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What Is Behind That Morning Cup of Joe?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The apparent opposite of the Starbucks model
  3. An urban cafe according to Thompson
    1. Hostility towards Starbucks from patrons of smaller shops
    2. Smaller coffee joints: Embracing those with anti-Starbucks sentiments
  4. The company's main advertising strategies
    1. Establishing its coffee as something distinctly Seattleite
    2. Keeping the atmosphere of its stores different
    3. Shunning mass marketing approaches
  5. The first Starbucks workers union
    1. The sigining of the National Labor Relations Board Settlement Agreement
    2. The Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Starbucks
  6. The legitimacy of Starbucks's fair trade
  7. Starbucks: Giving back to the communities of coffee growers
  8. The inteview with the consumer named 'Antonio'
    1. The quality of Starbucks
    2. Business practices and fair treatment of workers
    3. Scandals surrounding Starbucks
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

For many, a morning cup of coffee may be a daily ritual. In today's fast-paced world, many may not even have the time to brew it at home, preferring instead to stop at a coffee shop on the way to work or school. There are plenty of chains in many areas to frequent, especially Starbucks. Some may grumble about the money that they have to pay for a single cup of coffee at one of these stores. But how many think about the actual cost of that cup of coffee, or where the profits are really going, or where the profits really should be going?

[...] However, as Lyons writes, commodity with a long and complex chronicle of consumption and production, coffee is a perennially global product par excellence. Thus the notion of ?Seattle Coffee' is in some sense the attempt to fix, temporally and spatially, a commodity involved in a perpetual process of flux and exchange? (29). The company was also conscious to keep the atmosphere of its stores different from that of a smaller, less corporate coffeehouse. Starbucks was trying to court customers who might be turned off by the vibe given off by these other, edgier coffeehouses. [...]

[...] These three employees?Sarah Bender, Laura De Anda, and Peter Montalbano?were also awarded backpay, with interest In the body of the document, Starbucks was forced to promise to result to neither threats nor outright bribery to discourage employees from joining the Starbucks Union The company also had to give up its campaign of retribution toward employees who wore pro-union pins or distributed or posted reading materials authored by the union Oddly enough, the Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Starbucks company website, the ?Starbucks Position Regarding Unions Representing Our Partners (employees)? is dated December This literature is written indicating that it is directed toward the employees. [...]

[...] Antonio also ponders fair trade in relation to what he now know about Starbucks: don't know how they can call it fair trade if it's a trickle-down thing where suppliers and distributors get most of the cash When asked about his own social responses to Starbucks, Antonio felt that most of his options would have little effect on such a behemoth. He did not believe there to be much point to no longer buying Starbucks beverages. Since he doesn't buy drinks there much in the first place, Antonio feels that ?boycotting? the store would have no measurable effect on the company whatsoever, and therefore has little point. [...]

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