Starbucks

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More than 11,000 people have signed an online petition saying Starbucks has been cutting workers’ hours, leading to low morale. 

The petition is the brainchild of Jaime Prater, an artist who’s worked for Starbucks off and on for a total of nine years. Right now he works as a barista at a Starbucks in Southern California. 

Courtesy Howard Behar

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Office of Financial Management estimates Washington Initiative 732 will cost as much as $900 million per year. OFM’s analysis concluded the bill would cost as much as $900 million over four years.

Former Starbucks International President Howard Behar is one of three executives responsible for taking the coffee giant from a small regional chain to an international powerhouse. He’s also the author of popular business books that argue a big part of the company’s success has been its focus on putting people ahead of profits.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 24 and looking for a job, head to Seattle’s Centurylink Field on Thursday to meet with hiring managers from companies including Microsoft, T-Mobile and Starbucks.

It's about 6:30 in the morning at a Starbucks near Santa Monica beach, and David Rodriguez Ordunez is checking Facebook while charging his phone.

He's one of 44,000 people living on the streets in and around Los Angeles — and he's one of three homeless people at the coffee shop this morning.

"Since there's Internet here, that's mainly one of the purposes. I've usually got to find locations to actually have access," Ordunez explains.

Why Starbucks instead of the library? "Well, the library opens like at 10 o'clock or something," he says.

It sounds like a joke. A goat walked into a Starbucks ...

But it's true.

It happened a couple of days ago in Rohnert Park, Calif., when a goat whose name is Millie somehow got away from her home and ambled over to the nearby strip mall. Employees dangled a banana in front of the goat in the hope of apprehending her, but she preferred to chew on a cardboard box. Police officers took the ruminant to an animal shelter, where her owner reportedly reclaimed her.

Saying that it will finally do business in the country that helped inspire its approach to coffee, Starbucks has announced plans to open its first store in Italy early next year, venturing into the cradle of espresso.

Saying that it is making the move "with humility and respect," Starbucks announced that its first store in Italy will be in Milan.

From Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports:

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Starbucks shares fell about 4 percent after the close of regular trading on Thursday after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results. 

In China, sales growth at the company's stores that have been open at least a year showed a slowdown, adding to recent concerns about the health of that country’s economy. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he will contribute $30 million toward a nationwide program to hire low income 16-to-24-year olds. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

That Starbucks around the corner from your house may be draining your wallet, latte by latte. But if you’re a homeowner, it may be paying off for you in other ways, in the value of your home, for example.

That’s one of the eye-catching findings that two executives of the Seattle-based real estate data firm Zillow reveal in their recent book, "Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate."

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Listen closely to the music playing next time you’re grabbing coffee at Starbucks. If it’s a relaxing piano piece, it might just be the work of Tacoma teenager Marc Estabrook.

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Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz says his company is facing a "tidal wave of change" as people buy more online and less in brick and mortar stores, so he’s outlined a plan to attract even more people to his cafes even in the age of e-commerce. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says a $15 per hour minimum wage in Seattle may not have such a big effect on his company, but he’s concerned it would hit small- and medium-sized businesses hard.

The issue of raising the minimum wage has dominated headlines in Seattle ever since Kshama Sawant, who has been pushing for the increase, won a city council seat last fall.

Beautiful Existence

The year 2013 was the Year of Starbucks for one Seattle woman who survived only on foods and drinks she bought at Starbucks cafes.

The woman, named Beautiful Existence, says she’d often thought about taking on the task. After all, yearlong experiments were nothing new to Existence, who challenged herself to shop only at Goodwill for the entire year of 2011.

Allison Moore

The coffee world has been abuzz lately with news of barista robots—machines that can custom-make a cappuccino or chai latte. Naturally, the question becomes whether the world’s largest coffee chain, Seattle-based Starbucks, would replace humans with automation. 

In a world where robots build cars, fulfill orders in Amazon warehouses and paint the wings on Boeing’s 777 jet, making a latte by machine isn’t that much of a leap.

