Soup’s on at the Children’s Hospital Starbucks
Today (July 16, 2010) is the grand opening of the brand spanking new Starbucks inside Children’s Hospital in Seattle. This beautiful new Starbucks is designed to be a warm and welcoming place for children, and a home away from home for the hospital staff, parents, patients, and their unique customer base.
This store offers hot soup! It is the only North American Starbucks-branded store offering soup (the two “streetlevel” Starbucks have soup, but are not logo-ed stores). I went up to the register and ordered soup and passion tea lemonade, since it was a warm day out. Note that the barista, without asking my name, wrote “Starbucks Melody” on the cup. I was pretty stunned. I think I have met him only once before. I tried the soup! I had a small cup of a roasted pepper tomato soup which was just delicious. I recommend having soup if you’re at this store!
Please do not have the mistaken belief that you can just walk right into the store: Because the store is inside the actual hospital, everyone must have a visitor’s badge. I too got a visitor’s badge that said I was here to visit “Cafeteria/Starbucks”. This blog post will be a story mostly told with photos, since this store is so photogenic. I love the old coffee stamp wall art. I have heard that the wall art of coffee stamp images was selected because of the many large and fun to look at animal images: It is true, many of the coffee stamp designs are very children-friendly. The hospital’s main colors (in terms of its style and interior design) are blue and orange, and so the store picks up some of those colors with orange seating in places. The wood for the bar areas is reclaimed wood from the Lake City area of Seattle.
I took lots of photos of the store. Notice that the store has some new version of a warming oven that is much more sleek in design than what is typically found at a Starbucks. While it may look more space age, I asked about it, and learned that it does the exact same thing as the old warming oven: It warms sandwiches, just a different design.
The store hours are Monday through Friday from 6 am to 11 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to 9 pm. The walking area between seats is designed to extra wide to accommodate wheelchairs, if needed. I noticed the whole bean wall is tiny, but given the unique needs of this store (serving primarily hospital staff and patients) that almost makes sense. The children who are patients will have no interest in whole bean, and probably coffee for home is not what most of the hospital staff are coming here for. I previously wrote a blog entry announcing that this special store was under construction – If anyone is interested in looking at that, it is here.
What do you think of this fabulous store? (I love it!). Talk about this store or anything Starbucks related. (All the photos here were taken today, July 16, 2010)
Great store, great pictures. I wish they’d bring back the coffee stamps. They used to have small outdoor tables with the stamps on them. I’ve seen those ovens in recently remodeled stores (including the one in my town). They’re a lot smaller (which is why my home town store finally got an oven).
Oh does this store look beautiful. Wish more of the stores were like this one. And the soup sounds yummy! Thanks for the pics.
Wow! Beautiful store! Connecting with our customers of all ages is really important. Coffee stamps have always been a great way to connect with the younger ones. Thanks for sharing your visit Melody!
Looks like a pretty neat Starbucks and not that difficult to get to on the bus. Do they have any other soups since tomato soup is not really my thing and I just love clam chowder.
(@Sebastian, Wongster, Steve, and CD)
@Sebastian – Hey thank you for the pic! Wow!!! I didn’t know there was a Starbucks INSIDE a hospital in Vienna. That’s awesome. A few thousand people know who I am! That does not make me famous! LOL
@Wongster – God yes! The stamps are so perfect for kids. I would EVEN support a child-like booklet that parents could buy for their kids where they fill it up stickers. The coffee stamps have SO much history to them, they help inspire a curiosity about coffee, and they’re downright fun!! As an adult, I would be all over that idea too.
@CD – I meant to reply to you in the last blog post about the “doris day” parkiing – You’re right! It gives away my age! I’ve used that expression with people much younger than me, and get blank stares!
@Steve – I’m sorry you don’t like tomato based soup. This store is about celebrating the connection with young children who are sick, and being a real home away from home, not about being able to find a soup that YOU like.
