Starbucks UK promote Deaf awareness through a program called We Sign Café

Starbucks UK promote Deaf awareness through a program called We Sign Café


Seattle, 2017-Jan-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s not uncommon for customers visiting London’s Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf Starbucks to sign “good morning” and “thank you” as they place their orders. It’s part of the payoff from an ongoing effort by the store’s manager, Toro Manca, and his fellow partners (employees) to promote Deaf awareness through a program called We Sign Café.

A meetup of partners, customers and others, We Sign Café is hosted by Deaf baristas Manu Sulaiman and Haytam Lakb, who provide instruction in British Sign Language as part of the monthly sessions. Sulaiman, who is studying accounting and hopes to become a store manager, was hired in 2015. Lakb, an aspiring actor, became a partner in 2016.

“Manu and Haytam are so proud to be given the chance to share the language and culture, not only to our partners, but to our customers,” Manca said.

A 15-year Starbucks partner who joined the company shortly after he arrived in London from his native Italy, Manca began to study British Sign Language six years ago after interacting with a Deaf customer. He received funding for sign language training from Starbucks.

After he became manager of the Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf store four years ago, Manca conducted a coffee tasting attended by Starbucks chairman and ceo Howard Schultz. Inspired by a conversation with Schultz, Manca made recruiting Deaf partners a priority. We Sign Cafe, which was developed last year, represents his next step in building knowledge of Deaf culture.

Customers who participate in We Sign Café enjoy using their sign language skills to place an order or extend a greeting. Hearing partners have also embraced the program and the store’s emphasis on inclusion for the Deaf community.

“To improve Deaf awareness is so simple,” said Manca. “We just need to adjust the way we communicate.”

“Think about the skills that people have, not that they’re Deaf,” Lakb suggested. “Think about the personality, skills and experience.”

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Source: Starbucks


Starbucks UK raised money to support Send a Cow’s projects in both Rwanda and Ethiopia

LONDON, 2016-Feb-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Aaron Swift returned from an emotional four-day journey in Rwanda with one goal in mind.

“I wanted to find a way to help Rwandan farmers and educate my peers at the same time,” said Swift, a four-year partner (employee) and shift supervisor at a Starbucks store in Manchester, England.

Swift visited Rwanda in 2014 as part of Starbucks Origin Experience, where select partners travel to coffee-growing regions to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for farmers who grow coffee. Having witnessed a cow-giving ceremony while in the city of Kigali, Swift realized providing a cow was an ideal means of giving back to the farmers.

“A cow means that farmers can invest back into their livelihood and in their community,” said Swift. “They can use milk for drinking and selling, the manure to increase the crop yield, and the animal as collateral for a loan to buy farming materials.”

700 Starbucks Stores Raise £40,000

After searching for the ideal charity to help with this endeavor, Swift and fellow partners selected Send a Cow, which works in seven African countries to provide training, tools, seeds and livestock to help those in need lift themselves out of poverty. With the organization in place, Swift invited Starbucks stores in the UK North West to accept donations for a two-week trial in 2014.

Starbucks UK raised enough money to fund the equivalent of 11 cows in the first year. Encouraged by the results, the company initiated The Big Cow Project in 2015 with more than 700 stores participating and an end result of nearly £40,000 (nearly $60,000 USD) in donations. As an added bonus, the total raised will be matched by the UK government to support Send a Cow’s projects in both Rwanda and Ethiopia.

“The Starbucks Big Cow Project was led by one young partner with the passion to make a difference,” said Rhys Iley, vice president operations, Starbucks UK. “Partners across the country have been so inspired to raise funds for farmers in Rwanda and the teams have really enjoyed getting behind this worthwhile cause.”

Overwhelmed by Generosity

“We have been inspired by the enthusiasm of Starbucks partners and their customers,” said Simon Barnes, chief executive of Send a Cow. “Thanks to their fantastic support we have been able to spread the work of Send a Cow to high streets across the UK and Ireland and use the daily Starbucks habit to save lives and ensure futures, not for one day, or even one week, but forever.”

Swift is overwhelmed by Starbucks customers’ generosity.

“It feels great to not only provide cows for Rwandan farmers, but also help so many Rwandan communities,” he said.

The campaign motivated many partners in addition to Swift, most notably Becca Turner, a store manager in London. Due to her exceptional fundraising efforts, Turner was chosen to visit Rwanda this month to witness Send a Cow in action and report back to Starbucks partners about the impact of The Big Cow Project.

“I am incredibly lucky to have the chance to see Send a Cow’s work first-hand in beautiful Rwanda,” said Turner. “This was not achieved alone. It is through my hard-working store partners that I’m able to go and experience something as incredible as this.”