The Associated Press

An arbitrator has concluded that Starbucks must pay $2.76 billion to settle a dispute with Kraft over coffee distribution.

The two consumer products companies had been locked in a fight after Starbucks Corp. fired Kraft as its distributor of packaged coffee to grocery chains in 2010.

In recent years, companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing have announced special hiring programs for veterans. Seattle coffee giant Starbucks is the latest.

All of these companies are trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But to succeed, companies have to take the time to understand the skills of service members.

AP Photo

Starbucks says its profit rose 34 percent in its fiscal fourth-quarter, as the coffee chain attracted more customers around the world.

The Seattle-based company said global sales rose 7 percent at cafes open at least a year, including an 8 percent rise in both the U.S. and Asia.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Starbucks says it will ask customers and businesses to sign a petition calling for an end to the partial government shutdown that has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job.

The petition will will be available at all Starbucks 11,000 U.S. locations to sign beginning Friday.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms.

The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun rights and gun control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

A group urging more restrictive gun laws is calling for a national boycott of Starbucks Saturday. The group is upset over Starbucks’ policy of letting customers bring firearms into stores in states that allow it. 

Whidbey Arms

A brewing controversy surrounding gun rights is headed to Starbucks locations today.

Gun rights advocates around the country are planning to rally at Starbucks cafes where they’re allowed to openly carry firearms. But a group of moms is trying to pressure Starbucks to stop allowing guns in its cafes.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Starbucks says it's reached a deal to partner with Google that will allow it to offer its customers dramatically faster Wi-Fi service.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Starting in August, new U.S. company-operated Starbucks stores will begin to receive up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds. And over the next 18 months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 U.S. stores to the upgraded service.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Starbucks has been branching out beyond coffee into pastries, yogurt, and juices. And it appears to be paying off.

Sales in the quarter that ended last month climbed 13 percent, and profit jumped 25 percent. 

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Starbucks wants a taste of the Greek yogurt craze.

The Seattle-based coffee chain says it's teaming up with French food and drink company Danone to sell Greek yogurt parfaits. The ready-to-eat cups will arrive in its U.S. cafes in the spring of 2014, replacing the yogurt cups the chain currently sells.

A lawsuit claims some Starbucks workers in New York City were so rude to deaf customers they mocked them and called the police to try to get them kicked out.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for what's described as multiple occasions of abuse.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

The Seattle-based coffee company says it's hiking prices on average by 1 percent nationally starting on Tuesday. But it says the price for many drinks, such as medium and large brewed coffees and Frappuccinos, won't change in most its 11,000 U.S. cafes.

For a small brewed coffee, the price will increase by 10 cents at most. Other drinks could increase by more than that.

Starbucks is defending its tip-sharing policy in New York, with its attorney telling the state's top court that baristas and shift supervisors divide up the cash jar weekly because they essentially provide the same customer service.

Attorney Rex Heinke says assistant store managers are excluded because they have an essentially different role and "real power" over the others.

gray_eminence / Flickr

Starbucks says it signed a new five-year contract to make single-serve packs for Green Mountain's Keurig brewing machines, a deal that also expands the companies' partnership beyond North America.

The deal comes after Starbucks last year introduced its own single-serve brewing machine, which was seen by many as posing a threat to Green Mountain's popular machines.

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If you have a daily Starbucks fix, you’re not alone. The company took in $3.6 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter. 

Starbucks added 590 stores around the world— including Ho Chi Minh City—in the first three months of this year. And they weren’t just coffee shops; more than 300 were tea shops that Starbucks acquired through its purchase of Teavana.

Associated Press

Did Starbucks’ stance on same-sex marriage hurt its bottom line?

A shareholder claimed as much during the company’s annual meeting last month, prompting a heated exchange with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The shareholder, citing a boycott by the National Organization for Marriage of the company, hinted that Starbucks’ stock price had suffered. 

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