I love the wall art in the style of the coffee stamps. It is also really nice to see that the designers considered little things like wheelchairs. You don’t know how hard it is to navigate a non-wheelchair friendly shop until you’ve tried it.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has a coffee shop (not Starbucks, local chain) inside of it. It’s not nearly this big or nice though!
Wonderful post, Melody. I agree with Sebastian – a hospital needs a comforting place with -warm- colors!
Thanks Melody for the quick response. I know it is not about the soup I like. My question was do they have any other soups besides tomato soup?
@Steve – Since this is the ONLY regional North America Starbucks with soup, if there had been more than one soup, I would have told you. You can see in the pictures only one soup listed, and you can see the soup set up with only one big crock-pot type soup container. I have heard that they will try to rotate the soup offering, but right now it’s a tomato soup. Personally I despise clam chowder, but maybe they will have that sometime. It’s a classic Friday offering at many restaurants. But Starbucks is NOT a restaurant, and cannot be expected to offer the same level of choices.
Thanks Melody for your as always
quick and friendlyresponse. Chicken soup might be good too.
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This place looks very very nice. Love all your photos, Melody! I’m interested in what kind of other soups they’ll have there, too. Or if starbucks is planning on offering soups in any other stores…that would be great 🙂
You are famous in Starbucks scenes…:D
The photos are really good!
I L-O-V-E this store’s purpose and design. Thank you for sharing!
I dislike injections, so I do not like a hospital and a nurse, but I will visit it every day if hospital having this Starbucks. The place may heal any kind of illness.
I told you. Each Starbucks may have your photo. “Warning! This is Melody investigator.” But don’t worry. There is not yet the warning document in the Japan stores.
My store has that exact oven. Exactly like they told you, it does exactly the same thing, just a newer design. I’m pretty sure that as the old models quit working, they’ll be replaced with these. All new stores are getting these as well.
Wow, that is a fabulous store! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing the photos, Melody! Sadly, it has as much retail space (or, at least, displayed) as my downtown store! But it is absolutely beautiful and I’m so excited for all the families to be able to use it!
As for the stamps, we periodically get little ones in my store with their parents and we have a tendency to give them a stamp or two, specifically the ones with animals on them. They all get a kick out of it! A stamp book for kiddos, even at all stores, would be a genius idea for S’bux!
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I was even touched by this Starbucks, just a little.
A little OT, but I visited the most incredible Starbucks today and I thought I’d let you know. This is in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia; I was apartment hunting in that area today so I decided to pop in. This was an immaculate store (and I’ve not been to any that were especially dirty). They had a full pastry area and refrigerator and they had Lucy’s cookies, which I was especially pleased to see. The stores in Center City don’t usually have those. They also sold 12-packs of Via, which I’ve never seen before. This is also a Starbucks where you would feel very comfortable to sit for a while and not feel like you’re in competition with wi-fi users, if that bothers you. A lot of very nice wood, and nice low ceilings, which make it feel very homey.
Here’s the picture from Starbucks Everywhere (except there is now a Soft Pretzel shop where that British store is): http://home.flash.net/~ral1/starbucks/bigimages/DSCN4670.htm
Melody, great story but I have to say in warped Skooter fashion, the first thing that came to mind when I read soup was the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld, lol This would be the type of place that he might just put someone over the edge. I told you am warped and that made me giggle. Thank you. I like the more natural decor and not so uniformed. I know people that have stayed in Ronald McDonald Houses while family were in the hospital, comfort where you can find it. I like that you have taken up Juan’s journey as much as you can with your always busy “FAME”, Mwah Keep blogging. We keep reading. Way cool stuff there, little lady, as we would say in the south.
Thank you so much for sharing, Melody! This store looks so pretty. I too love its purpose! I’ll send you photos of our new hospital store when it opens up later this quarter!
@Steve , here in Australia our last promotion introduced soup to all our stores, nation-wide. There were 3 soups, Minestrone, Creme of Broccoli and Creme of Mushroom. The first two were quite nice, but despite this they didn’t sell well in most stores. There are now only a dozen or so stores that continue to offer the soups moving forward.
Thanks for following up on the previous post you had about this. It sounded like a unique idea then and it is nice to see it come to fruition. Love the coffee stamps! It really is a comforting thing and soo much better then hospital coffee. The hospital my husband went to when he had his appendectomy had a little cafe in it…but the coffee really left something to be desired!
@Anthony That store looks so lovely! I always thought it would be so cool to live above a Starbucks. Like how ‘FRIENDS’ lived above Central Perk.
@usorthem3 Ha! Soup Nazi.
Melody, are there two ovens in that store? It looks like I can see a second one in the picture of the oven. There’s one store in my area (Chicago suburbs) that has that oven – what a neat little thing it is! Are the menus kind of transparent? It looks like they let light shine through them kind of like they are lit up. Would you be able to take a picture of the pastry case that shows the entire thing. I really like the design of the pastry case and would like to see how they have it set up! Is there a patio? Thanks for the sharing the story of this location, Melody! 🙂
What an awesome location for a Starbucks! =)
@Jen – I totally agree! @baroosta – I saw two ovens there too. I assume they think they’ll be busy enough to need them. One thing I worry about that store: It’s never going to have the crazy rushes quite like any other store. Every customer has to have a visitor’s pass! I hope it stays busy enough. As to the pastry case,… I’ll have to go back and get a pic. But the register barista mentioned that the pastry case currently set up there wasn’t actually the one planned for the store (I don’t know why or what’s going on there?) and that it may change soon!
@Meldoy – Maybe the pastry case will be switched out for something smaller if they don’t have very high pastry sales?? It seems like a minimalist store that just so happens to have an awesome design and a huge lobby area. The small amount of merchandise means that this might be set up as a “Short” store – very little merchandise and shelves. The good part about being a slower store is that the baristas will have time to connect with each customer and will most likely have very small goals to be met so there will not be any pushing of product, too much that is. Thanks for the info, Melody!
Melody, I wanted to also let you know that you might want to cross out the partner numbers on your picture of your receipt. They are the series of numbers followed by an “E” above the time stamp at the bottom of the receipt. Not a big deal, but those numbers do link back to a partner and are used for discounts, etc.
(I just keep reading about this and looking at the pictures! It’s such a great store!)
@baroosta – Holy moly I never knew that! I constantly learn something new! I will do that from now on.
My old store had that oven, and I personally wasn’t a fan. It looks a lot nicer, but we had a lot of issues with it. Plus the beeping sound it makes is (to me, anyways) way more irritating than the old one. Though it is much easier to clean at night!
Love love love the coffee stamp wall art. the all around inviting colours and layout would be a wonderful 3rd place when you have to be somewhere like a hospital as a child/for a child. What a beautiful concept!
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Hey, I knew there was a reason why I visited your website. Its because of awesome stuff like this. Thanks for the info. Look forward to more. Later!
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Really nice post! As I already wrote in your last blog post about this store, I really like the idea of a Starbucks inside a children’s hospital.
I like the individuality of some stores like this that are at special places…great warm colors and even offering soup. BTW: How was the soup?
This store is a really comfy place…me personally, who, lucky enough hasn’t been too often in hospitals ,would just appreciate such an accomodation inside of a hospital. That is exactly what most hospitals need…a warm and comfy place. Escape from those white and aseptic walls and rooms…that makes every patient lucky and feel more home.
But it will be a long time until such stores can be seen in European hospitals…we have almost no store inside of a hospitals here.
I just know one in Vienna, Austria inside of “AKH Allgemeines Krankenhaus”.
I refer to a pic by Winter…
PS: Always great when Barista recognize you at the stores you visit…but I think you, Melody, are already kind of famous in Starbucks-World in and outside Seattle. Partners know you and your ideas from visits of you website but also thru hearsay perhaps.