A-Z Blogging Challenge - P is for Pike Place

If you have ever worked for Starbucks, then the Pike Place Store is magical to you!

Technically the first store back in 1971 was located at Western Avenue and only relocated to Pike Place in 1976. 

Also neither the first store nor "Starbucks" was founded by Howard Schultz (he only just graduated from high school that year), but three guys, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl who purchased their coffee beans from Alfred Peet's Coffee & Tea in Berkely, CA. 

They roasted and sold whole beans and didn't make any beverages back then.




If you're interested in "how it all began" I recommend you read Pour your heart into it. Be warned, though, after you're through with the book you'll want to apply with SBUX ;-)

If you succeed and become kind of a big shot, you'll make it to this place here, the Starbucks Support Center where meeting rooms are named after coffee varieties, so you'll have a 9 o'clock at Guatemala Antigua:




As nice as the corporate offices and the people inside are, the real soul will always be at the stores, of which you have to visit the store:


Howard Schultz still has a key to this store and when he feels he needs to be grounded, he goes there at night, closes his eyes and touches the wooden counter. He told us this story at a leadership conference, and a couple hundred people got goosebumps!

Although the Pike Place Store is not big, you can't miss it because there are always people waiting in line, and always a musician contributing to the unique atmosphere.



Once you make it inside you'll have a chance to buy some wonderful coffee beans: Pike Place Special Reserve (read more about it and the fact that it is totally different from Pike Place Roast here)


My friend Anita and I made it a tradition to visit the store when I'm in town!



In one of the first training videos you are going to watch if you're a new Starbucks partner (employee) you will see the guys who work at the fish market. 

They talk about how it used to be an undesirable job: getting up early in the morning, spending many hours in a cold and smelly environment, but they decided to do something about it and turn their job into a fun one! 


How? 

By throwing the fish!

You heard right. After the customer has chosen the fish they want to buy, the fishmonger will throw that very fish to his coworker at the register who will package it for you.

Starbucks picked up on this and is throwing cups at their Pike Place Store. Empty to go cups, that is ;-)


To me this area is such a happy place! A million different smells are coming from all the food and flower stands, tourists (like me) are excitedly taking pictures,...





Do you feel like you have seen all this somewhere before? Of course you have! In case you can't remember where, come back to my blog on Friday!