15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, owned by Starbucks

15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, *owned by Starbucks.

Starbucks is getting the hint. People want are small, local and independent coffee shops they can feel comfortable in. So Starbucks is re-branding one coffee shop and giving the impression it’s smaller, independent, and less corporate — i.e. not owned by Starbucks. NPR has a story about the 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea shop, a “Starbucks-inspired” pilot coffee shop project on Capitol Hill. (The person in the picture is not actually an employee. This was part of a performance reported in The Stranger.)

The new concept is a “re-imagination” of Starbucks, the cafe’s project manager said.

Hey guess what! We would like to re-imagine Starbucks too!

Starbucks employees from New York City to Minneapolis have been trying to organize with the IWW for increased wages, guaranteed hours and full-time options, ending understaffing, and for healthier, safer workplaces.

The funny thing is, the union organizing is not happening in Seattle, where Starbucks is actually from. But with Starbucks’ billboards recently getting “corrected” in the Ballard neighborhood and these street performances on Capitol Hill, I’m curious if the Northwest IWW chapters are increasing their efforts with Starbucks. People seem ready for something new. Starbucks also owns the Seattle’s Best Coffee chain, and are they organizing too? Apparently nothing is happening, judging by this thread on the Starbucks Union forum where somebody asks, “Anybody in Seattle?”…  No, there is nobody in Seattle, unfortunately. But all it takes is a few people to start it and get it going.

Starbucks Union website.

Stop Starbucks website.