Sunday, November 12, 2006

Moving on up!!!!!

To the east side..... lol. Well, things are going great for me in the company. Thankfully, I start training for my promotion tomorrow. I ran my first shift yesterday at work, and really surprised my manager. It was really complicated for me, because I was working in drive-thru. When in drive-thru it is very difficult to get a whole store perspective, because you are caught up in taking care of those customers solely. Nevertheless, I was asked to make sure that everyone was taking their meal breaks as well as their regular breaks, and I had to cover their positions while they did so. My manager was so impressed with the way that I handled everything that she gave me an on the spot MUG award, which comes with its own pin!!! My hat is starting to get heavy from all the pins I am wearing now. LOL. I now have 12 pins in my collection. My hat is starting to look like a Buckeyes football helmet.

Well, there is one more piece of good news about my promotion. It seems that I am not getting transfered to another store after all. I am excited about this because I am a part of the comraderie at the store I am located at. To get transferred would just completely change the dynamic of where I work, and who I work with. I love the crew that I am with and to be moved to a different location would be like stripping me from my family. So I am very glad that I am not moving. However, I also realize that when working for Starbucks, this is still a very real possibility, and even though it may sting a little to get transferred, I am more than willing to take one for the team as a whole. I need to look at the big picture, not be stuck in my one little store. As one of the ten commandments of special warfare goes (quoted from Richard Marcinko) "Thou dost not have to like it, Thou just hath to do it." So, what will be, will be. So, if I get transferred, I may not like it, but I will do it.

Holiday Hooplah

This week Starbucks started its holiday kick-off! It really started two weeks ago when we began receiving our holiday loot. It all came in boxes marked "No Sneak Peaks." Since I was doing the receiving for our store, I was the only one that got to see what we got. This was fun because I had a secret. Tuesday night after we closed Starbucks-Santa and her helpers came and put out all of our holiday merchandise. Many thanks to the mid-night crew at Freedom Road. When I walked in on Wednesday morning, it looked like a Christmas Tree blew up in our store. Christmas goodies everywhere! We have:

  • Tazo Tea kits - very cute
  • Christmas mugs with matching saucers - festive item
  • Holiday French Presses - Really awesome looking (hint hint)
  • Coffee solo packages - small variety of coffee, mug, & an assortment of chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate covered nuts, and chocolate drops - YUM
  • Christmas Blend Coffee - stay tuned...

This is a multi-regional blend of coffees from Latin America and Asia. This is different than holiday blends from years past, simply because Starbucks decided to use an aged Asian blend from Indonesia. These Asian beans sat in a warehouse for 5 years prior to roasting. The aging process results in a smokey and cedary aroma. This makes this coffee perfect for sharing after dinner dessert with your family infront of the fire place. The spices that are evident hints to a bit of cinnamon and a very slight undertone of nutmeg. As the coffee cools, the nutmeg becomes more evident. Try this one with a splash of egg nog instead of cream. This coffee pairs great with Starbucks pepperment brownies or cranberry bliss bar.

Sound festive? You can get some at your local Starbucks establishment, by clicking the link to Starbucks Store on the right, or by visiting the Vulhop homestead sometime before we drink it all ourselves.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

What is a Coffee Master????

Well, it is official now!!! After two months of training, tasting, and rigorous testing, I became a retail coffee master at my Starbucks store. What does a coffee master do, you may ask? Welllllllll............

First of all, I must be completely informed, inside and out, about all of the coffees that Starbucks offers. This includes the regional selections, .com and grocery store exclusives (though not as much), seasonal and limited availabilities as well as our core coffees (available anywhere Starbucks sells whole bean or grinded coffees). What do I need to know about the coffees? Where they are grown, what they taste like, how that particular bean is processed, and what the origin notes of any particular Starbucks coffee are (what is that particular growing community like).

I need to have detailed knowledge of the different brewing equipment that we sell in the retail stores. What is the difference between that coffee maker and this one, how does this grinder work, should I get this espresso maker or that one. If you are shopping for these kinds of items, I would be the person to go to.

Internally, I am also responsible for ensuring that the other partners (employees) at my particular store have a working knowledge of the coffees that are available at my store. I need to make sure that they know what they taste like, as well as maintain tasting and coffee training records of everyone in the store.... Coffee Master, believe it or not, is also an administrative posistion as well.

All of this working knowledge and responsibility will eventually come with a pay raise as well (Yippie!!!) as I also accepted a promotion approximately fifteen minutes after passing the grueling Coffee Master exam!!!!!

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