The first AWESOME Trip to Starbucks

December 13, 20183 minute read

The AWESOME team traveled to Seattle to meet with the Starbucks team and continue planning the 2019 Symposium — “Reaching Beyond & Achieving More.” Starbucks is the Host Partner for the May 1-3 Symposium.

First impression? It’s a beautiful city! Approaching Seattle from the air, we saw elegant snow-capped peaks punctuating the sunny landscape. Yes, it was December and it was sunny in Seattle.

Next stop: Starbucks corporate headquarters – an impressive building (the largest office space in the state of Washington) that originally was used by Sears and served as a catalog distribution center. Starbucks has reworked the building to suit the company’s needs and the needs of 6,000 partners who work there. (All Starbucks employees are known as “partners.”)

On the first floor is a Starbucks Reserve SODO store that you need to see for yourself — a lively, vibrant place where Starbucks partners and customers come for their favorite Starbucks beverage and phenomenal food from Princi Italian Bakery. Princi is Starbucks partner in bringing European-style baked goods to the U.S. Read more. There is also a full-service bar at the Starbucks ReserveTM Roastery store.

The flavors and ambiance of Italy — and especially Princi’s home of Milan — have a special place in Starbucks history. According to a Seattle Times article, “A 1983 trip to Italy gave rise to (former CEO Howard) Schultz’s vision for Starbucks as a purveyor not just of coffee beans and equipment, as it was when he joined the company, but espresso beverages and a unique place to drink them.”

The AWESOME team learned how important history is to Starbucks -– as is sustainability. Many of the building’s features reflect the combination of the two. For example, in their onsite conference center, the beautiful wood feature around the stage is made of recycled pallets on which burlap bags of coffee were stacked. (How’s that for a supply chain focus?) The acoustical ceiling tiles come from recycled water bottles.

To be inside the building is to be immersed in Starbucks global spirit. Their mission, carved into an old coffee cupping table is a reminder of what drives Starbucks to be one of the most innovative and most admired companies in the world:

Here is what the inscription says:

To inspire and nurture the human spirit –- one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

With our partners, our coffee and our customers at our core, we live these values:

We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

Another highlight of our trip was a visit to the flagship Starbucks ReserveTM Roastery — a unique celebration of coffee, tea, food, wine and all things Starbucks. There are only four Starbucks ReserveTM Roasteries and Tasting Rooms around the world– in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, and New York, which celebrated its grand opening on December 13. See photos and learn more about the amazing new ReserveTM Roastery in New York.

Tokyo and Chicago each will get their own ReserveTM Roastery in 2019.

Starbucks is known for being all about customer experience -– and we can’t wait for AWESOME leaders to experience the Symposium in Seattle.

Invitations are being emailed to AWESOME Leaders.