Starbucks partners (employees) to work alongside farmers in coffee growing regions

SEATTLE, 2016-01-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Starbucks Origin Experience takes partners (employees) from behind the counters of stores, corporate offices and roasting plants and brings them to work alongside farmers in coffee growing regions. The program offers a valuable perspective for people who have a passion for coffee, but may not have a connection to the distant places where coffee is grown.

Starbucks photographer Joshua Trujillo traveled with the contingent of Starbucks partners to Costa Rica this week. The photos above showcase some of what Starbucks partners witnessed on their journey. They planted young coffee seedlings, toured a mill, and walked among rows of coffee trees ready for harvest. The dark green leaves of the coffee trees were a stark contrast against the rich red of the ripened coffee cherries in the warm Costa Rica sun.

Related:

An Emotional Return to Rwanda for the Starbucks Origin Experience

Returning to the Source of One of Starbucks Most Popular Single-Origin Coffees

For more information on this news release, contact Starbucks Newsroom.

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

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Starbucks partners (employees) to work alongside farmers in coffee growing regions

Izaak Koller and Natalie Williams plant a coffee tree on Starbucks coffee farm near in Costa Rica

Starbucks Troy Alstead offers a few words of advice to Starbucks partners who are just beginning their careers

SEATTLE, 2015-2-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The aroma from the first cup of coffee every morning takes Troy Alstead back to key moments in his life.

Growing up with his brothers in Puyallup, Washington where his parents always had coffee brewing in a percolator. Attending the University of Washington, where he’d walk to one of the first Starbucks stores to discover coffees of the world. Reading the Sunday newspaper over coffee in his kitchen, shortly after he got married, where he saw a job listing for a Starbucks financial analyst.

“I wasn’t looking to change jobs at the time, but the Starbucks logo caught my eye because I was a loyal customer,” Alstead recalled. “To me Starbucks was this incredible place I went for coffee. I didn’t imagine working there.”

He joined Starbucks early in 1992 when the company had about 100 stores and was privately owned. Alstead was on teams that guided Starbucks initial public offering and outlined the company’s expansion into global markets. He served as both the chief financial officer and the chief operating officer. Soon, he’ll begin a sabbatical from Starbucks which he said is “important for me and my family right now, but still not easy.”

Alstead reflects on 23 years with the company, discusses how he’ll spend his free time, and offers a few words of advice to Starbucks partners (employees) who are just beginning their careers.

“I’ve been wanting to invest more time in my family – with four kids at home and one of them ready to go off to college – and every time my wife and I talked about it, I’d think ‘not yet, not yet, not yet,’” he said. “The reason I know I can step away now is because the company is in extraordinary shape. Starbucks depth of leadership and financial performance are exceptional, and the strategy has never been clearer. All of this makes it possible for me to leave for a while. Not easy, but possible.”

Most of the projects Alstead worked on in his early Starbucks career could also be described as “not easy, but possible.”

Four years into his journey with Starbucks, Alstead was asked to join the team developing the company’s global business. With a life-long interest in international studies and an appreciation of other cultures, the assignment was a natural fit. At that point, in 1996, Starbucks had about 1,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. It also had a lot of skeptics outside the company who doubted the company could succeed in overseas markets.

“We heard the same doubts when Starbucks expanded to California.  People thought coffee was a Seattle thing, or maybe for the northern cold belt of the country,” recalled Alstead. “Today, the runway for growth for Starbucks around the world is remarkable.”

Before the end of 1996, Starbucks had opened stores in Japan and Singapore. Starbucks is now in 66 countries and he said in many ways the company is “just getting started” outside North America. China is the fastest growing market for Starbucks which is opening, on average, one store every 18 hours there.

Alstead credits baristas who wear the green apron for the company’s growth saying the Starbucks Experience comes to life in their hands.

“While we have the most amazing coffee anywhere, it is brought to life by how they make the beverages and how they speak to the customers about it, and the environment they create in the stores. That is everything for us,” Alstead said. “We’ve known that since the beginning.”

His advice to Starbucks store partners just beginning their careers is to do what you love, value the people around you, and serve others. “If you can find a way to do that in any career field, you’ll find meaning through work.”

In the months ahead, Alstead will continue to serve others through several volunteer projects that are important to his family and community. He’ll also pursue non-profit work related to his passion for ocean preservation. And, he’ll ride his motorcycle and scuba dive more too. “I’m going to be busy,” he said with a smile, quickly adding that he’s going to continue starting every day with his favorite cup of Starbucks® Sumatra coffee, with an aroma that will now remind him of 23 “amazing” years with the company.

