Entries in Starbucks (37)


Starbucks to Ban Smoking Within 25 Feet of Cafes

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starting on Saturday, smoking will be banned with 25 feet of any company-owned Starbucks cafes in the United States and Canada.

In order to create a more healthy and comfortable environment, the chainis attempting to keep cigarette smoke away from its outdoor seating areas. According to the Wall Street Journal, many states and cities already have laws preventing smoking within 20 feet of building entrances, but that does not necessarily protect outdoor seating areas.

The new policy will only cover property owned by Starbucks, says the Wall Street Journal, so if the cafe's property ends less than 25 feet from its door, they will not police smoking beyond its boundaries.

Approximately 7,000 Starbucks stores will be impacted by the new policy, according to the Huffington Post.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Opens First Shop Aboard Navy Assault Ship

US Navy/Starbucks(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time, Navy sailors will be able to order their favorite Starbucks blends while at sea.

"Starboxer," is the name of the Starbucks location aboard the USS Boxer, a large-deck amphibious assault ship, the first of its kind, the Navy announced earlier this week.

The store, which will be run by crew members, is fully-functional and serves Starbucks favorites including coffees, teas, and smoothies in the hopes of providing sailors with a taste of home.

All profits from the store will go to the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Unveils Reusable Cups at US, Canada Stores

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In an effort to cut down on waste, Starbucks will introduce $1 reusable plastic cups at its coffee shops across the U.S. and Canada on Thursday.

The new cups, which look similar to the Seattle-based coffee giant's white paper cups, were tested previously in the Pacific Northwest.  Customers who purchase them will get 10 cents back every time they reuse them.  This discount was already offered to coffee drinkers who brought in their own tumblers.

Starbucks employees will rinse out the new reusable cups with boiling water each time a customer comes back for a refill.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Starbucks to Congress: ‘Come Together’

Starbucks Corporation(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks will use its words and coffee cups to send a message to Congress about working together on securing America’s future.

In an effort to prod the Democratic and Republican members to come together to create a responsible financial plan as the country approaches the looming fiscal cliff, Starbucks employees will write “Come Together” on every cup of coffee sold in its Washington, D.C., area stores.

“In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic.  As many of you know, our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt,” writes Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a blog entry posted on Wednesday.

Schultz continues, “Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity -- and I believe a responsibility -- to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue. ”

Last year, Schultz urged CEOs to halt campaign contributions until Congress and the president delivered a “fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people” and urged businesses to “accelerate job growth.”

Now, Schultz is sending a message that could ignite change.  The message that he hopes will make a difference will be written on Starbucks cups through Dec. 28.  

Congress and the president will be back in town on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to come up with a budget/deficit deal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbuck Gift Cards Valuing $450 Sell Out Online

Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks made 5,000 special edition etched steel $450 gift cards to be sold only on the luxury website, according to USA Today. The cards went on sale on Friday and sold out instantly.

Potential customers were outraged and complained on Twitter.

Starbucks members got first crack at the cards on Thursday before they opened up to the public on Friday.

There is speculation on Gilt's Facebook page that the cards sold out Thursday and were never really available at all the next day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Spending More Bucks to Open 1,300 Stores

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Starbucks announced on Thursday that they plan to open 1,300 stores across the globe next year, with about 600 in the Americas.

The Seattle-based coffee giant already has 18,000 stores in 61 countries.

All these new openings are an outgrowth of Starbucks' success in recent times.  During the fourth-quarter that ended on Sept. 30, revenue was up by 11 percent to establish a three-month record of $3.4 billion.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Objects to Chicago Dog Day Care's Logo

Courtesy Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek(CHICAGO) -- Coffee giant Starbucks is in a dogfight with Starbarks, a fledgling canine day care center outside of Chicago, over its name and logo's resemblance to the java chain's trademark emblem.

