Dying for Starbucks: funeral home adds coffee franchise


With people literally dying to get in, a funeral home in northwestern South Carolina has announced plans to open what it calls the “Starbucks Experience,” the Washington Post has reported.

Robinson Funeral Home, a fourth-generation funeral home and crematory in Easley, South Carolina, has announced that a Starbucks franchise will be added to its existing slate of services.

Having hired a full-staff of Starbucks baristas to handle the caffeine needs of every mourner, coffee will also be discreetly served to the general public.

The so-called “Coffee Corner” will also offer food, a fireplace and free Wi-Fi access

“When people have visitations, mourners come out and support the families. Adding a Starbucks is another way to do that,” stated owner Chris Robinson. 

Robinson indicated that coffee has always been a part of his family’s business.

“We’ve always served coffee to our families. So as part of this new addition, where we’re adding a new lobby, new arrangement offices, new restrooms, we decided to incorporate a separate area for people who may want coffee.”

The coffeehouse will not be intrusive — “you walk in the front, and it’s off to the side” — and is open to all, irrespective of mourning status.  The general public is welcome. 

Questioned about whether the new Starbucks would be able to perfect “Bill’s Morning Start,” a six-shot Venti, four-pump Vanilla, one-pump Mocha, extra-fat, extra-hot, upside down latte, Robinson replied: “We haven’t been trained by Starbucks yet but we can certainly give it a try.”

Although the new funeral home location will be the town’s first Starbucks, they will not be able to market themselves as an actual Starbucks franchise as they are not a full-sized store. 

That means a drive-thru is not yet available.

National Coffee Day 2011

With National Coffee Day tomorrow – Thursday, September 29th – you would think that coffee giants Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts would be celebrating customer loyalty by offering up a free cup of java.

No such luck as they have all but forgotten the celebration of years past. 

While Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are not giving away free coffee, two companies have made major headlines and plan on participating in the “holiday” that concludes National Coupon Month.

7-Eleven stores in the United States will mark National Coffee Day with National CofFREE Day, its own caffeinated version of the celebration.  Between 7 and 11 a.m. anyone can make a morning stop at 7-Eleven to receive a free medium-size cup of hot coffee, cappuccino, or latte, while supplies last.

Krispy Kreme is celebrating National Coffee Day by giving each customer a free 12 ounce cup of House Blend coffee, with no purchase necessary.  The giveaway will also introduce the chain’s new Krispy Kreme Signature Coffee Blends that were recently released.

Starbucks, a name synonymous with coffee, sees no need to celebrate National Coffee Day, an unidentified representative wrote in response to an online inquiry.  According to the anonymous response, the international coffeehouse has no promotion planned in celebration of National Coffee Day.

“We celebrate coffee day every day,” stated a barista at a local Fort Lauderdale Starbucks.  “Why would we give away free coffee?”

Dunkin Donuts did not respond to requests for comment.

In a tough economy customer loyalty means everything.  A free cup of coffee to loyal customers would not impact the bottom line at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.  It’s not too late to jump on board and participate in National Coffee Day 2011.

Starbucks is More Than Coffee

Joining the political circuit is none other than Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.  As part of his highly publicized blitz to end partisan gridlock in Washington D.C., Schultz will participate in a “Conversation with America” Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, September 6th.

The nationwide telephonic Town Hall is being organized by “No Labels,” a non-profit organization that describes itself as a citizen-led movement aimed at pressuring elected leaders to set aside partisan differences and focus on solving the nation’s problems.

In addition to Schultz, the Town Hall will include No Labels Co-Founders Mark McKinnon and John Avlon.  Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, will also participate.

Schultz has written an open letter that will run as a full-page advertisement in the Sunday and Tuesday New York Times, and in the Tuesday USA Today.  In the letter, Schultz repeats his call for a boycott of political donations until the country’s leaders approve a “transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security.”

Several large businesses including AOL, J.C. Penney, Pepsi, Whole Foods Market, the Walt Disney Company, J Crew, Zipcar, and NASDAQ have already taken the pledge. 

Moreover, over 1,800 individuals and nearly 300 pledges from business owners promising to do “everything possible” to accelerate job creation have been made.

In a letter released to all Starbucks gift card holders today, Schultz stated:

Dear Starbucks Friend and Fellow Citizen:

I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.

We cannot let this stand.

Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit www.upwardspiral2011.org

America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.

Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.

With great respect,

Howard Schultz

Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, contributions from business political action committees totaled $334 million in the 2009-2010 cycle, while individual donations from the business community were about $1 billion, split almost equally between the Republican and Democratic parties.

Since 1994, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has made campaign donations totaling $144,200, with $113,700 to Democratic candidates, $29,500 to special interest groups, and $1,000 to Republican candidates.

Interesting how this longtime supporter of the Democratic party is now attempting to become part of the process.

With 17,009 stores in 50 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and over 150 in Turkey, the Seattle, Washington, based Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. 

Scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6th, participants can RSVP at http://www.nolabels.org. The Town Hall meeting will be also streamed live.

Starbucks Introduces New Mobile Coffee Application

Are you addicted to Starbucks?  If so, you will find of interest a new mobile application created just for you.

Earlier today, Starbucks took to their blog announcing a new mobile app they have created.  The posting was logged from author “April F” the brand’s Director of Global Mobile Beverage

The idea behind the new app is simple –  Starbucks has placed two baristas on scooters in every square mile of seven of the country’s largest cities.  Their main goal?  To deliver coffee at the whim of your GPS enabled smartphone.

With a few swipes on your phone’s screen, with the Mobile Pour app, you can have coffee delivered to you within minutes.  The novelty of this mobile application is rather intriguing, considering the commentary stating “There is a Starbucks on every corner.” 

This mobile application shows Starbucks knows their brand and is willing to make light of their role in the coffee industry.  Interesting to introduce such a new mobile application on April Fool’s Day….

The full blog post, should Starbucks remove it:

Instructional Animation: