Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

By Kim Fellner | Go to book overview

Introduction
The Global Economy
Comes Home

It was November 30, 1999. I was standing amid a horde of demonstrators at what was about to be dubbed “the Battle of Seattle,” the protest against the World Trade Organization (WTO) that hurled global justice into the headlines and gave new meaning to our macchiatos. Suddenly there was a crash not twenty feet from where I stood, and the Starbucks window collapsed in a hail of glass. “Hey,” I said to my husband, Alec, “That’s our coffee store!”

Right there, on a cool November day, near the intersection of Fifth and Pine in downtown Seattle, our parallel universes—as consumers, global justice activists, and union members—collided. The global economy had come home to roost. And apparently, to roast.

Howard Schultz, the dynamic and driven founder of Starbucks as we know it, later recalled that the impending protests were not even a blip on his radar screen, although they were soon to rumble his world. “I don’t recall any structured meeting whatsoever about the WTO here at Starbucks,” he told me. “I don’t remember any preparation, sensitivity, or concern. Maybe that speaks to us being naïve about our own place in the world. So I was so surprised and horrified to, in a matter of minutes, be in the eye of the hurricane. I was watching TV, and it kept rewinding on someone throwing something through a Starbucks window, people running into the store. Starbucks became sort of the

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Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction - The Global Economy Comes Home 1
  • 1 - The Empire Strikes Gold 15
  • 2 - Running the 10-K 27
  • 3 - Banking on the Bean 47
  • 4 - Go Sell It on the Mountain 69
  • 5 - Moving Up on Eighth Street 105
  • 6 - The Cross­dressing of Coffee-Counter Culture 123
  • 7 - When Worker Met Partner 140
  • 8 - At the Global Crossroads 163
  • 9 - The View from Headquarters 186
  • 10 - Capitalism Is like Fire … 203
  • 11 - Goodness as Battleground 220
  • 12 - Bread. Roses. Coffee 236
  • Acknowledgments 245
  • Notes 249
  • Index 267
  • About the Author 285
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