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June 2011

Our New Brewery Blocks Store

The first time I ever visited Portland, Ore., was on a rainy Saturday afternoon in January about eight years ago. My stay was brief, permeated with chill and twilight, and I ended the trip with feelings of ambivalence.

However, over my subsequent years in the Pacific Northwest I’ve returned there several times, and

I’ve discovered a delightful fact: Portland is insidious. Like a casual acquaintance who slowly grows into a cherished friend, the city reveals more of its great qualities every time I visit and leaves me looking forward to my next visit.

I had the privilege of one such return last week when I traveled with our Store Concepts team to attend the opening of a very special new Starbucks Store location: the Brewery Blocks store at NW 11th Avenue and Couch Street.

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A First Glance at The Muppets: The Green Album

The Muppets: The Green Album

Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison, Tony Bennett and Ray Charles. What do they have in common, besides a horde of awards and Hall of Fame memberships?

They all recorded “Bein’ Green,” as in “It’s Not Easy Being Green” – Kermit the Frog’s famous declaration of emeraldness.

Well, add to that distinguished list Andrew Bird, who performs the song on a charming upcoming tribute to the music of the Muppets, which you’ll find at Starbucks later this summer. (Beginning August 23, to be precise.) We’re pleased to present for the first time the cover of The Muppets: The Green Album, as well as the track list.

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150 Ideas Launched

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us at  We’ve received many of them and Starbucks Idea Partners have been watching your votes and looking for the ones that matter most to  you as well as looking out for interesting sleeper ideas.  There are two sites: one for customers and one for Starbucks partners (employees).

We’re happy to let you know that we have launched 150 ideas.  Here’s the list of the latest ideas launched:

150 – Starbucks Mobile App for Android
149 – Destination-themed Starbucks Cards
148 – Electronic Pay Stubs for Field Partners (partner)
147 – Pocket-sized Training Cards (partner)
146 – Dry-erase Training Cup (partner)
145 – Starbucks Coffee Master 2.0 (partner)

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Our Dedication to Embrace Diversity

At Starbucks, we pride ourselves on being a great place to work. We are deeply dedicated to our core values – to embrace diversity and treat each other with respect and dignity. We’re committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for everyone. Moreover, we look for ways in which we can honor and celebrate the diversity of our partners as they, too, represent the communities that are home to our stores.

We are disheartened by the allegations reported in an East Coast Starbucks store and are taking immediate measures to investigate and take any steps necessary to make this right. The actions reported do not correspond with our values, who we are as a company or the beliefs we try to instill in our partners.

Starbucks has supported the LGBT community for many years, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We have one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for LGBT employees in the United States helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities in which we live and work. Our benefits program has always offered domestic partner benefits in the United States and Canada, and Starbucks partners actively participate and organize local LGBT events in their communities. We’re also very proud of the 100% score we received on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. We will continue to work very closely with this organization and others on topics relevant to the community.

UPDATE: Many of you have asked to hear specifically what, if any, disciplinary actions are taken as a result of our investigations into this incident. As this is a personnel matter, it is our policy not to provide such details regarding those steps.

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Dr. Rojo says, “Very good, but you are too far north. Meow.”

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Eddie Vedder and the Mighty Uke

Eddie Vedder - Ukulele Songs

The ukulele has had its ups and downs. The plucky little instrument, which has been experiencing a resurgence of late, was all the rage in the Jazz Age, when crooners like Cliff Edwards (aka Ukulele Ike) and George Formby popularized the inexpensive, portable and easy-to-play instrument.

The rest of the 20th century, however, was less accommodating. Tiny Tim stirred some interest in the late ‘60s with the novelty hit “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” but that brief moment in the spotlight was followed by a long stretch when it was treated as a bit of a joke. But no more.

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Find All Kinds at the Crossroads

Names like Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and Fleetwood Mac are instantly recognizable. They’re musical institutions who’ve endured, rising and falling through the decades but never vanishing from the public eye.

Take Stewart, for example. He’s been a rock star, a pop superstar and, of late, an interpreter of standards of the George Gershwin/Irving Berlin variety. He’s featured on our new Blues-Rock Crossroads compilation (as are all the aforementioned artists) in his earliest popular incarnation – as a new arrival reared on rock ‘n’ roll but captivated by the blues.

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