Andrea McCarthy-Grzybek, 46, who co-owns the doggie day care in Algonquin, Ill., with her husband Al, 44, said she'll change their business name and logo if she's pushed, but can't afford to pursue the case further in court.

In April, only a month after Starbarks' grand opening, she received a cease and desist letter from Starbucks, demanding they alter all similar aspects of their business -- name, logo and color -- or face legal action.

Although she has several new names in mind, McCarthy-Grzybek hopes she won't have to use any of them. For financial reasons, she said it would be a much bigger burden to change the name rather than just the sign, having already spent nearly $2,000 in legal fees.

"I never said it [Starbarks] was a play on the [Starbucks] name, ever," she said.  "We have a dog business -- I think it's a catchy name because for our place, it means the stars are the dogs -- that's all I meant by it."

After consulting with lawyers who believed they could win the case if they chose to fight the coffee chain in court, McCarthy-Grzybek decided against it.

"The risk of not winning is scary," she said.  "Then you'd have to pay the coffee giant's lawyers, and that could be one lawyer or it could be a hundred lawyers.  It's crazy; I'd never do anything like that."

Since then, business at Starbarks has remained unchanged.  In response to the controversy, a banner was erected outside the daycare reading "The coffee giant wants us to change our name and logo.  Voice your opinion on Facebook."

Their page has received mixed comments.  One user said copyright infringement was evident, while another claimed this was just another case of "bullying small businesses."  The banner will be taken down after three months in accordance with local regulations, but McCarthy-Grzybek said Starbucks has already called a few times requesting they take it down sooner.

Zack Hutson, a spokesperson for Starbucks, said they have a "legal obligation to protect our intellectual property," adding that if the Starbucks trademark isn't protected from infringement, the company risks losing their exclusive rights to it.

"We've made significant investments over the past 41 years to protect our trade," he said.  "As a responsible trademark owner, we must take the necessary steps to protect it."

Hutson added that they prefer to resolve trademark disputes "informally and amicably" and that they hope to achieve that in this case.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Shortage Causes Twitter 'Brew-haha'

Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Don’t fret pumpkin spice latte fans, there is now plenty of your favorite fall java jolt to go around, Starbucks claims.

After a report suggested the much-loved drinks were becoming scarce, a Twitter "brew-haha" ensued.  A representative for Starbucks today said that the distribution centers are “100 percent stocked” with the ingredients necessary for the cult-followed classic.

“I can confirm that there are no actual pumpkin emergencies,” said Global Brand Public Relations director Lisa Passe.

A few stores initially sold out of the drinks due to higher than expected volume, but they could order more that evening or borrow the pumpkin spice syrup from other stores until their shipments arrived, she said.

Despite “exceeding expectations across the board,” Passe said that they “have not seen widespread outages.”

When news of the “shortage” broke, fans took to Twitter to express their anger.

“Starbucks is out of Pumpkin Spice Latte. NOW WHAT,” wrote one fan.

Instead of sympathy, some used the shortage as an opportunity to poke fun at the die-hard latte fans.

“BREAKING: Fights between soccer moms on the rise after Starbucks announces Pumpkin Spice Latte shortage,” joked one person.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks Soft-Launches New Food Menu at Select Locations

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Customers like more than just coffee at their local Starbucks.  Food sales bring in $1.5 billion in revenue for the coffee company, which unveiled new menu items at nine of its San Francisco stores.

New items include a whole wheat spinach croissant and a tomato, cheese and herb croissant.  Other baked goods being tested are a blueberry yogurt muffin and raspberry passion fruit loaf cake.  A lemon vanilla loaf cake replaces the lemon loaf cake in stores now.

In June, the company announced an agreement to acquire La Boulange, a San Francisco-based bakery specializing in French pastries and breads.

The La Boulange products will eventually replace the items in the company’s pastry case.  The sandwiches and chilled case items will not be affected, said Lisa Passe, Global Brand PR director.
“The test is really about operationally, warming the product, things like that.  From a test standpoint it’s going well,” she said.