“I’d say Starbucks changed my life, but it’s bigger than that,” he said. “Starbucks created and shaped my life.”

Next week, the Starbucks Newsroom will feature the incoming president and chief operating officer, Kevin Johnson.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Starbucks Troy Alstead offers a few words of advice to Starbucks partners who are just beginning their careers

Starbucks Troy Alstead offers a few words of advice to Starbucks partners who are just beginning their careers

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

SEATTLE, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — A quick learner and natural leader, Lauren Esveld didn’t need a college education to get ahead.

She landed her first retail job at the age of 16 and began managing a store two years later. After a dozen years of increasing responsibility with a clothing retailer, she joined Starbucks four years ago as a district manager overseeing 13 stores in the Washington D.C. area.

Though she’s done well without a degree, Esveld is going back to school.

“You can have a good career, like I did, without going to college. But I’ve always believed a college education is extremely important,” she said. “Now I’m the mother of two boys and I want to set a good example for them.”

Esveld will soon be sitting around the family’s dining room table doing homework with her seven and nine year old sons. She’s among the 1,000 Starbucks partners (employees) who will begin classes through Arizona State University. They’re the first group of partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“Our first cohort of partners are taking advantage of nearly all the 40 undergraduate degree programs available, with business and psychology as the most pursued,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S, Americas, and Teavana. “I am looking forward to following this new and exciting journey our partners are about to embark on, and supporting and celebrating with them as they achieve their personal dreams.”

Starbucks announced a unique collaboration with ASU’s online degree program this summer. Partners based in the U.S. who work an average of at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Starbucks chose ASU as its educational partner for two primary reasons: First, the university is committed to access for all academically qualified students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. Second, ASU has one of the best online education programs in the world, taught by the same faculty who teach on its campuses, and it has the experience and scale to support students with a variety of interests through a broad selection of degree programs.

Partners admitted to ASU as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement to complete their bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship and need-based financial aid toward two years of full-time study. Nearly 70 percent of partners enrolled through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan are continuing their education at the junior or senior level. In addition to financial support, Starbucks partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and academic advisor.

“ASU is thrilled to welcome more than 1,000 Starbucks partners to the Sun Devil family. They come from nearly every state and their presence will greatly enrich our student body,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The new university model that we are pioneering at ASU is focused on inclusivity and degree completion, and we are proud that this public-private partnership will enable Starbucks partners to achieve the dream of a college degree and the lifetime of advantages that an ASU education provides.”

Starbucks partners from nearly every state will begin classes when ASU’s online Fall B session begins on October 15, 2014. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree include district managers, like Esveld, store managers and baristas.

Shawn Walker, a Starbucks barista in New York City, always intended on completing his college education in graphic information technology. He stopped one year short of the finish line. Loans added up and weighed him down.

“Not having a degree and having loan debt made me feel hopeless at times,” he said. “Now I have a different range of emotions. Now, I see that it’s possible for me to move my life forward. I am confident I will be successful doing something I love and this opportunity is a new beginning for me.”

Adding online education to work and family commitments will take careful planning, according to Mary Hamm, a 12-year Starbucks partner in Virginia who trains store managers and assistant managers.

When Hamm first heard about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan she thought it was an “exciting” benefit for other partners. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of completing a bachelor’s degree – something she wanted to do “someday” after her teenagers were finished with college.

Someday starts in a couple of weeks for Hamm. She begins her junior year through ASU while her oldest daughter is a freshman, studying biology, at a university in Virginia.

“I would never be able to do this without Starbucks. This is a blessing,” said Hamm. “With one child in college and another getting ready for college it would have been too expensive for me to take on another loan. This is absolutely huge. Starbucks and ASU are giving me so much.”

Hamm intends to give back. She’ll study project management to support her own development and the non-profit organization she started three years ago called Project Dominic. The group provides basic, daily necessities to homeless people in her local community.

“I’m finally able to do something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. Being able to finish my degree is one more reason why I love this company so much,” she said.

Partners from Starbucks and its family of companies – Teavana, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Seattle’s Best Coffee – are enrolled in nearly all of ASU’s undergraduate degree programs. The most popular fields of study for partners this semester are business, organi­­­­­­­­­­­zational leadership, psychology and education.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is one example of public-private partnerships Starbucks is fostering to create pathways to opportunity – both within the company and in communities. Other initiatives include: The Retail Excellence Training Program, launched with the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA, to provide customer service skills through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings; Solutions City, a national initiative conceived by Starbucks and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to unite local leaders, non-profit organizations and businesses in solving community challenges through a series of meetings held in Starbucks stores.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University