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Rock & Rye

A Drink On The Rocks…..

Month

March 2008

Starbucks Unveils New Strategic Initiatives To Transform and Innovate the Customer Experience

Starbucks Coffee Company today unveiled a series of innovative customer-facing initiatives at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo, shared his vision for transforming the Starbucks customer experience and reinforcing a strong foundation from which to grow.

Starbucks has aquired the Coffee Equipment Company and its proprietary Clover® brewing system. This revolutionary brewing system gives you the power to brew each cup to order according to each coffee’s unique characteristics, in a fraction of the time of other single-cup brewing methods . Starbucks will also be reinventing their in-store brewed coffee, scooping and grinding a new Pike Place Blend daily,connecting customers to the early days of Starbucks, as well as having coffee brewed every 30 minutes.

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Also introduced today was the Mastrena, a new state-of-the-art espresso system that provides the perfect shot every time and features a lower profile, to allow baristas to be able to visually communicate with customers.

The first phase of the Starbucks Card Rewards program was also revealed today which rewards registered cardholders and provides unique new benefits such as compimentary customization and drinks, as well as free in-store wifi.

Lastly an expanded relationship with Conservation International that enhances Starbucks 37-year commitment to ethically sourcing the world’s finest coffees and reaffirms Starbucks leadership position in sustainable sourcing and climate preservation.

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How Far Can You Stretch Before You Break?

My comfort zone is quite small.  I will admit that.  I grow comfortable in my routine of going to work, going home to eat dinner with my wife, sitting on the couch with her and our kitten while watching tv, then going to bed and starting the whole thing over again in the morning.

Recently I have been challenged.  More than perhaps I care to be.  I am being encouraged to shift my perspective on the way I look at life, how I perform in my job, how I interact with my wife, family, friends, and strangers.  I have been put in a place of leadership and servanthood.  I have been jarred out of complacency, and thrust into a time of growth and challenge.

But how far can I go?  Can I succesfully accomplish what I am setting out to do?  Do I have what it takes?  A determination to succeed,  A willingness to rely and trust in those who are  supporting and will continue to support me,  A dependence on God, A desire to do and become more?  I hope so.

Yesterday I was asked to consider speaking at an event.  I don’t do that.  I am scared spitless.  But on the otherhand, I have an opportunity not only to bless others with knowledge and grace, but to grow in those things myself.  Why would I not want to do that?  Fear, perhaps.  A fear of acceptance, of not being good enough, or being to young to impart something benficial on those who are older?  I am not sure, but I think that I am going to go for it.

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