Also taking Swift’s lead, a group of Starbucks partners in Germany have raised enough money to fund their first cow, and the initiative is set to go wider in Europe this year.

Next for Swift is to focus on his work as one of four coffee ambassadors in the UK. He will help coordinate education events for partners as well as the local Coffee Master Program.

“I’ve learned so much from this experience,” added Swift. “I’m sure the campaign will be a yearly tradition for some time to come.”

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



Starbucks UK raised money to support Send a Cow’s projects in both Rwanda and Ethiopia

Starbucks UK raised money to support Send a Cow’s projects in both Rwanda and Ethiopia

Starbucks UK senior manager of Energy and Initiatives Jaz Rabadia to be honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire

LONDON, 2016-Feb-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — It’s rare to get a letter in the mail these days, and even more unlikely to get one from a world leader.

Jaz Rabadia received a letter from the UK Prime Minister regarding an award she would receive from Queen Elizabeth II.

“I was in genuine disbelief when I saw the letter,” said Rabadia, senior manager of Energy and Initiatives for Starbucks UK. “I had to read it about 10 times for it to sink in.”

Rabadia will be honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her service to sustainability in the energy management sector and for promoting diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She will accept the MBE, which was established in 1917 to mark civilian achievements, from a member of the royal family at Buckingham Palace later this month.

“I’ve asked several of my colleagues and peers, but I still don’t know who nominated me for the award,” said Rabadia. “It’s truly an honor to be recognized in this way.”

The MBE is not the first time Rabadia has been honored for her commitment to the field of energy. She was named Young Energy Professional of the Year by the Energy Institute in 2014.

“Working in an exciting industry and being recognized by your peers is a great reward,” she said.

Influencing Sustainable Design

Rabadia is fairly new to Starbucks, having joined the company in a newly-created position about a year ago.

“Accepting an in-house energy role for a global organization was very appealing to me,” she said. “The fact that the organization was Starbucks and I would have a hand in shaping the role was an added bonus.”

In Rabadia’s role, she’s focused on influencing the sustainable design of new Starbucks stores and developing environmental engagement tools for existing stores in Europe, Middle East and Africa region. She brings more than nine years of energy experience to Starbucks, after receiving her degree in mechanical engineering from City University London. In her final project prior to graduation, she completed an energy study at a large supermarket chain in the UK. Her work to implement energy-saving initiatives there resulted in her first role in energy management.

The ‘ultimate reward’

“My project at University was how I fell into the world of energy,” she said. “After I got my foot in the door, I just continued to grow and learn as much as I could from the people around me.”

Rabadia found that being a young, female engineer was quite rare. She was often the only woman in the room during meetings at the companies where she has worked.

“At first, I thought this was a barrier, but I soon realized that it was an opportunity because I was bringing different ideas and a new perspective to the table,” she said. “I’m keen on breaking down the stereotypes about careers focused on energy. I want to bring home the message that energy management is needed in any organization. Case in point is my role at Starbucks.”

Rabadia also volunteers her time at schools and universities to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and math. “It’s great that Starbucks is an employer that allows me to give back,” she said. “I have the flexibility and support to serve society and get involved with projects for the greater good. That really is the ultimate reward.”

Photos will be added after the MBE recognition ceremony in mid-February.

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



Starbucks UK senior manager of Energy and Initiatives Jaz Rabadia to be honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire

Starbucks UK senior manager of Energy and Initiatives Jaz Rabadia to be honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire

Starbucks UK: Home Sweet Loan programme to help pay rental deposits for Starbucks partners (employees)

  • Home Sweet Loan programme, with support from Generation Rent and Shelter, will help pay rental deposits for Starbucks partners (employees)
  • Extends National Living Wage to all partners regardless of age

SEATTLE, 2015-9-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks UK is announcing two new initiatives as part of its on-going commitment to help partners, particularly those aged under-25, tackle the cost of living.

The Home Sweet Loan programme, developed by Shelter as the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, means that Starbucks will provide an interest-free loan to help partners pay rental deposits when they’re moving into a new home. The first-of-its-kind programme is being launched by a private company in the UK, following the example of government departments and the Co-operative.

Starbucks has also announced plans to extend the National Living Wage to all partners, including those aged under the age of 25. This commitment to the National Living Wage recommendations will increase its basic pay to £7.20 per hour in April 2016 for all employees, including apprentices and more than 4,500 members of staff who are under 25. Going beyond the Government’s recommendations, Starbucks will also pay a London Premium for partners working in the capital.

“We are really proud to be the first private company to implement Shelter’s innovative Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme,” said Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks EMEA. “We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now is £1,226.*  And with over half of our partners being under 25 years old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them.  These initiatives are two of the ways we are able to support the great people that work with us.”

“There are now 11 million private renters in England, and as housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home,” said Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive. “After successfully launching the programme with our own staff in 2013, it’s great to see that Starbucks is following suit and helping their staff to move into a home without worrying about how they’ll cover the cost. This will no doubt encourage other UK employers to follow their example and give renters the helping hand they need.”

“We applaud Starbucks for taking leadership on helping their employees raise a tenancy deposit and encourage other businesses to do the same,” said Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent. “It is increasingly difficult for workers in retail and other industries to access housing when rents are so high. But we can’t rely on the goodwill of employers alone; we hope to see much more action from the government to increase the supply of low-cost homes.”

The initiatives were announced in an update to Starbucks Partners which included the extension of theStarbucks Apprenticeship Programme as well as the retention of the Bean Stock employee share ownership programme.

* My Deposits (Q4, 2014) Tenants enjoy quarterly deposit drop

About Starbucks Home Sweet Loan Rental Deposit
The programme is available to Starbucks partners working in company-owned stores who have been with the business for over a year and would like to apply for a loan to help pay their rental deposit when moving into a home. Starbucks will loan a maximum amount of one month’s wages, paid within four weeks of application, to be repaid over twelve months.

About the National Living Wage
Starbucks is committed to supporting the National Living Wage recommendations by increasing the basic salary to £7.20 per hour. Barista pay will move to £7.20 per hour from April and supervisor pay will move to £8.72 per hour (The current base pay for a  Barista is £6.77 and Supervisor is £8.20). The average hourly rate will be £7.98 per hour. Starbucks will pay a premium to those partners working in London, where costs of living are much higher than in other parts of the country. With over 50% of Starbucks staff under the age of 25, the company is ensuring the increase in salary applies to all employees and will not use lower rates for younger partners or apprentices. Over 4,500 partners in company-owned stores will be impacted by the change. Starbucks is supportive of the government’s longer term ambition of getting £9 per hour.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

Starbucks UK announces the 1000th graduate of its apprenticeship programme

LONDON, 2015-3-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — As National Apprenticeship Week begins, Starbucks UK is announcing the 1000th graduate of its apprenticeship programme that recruits, trains and retains young talent for the business.

Almost half of Starbucks partners are under the age of 24, an age group facing the most significant challenges around employment. Starbucks Apprenticeships, launched in the UK in the Spring of 2012, offer young people an opportunity to learn about a retail management career and to build the transferable skills needed to further their individual goals.

“We are proud of our apprenticeship programme, the first of its kind for Starbucks globally,” said Lisa Robbins, director of Partner Resources for Starbucks UK. “With 21 graduated apprentices now store managers, and 57 shift supervisors, it proves to us that apprenticeships for young people are a genuine alternative to academic study and are a real path to a retail career. We are passionate about the true potential for apprenticeships and want to bust the myth that a vocational route is not as credible as pursuing higher education.”

Robbins said the Starbucks team is “delighted to reach its two-year apprenticeship commitment, but they won’t be slowing down.” Starbucks UK plans to offer up to 450 Level 2 apprenticeships this year. Level 2 is a 12-month program that trains apprentices in artisan and customer service skills. In addition, 80 Level 3 apprenticeships will be offered. Level 3 is an advanced apprenticeship in leadership and management.

“I thought I wanted to go to university but it’s very expensive. A friend of mine was doing an apprenticeship at Starbucks and so I looked into it,” said Koey Huckerby, a Starbucks apprentice at Westfield.  “The prospect of working, gaining experience, and getting paid the same as other baristas while achieving a qualification really appealed to me.”

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, running from March 9th – 15th, Starbucks UK will be offering buy one, get one free on all handcrafted drinks for apprentices with NUS apprentice extra cards.

About Starbucks Apprenticeships in the UK
Applications for Starbucks Apprenticeships can be made through and apprenticeshipvacancy

The Starbucks Apprenticeship offers two levels of apprenticeships to enable career progression, each taking 12 months to complete. The first year of the programme sees apprentices gain an NVQ Level 2 in Barista Mastery and Customer Service – equivalent to 5 A-C GCSEs; whilst the second offers an NVQ Level 3 in Leadership and Management – equivalent to two A-Levels.

For more information on this news release, contact Clare Salter.


Starbucks UK announces the 1000th graduate of its apprenticeship programme

Starbucks UK announces the 1000th graduate of its apprenticeship programme