Supporting thriving communities – inside our stores and in the neighborhoods where we live and work – is at the heart of our mission. And being a good neighbor has never been more important as the global economy continues to weather a painful and challenging period.
Here in the U.S., we are starting to help fuel the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Starbucks is teaming up with the Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) to help create and sustain jobs through a program we are calling Create Jobs for USA, which will provide loans to underserved community businesses. The Create Jobs for USA program will be seeded with a $5 million contribution from the Starbucks Foundation.
Imagine the possibilities. Imagine a place that is bustling and vibrant. There are no abandoned buildings. Homes line the streets with windows so clear that you can see for miles. There is no blight. People are smiling and happy and commerce is flourishing. Imagine that what had once been the inner-city is now a safe, vibrant thriving community.
I know it is hard to imagine these things with the level of economic uncertainty facing our local communities. Imagine being one of millions of people living under these conditions without a positive outlook. Now just imagine growing up under these conditions.
In under-invested urban communities, systemic issues such as consistent quality education, access to jobs and other opportunities for revitalization are further exacerbated by the financial crisis.
You may remember a long-running series of commercials. In each, one person is distractedly enjoying a particular sweet while a second equally preoccupied person is strolling along consuming a popular legume paste. Approaching from opposite directions they bump into one another, accidently entwining their treats in the process. Viola! A discovery is made! The two flavors are quite tasty when blended together!
That’s sorta, kinda the story behind our new compilation When Folk Meets Rock. It’s the 1960s and you have this rockin’ lot that’s plugging in and making a beautiful noise, and there are these folkies with their acoustic guitars writing heavy, introspective songs. The former want to be taken more seriously and the latter want to let loose and dance for a change. They put their heads together and folk rock is born.
A new coffee is arriving for Starbucks Reserve and we are delighted to share it with you. Ka’u coffee takes its name from the Ka’u district on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Ka’u region is located on the slopes of the volcano Mauna Loa. The area was traditionally used for growing sugar cane, but after the exodus of sugar plantations the soil was well-suited to grow coffee. With over 2,000 acres of prime land in the district of Ka’u there are approximately 280 acres planted and worked by about 40 farmers. Here Ka’u coffee is quietly transforming this small region into a world-class coffee source that’s gaining attention.
A Great American Band packed it in last month. With remarkably little fanfare by the group (though the press and social networks were abuzz with commentary on the development), R.E.M. called it quits after three full decades on the scene. The pantheon of Great American Bands now includes one more silent member.
You might ask: What’s a Great American Band? First of all, it has to be Great, which entails building up a significant body of work, riding out the inevitable down times and rallying with unassailable masterpieces. Second, it has to be American – not necessarily in origin, but in the sources it mines: blues, country, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and the rest of the musical treasures uncovered in the 20th century. Finally, it has to be an actual Band rather than a unit with one all-powerful leader supported by an interchangeable supporting cast.
It’s time to “fall back in” to our usual routine. Summer vacations have come and gone, the kids are (finally) back in school and we’re settling back into our habitual schedules.
Fortunately, there’s something to spice things up a little: the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!
We are excited for the arrival of our new premium hot cocoa mixes at a grocery or wholesale retailer near you this month. There’s a variety of delicious flavors – Double Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Toasted Marshmallow and Peppermint, and different size options. But one thing that doesn’t vary with all these wonderful cocoa mixes is that they are all made with ethically sourced cocoa. We’ve included QR codes on the packaging to give you more information about ethical sourcing and the positive impact it has on those involved.
Here’s a story about Tony Bennett:
It’s the 1960s and Bennett, a premier pop idol of the ‘50s whose popularity took a downturn when the Beatles and their rock ‘n’ roll brethren took over the charts, turned to old friend Count Basie for advice. Should he update his style to fit the times? Bennett asked the great jazz bandleader. Basie responded with the succinctness he was famous for as a pianist: “Why change an apple?”
In other words, don’t mess with something that’s as close to perfection as this world is capable of producing.
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