July 18, 2008

Starbucks closures spare Racine coffeeholics

Relax, caffeine junkies: Your Chocolate Creme Frappuccino, your Venti Misto, your Grande Toffee Nut Latte -- they're all safe.

Starbucks today released its list of 600 stores to be closed, and none of ours are on it. In Wisconsin, only six Starbucks get the axe: one each in Appleton, Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Madison, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids.

The full list of places around the country now facing caffeine withdrawal is HERE.

And here's a special bonus for all of you: The Ultimate Starbucks recipe book! Yes, you can make pitchers of all your favorite drinks at home, and also pastries and desserts (Mocha Crumb Cake, Maple Oat Scones!) and sauces (Kahlua Fudge Sauce!). Just download and enjoy. (You're very welcome!)


  1. L8manchecker7/18/2008 5:25 PM

    That there was even a Starbucks in Marshfield openly mocks north side Racinians.

  2. When I read about Starbucks closing down stores today, I wasn't the least bit afraid of them filing for bankruptcy or closing down forever. I've been following the whole Starbucks ordeal on savvywallet.com. Even with the free iced coffee on Wednesday promotion, introduction of their fruity smoothies, and free wifi with gift card registrations. The only thing I'm worried about is not enough hotspots for wifi. There are several stores around my area that are closing down, and that's what I'm concerned about. I enjoy walking around the streets, plop down and always be able to find a signal because I know a Starbucks is near. The glory days are over.

  3. It's the birthday of the man who brought Starbucks to street corners
    everywhere — Howard Schultz, born in Brooklyn, New York (1953),
    and raised there in federally subsidized housing projects. His dad
    earned a living driving taxis and trucks, and his mom worked as a

    Schultz remembers that his father worked hard and yet was unable
    still to provide a comfortable life or even essentials like health
    care for his family, and the memory of his father's frustration and
    low self-esteem, and the unfairness of the situation, was a driving
    motivation for Schultz's progressive business practices when he
    founded Starbucks.

    He graduated from college, the first in his family to do so, then
    went to work for the Xerox Corporation in the sales and marketing
    department. He was then recruited by a Swedish housewares company
    that sold coffee-making equipment to Starbucks, a client in Seattle
    that roasted and sold beans in bulk at 11 retail stores and through
    mail order.

    On a vacation to Italy in 1983 he had an epiphany. Sitting at an
    espresso bar in Milan, he realized that there strong fresh brewed
    coffee was an integral part of people's daily lives, that the
    coffeehouse was a third place for people after home and work. He
    decided that this could happen in Seattle.

    He tried to encourage his business partners back home to start an
    operation like this, but they were not convinced of its
    profitability. So he left the company and started his own chain of
    espresso bars based in Seattle and called them Il Giornale. When his
    old company Starbucks was up for sale in 1987, he eagerly bought the
    chain and merged the stores with his own.

    He decided that with his new company he would place an emphasis on
    customer service. "Service is a lost art in America.
    It's not viewed as a professional job to work behind a counter," he
    once said. "We don't believe that. We want to provide our people with
    dignity and self-esteem, so we offer tangible benefits." The company
    trains new "partners," as the baristas are called, for eight to 12
    weeks and provides health insurance, dental, and eye care even for
    part-time employees. Schultz proudly cites his company's low
    attrition rate, in comparison to similar businesses, as an indication
    of his employees' sense of satisfaction. The average "partner" age is
    between 24 and 25.

    Starbucks ventured into the entertainment industry over the past
    several years. Schultz said, "In a way [customers are] relying on us
    to provide them with an opportunity to discover things that they,
    perhaps, would not have discovered on their own, either because they
    weren't looking for it or they're no longer in the habit of going to
    those stores." The store in 2004 released Ray Charles's "Genius Loves
    Company," which was a best-selling album. Starbucks' Hear Music
    record label had Paul McCartney as its first signed artist. The store
    has also had three books that became New York Times No. 1 best sellers.

    Starbucks now has some 16,000 stores in 45 countries