Passe says the company will eventually roll out the products nationwide.  The products were released in San Francisco because they were close to the La Boulange “mother” bakery.

A warm chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookie from La Boulange are being tested at California locations as well, along with an almond cookie and vanilla shortbread cookie.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Snack Company Sues Starbucks for Allegedly Breaking Contract

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A snack company based in Carlsbad, Calif., is claiming Starbucks breached thier contract, causing it to struggle financially.

Eleven shareholders of Mellace Family Brands (MFB), which produced Mama Mellace's Chocolate and Mama Mellace's Organics snacks, among others, filed a lawsuit last week against Starbucks Corporation, saying complaints from Starbucks about Mellace products were actually due to a gas leak at a Starbucks facility.

The shareholders allege that because of Starbucks' breach of contract, the company has suffered damages "in an amount to be proved at trial including, but not limited to, costs of business improvement, ongoing lost business while operating and foreseeable lost future profits, all in an amount exceeding $20 million."

Zack Hutson, spokesman for Starbucks Coffee Company, said the company had discontinued business with Mellace Family Brands due to "ongoing quality issues."

Hutson said Starbucks chooses its suppliers, of which it has 14,000 globally, by inspecting their "quality, service and value."

"We're committed to meeting and exceeding the high expectations of our customers," Hutson said.  "If the quality of the product doesn't meet those expectations, we have a philosophy of working with suppliers of identifying problems to improve."

Mellace and its attorneys did not return requests for comment.

In the suit, filed on Sept. 6 in San Diego Superior Court, the plaintiffs say Mellace began as a small company in the early 2000s, roasting cashews and other nuts and selling them in local shopping centers in San Diego.

The company was incorporated in 2001 and by 2007 employed more than 50 people with annual revenues exceeding $10 million.  The suit says Starbucks approached Mellace in 2007 to sell its products in its coffee shops.  The value of the initial contract was not disclosed in the suit.

However, after the company delivered its first shipment in March 2008, Starbucks said it had "received complaints about the quality of a certain MFB product," according to the suit.

"After diligent investigation, a defect was detected in the level of Fatty Acid in certain almonds and Starbucks initiated a product withdrawal," the suit stated, which was due to "faulty installation and calibration of an automated roasting machine, installed and calibrated by a MFB third party vendor."

"Starbucks was reimbursed the costs related to product withdrawal through insurance proceeds from MFB's third party vendor," the suit stated.

Starbucks "is alleged to have received further complaints regarding MFB products not yet coded for a six month shelf life," and initiated a product withdrawal.

After additional dealings between the two companies, another agreement was reached in April 2010 for $1.8 million in product with additional purchase orders issued later that year, the suit said.  Based on that agreement, Mellace purchased $1 million in cashews to fulfill those orders, according to the suit.

That same month, Starbucks said it received complaints regarding the quality of cashews, the suit said.  In May 2010, Mellace said it received a termination letter from Starbucks, "indicating that no new orders would be issued due to product quality concerns," the suit stated.

On May 25, 2010, Mellace said it hired an independent laboratory to test samples and found them to be "acceptable" according to specifications provided by Starbucks.

On May 28, 2010, Starbucks told Mellace it would be still taking orders for almonds.  But on June 4, Starbucks told Mellace its products were withdrawn due to concerns by the Food and Drug Administration.

After the products were returned to Mellace that month, the FDA found that "certain MFB products had in fact, been tainted by a gas leak at a Starbucks facility.  No defect was found in the roasting packaging of the product, done by MFB.  No concerns were found in MFB product quality," the suit said.

"The FDA investigation demonstrated that Starbucks' failure to honor the then-outstanding and promised future blanket purchase agreements was unjustified.  Due to Starbucks' improper product withdrawal, and failure to fulfill its promised future BPA's and then-outstanding BPA's, MFB suffered extreme financial difficulty and was forced to close its business," the suit stated.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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