Seattle is a lofty goal.

You had been quoted on the closures of all the SBUX saying, "it's like you are losing a piece of your soul." C'mon! SBUX is a corporation and its primary concern is profitability to its stakeholders. When you visit an indie, you know that you are supporting the "little guy" in America.

Here's another goal/mission that I think is worth undertaking. Visiting as many non-profit cafes in the world. There is not too many of those around. There is one that I know of in Seattle called Q Cafe ran by a church called Quest in Interbay. They have amazing coffee using Stumptown. They contribute net proceeds to a different local cause or organization each and every month. There is a non profit cafe in NYC (I really want to visit) that its locals are raving about called Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore. Their net proceeds basically help AIDS patients with housing. Guess what? All of the workers are volunteers. The baristas' tips even are contributed to the cause. These are the type of cafes that have soul. Even though SBUX have done things for many charitable organizations, the bottom line is that they are concerned about their bottom line and making money as evidence from their rapid rapid expansion, closures, and loss of really good employees. Especially baristas who are the heart and soul of the coffee business. So when you talk about soul, I strongly encourage you to support indie coffee!

Tigard SM

Oh snap! you've been to my store and there used to be benches in front of it! Crazy.


it still kinda sad..

@Winter, where does your income come from?


Winter: Hat's off to you and to your passion,dedication and overall commitment!I completely hear you and GET your mission. Passion is not something that can be defined and those that challenge it and continue to discount your comments and efforts find continuous comfort in tearing down those who are resilient and dedicated to their cause no matter what it is. The fact that people must investigate and try and figure out what defines you is just pure ridiculous.

Thanks for your comments, the fresh thread and for not giving up!


Oh-Snap ';;';p@P0

My income comes from pimpin my culo around town real late u know!! :)


Can I get some of your culo at a discount rate?


Hahaha BSR you never cease to entertain. Posts like that make me want to meet you!

Winter's visits are like visiting sports stadiums, I guess, except that there are a lot more Starbucks stores than sports stadiums. So the journey is a bit more intense. Definitely not something I could do.

But hey, if it's not hurting anyone... then go for it!


I have to say that this community is definitely nicer that the jerks over on FARK.com.

Here, I made my case and got a lot of positive feedback. There, I made basically the same case and continued to receive excoriating remarks.

Venti Urnex Latte

I really like the pictures Winter posts. They show how all of the Starbucks are so different from each other in exterior design. Some are in malls, some are stand-alone, some are in historic structures. Plus, you can enlarge the pictures to see the places close up. This is a great compendium of Americana that exists nowhere else.


Be Glad you never visited the one in Sternstrasse,Bonn, Germany, An employee named Rahim told my partner and I to F*** off after we cancelled our order which he got wrong, he was very argumentative with us and another customer, so that's why we cancelled, it's unbelievable that he could speak to customers like that, and -he got away with it. writing to starbucks regionally, and to head office yielded no apology.


This guy is my hero.

He can obviously make a lot of money, but once you reach a certain income level the government confiscates half your earnings...so he spends his time traveling to every Starbucks.

If he were in my area, I would lead him around to the ones in my neighborhood.


Winter, u "visited" a store once while I was working. Does ordering a half full short coffee, slurping it down as fast as possible and leaving really constitute an experience? That's like saying you've been to Chicago when all you did is change planes at Midway on your way to Oklahoma.

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