Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

By Kim Fellner | Go to book overview

1
The Empire
Strikes Gold

If you’d accidentally walked into Seattle’s McCaw Hall on March 30, 2004, you might have mistaken the spectacle for a Vegas-style stage show. There were musical acts, jugglers, video comedies, and a procession of percussionists. Someone read David Letterman’s Top-Ten List, “Things You Don’t Want to Hear in Starbucks.” Three thousand audience members whooped and cheered.

Performance it may have been, but the purpose was not entertainment: this was Starbucks’ annual meeting. The attendees were stockholders—some of them large, most of them small—enjoying their yearly chance to sample free Starbucks treats and learn how the company was doing. Among them were baristas checking up on their Bean Stock, a stock option available to any employee who works at least 240 hours per quarter. “I’ve never had a chance to meet Howard Schultz in person,” confided one young employee, “so I decided to come and see for myself.”

And then there was the suspense: trying to guess the identity of this year’s guest performer. Good music has always been part of the Starbucks store environment; but this year’s guest artist, who turned out to be Emmylou Harris, was also part of the business plan. After she wowed the crowd with “Red Dirt Girl” and John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the company announced that she would feature on the upcoming Starbucks/Hear Music Artist’s Choice CD, one of a series of

-15-

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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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