Highlighting neighborhood stores: Starbucks store 11156, Lakewood, Washington
This week we’re talking a little bit about your local neighborhood Starbucks stores. A few days ago, I mentioned the Seattle store in the Wedgewood neighborhood. Today I want to focus in on a Starbucks in Lakewood, Washington (very near Tacoma). I rarely get down that way but on May 13, 2011, I had work-related reasons to be in the area of the Lakewood-Steilacoom Starbucks so I dropped by. Here is the address:
Starbucks store 11156
8223 Steilacoom Boulevard
(253) 588 0194
I arrived at about 7:30 in the morning, having scheduled plenty of time to sit at the Starbucks and check it out, and still get to my meeting on time. I hadn’t even ordered yet, and I noticed that the store has a cozy little corner with comfy seats, so I took a photo of it:
Immediately after I took that picture, I heard a partner from behind the counter yell out, “Ma’am you can’t take pictures in the store.” I have to admit that a part of me just chuckled inside. I didn’t feel like I had any vested interest in whether I wrote about this store for my blog since I really was on my way to a meeting, so I was exceedingly calm when I replied, “Huh. When I have checked with partners at the SSC that’s not what I’ve been told.” I have no idea what the partners were thinking, but there was kind of a genuine look of surprise on all their faces. Katie, who I later learned is the store manager, apologized for the confusion and invited me to continue taking photographs.
For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the blog post on photography inside a Starbucks store – I highly recommend it:
Clearing up confusion surrounding the Starbucks photo policy (which was changed in late 2009)
Once at the register, I ordered a tall Three Region Blend in a for-here mug and an oatmeal. I asked the partners to pre-warm the ceramic mug: they obliged. As a customer, I miss seeing the ceramic mugs atop the La Marzocco getting pre-warmed from the heat of the espresso machine. Now, pre-warming is often by request; thankfully every partner I’ve ever met has gladly done this, and many partners automatically let the cup sit for a minute with hot water first.
My coffee and oatmeal were perfect.
I learned from store-manager-Katie that this store opened brand new on August 6, 2008. Katie had started out as a shift supervisor at this store and had been its grand opening. She moved around to a couple of different stores, and then ended up back at this store later as the store manager. The store is a cafe only store, and is not a Reserve or Clover Starbucks. She definitely sounded passionate about Starbucks and was very interested when I told her about the blog.
I didn’t take all that many pictures, though I’ve uploaded enough that you can see it’s a nice little store. These little stores, which are still the majority of Starbucks locations, are great little breaks for people like me passing by, and can be great little community beacons for regulars who love “their Starbucks.” By the way, Winter, who is a guy on a journey to visit every Starbucks in the world, has a nice photo of this store from a different angle than mine below: click here.
I very rarely write about Starbucks stores in Pierce County, and I think the last time I did was when I wrote episode #2 of “My Siren 1987 – 1992,” which is the second in a series of three blog articles about finding the 1987 to 1992 logo still in use at Starbucks stores. (Episode #3 involves a 19-year old Starbucks store in San Francisco.)
Here are the photos from today’s visit that I took early morning May 13, 2011:
ha! too funny about the ‘no photo policy’! good thing YOU know the policies……..
I really think this needs to be communicated to the stores more effectively.
I love that first pic…it is truly a cozy little corner….and I love the color! I would be headed for that spot with my drink whenever possible. very inviting.
I was in one yesterday that I visit about once every 6-8wks~. It’s in an industrial area, on a busy rd. It’s fairly small but they’ve served BOLD all day because it’s needed…..they did not stay with the PPR ONLY for very long. That made me happy. Also, it’s very clean and welcoming. This is one of those stores that keeps “Chicago” mugs and therefore also (unlike all stores in the area) the new “Chicago” Sbux cards. It’s not a Clover or Reserve store,
I’m glad the manager of this store was so nice and made up for the ‘wrong’ info. that the partners were putting out. (no pics) I will continue to carry a copy of that policy (from corp. Sbux) in my purse. I take lots of pics when I feel like it and don’t want to go thru the ‘wrong information’ warning ever again!
Thanx for sharing Melody!
I agree as well- that little corner is so inviting and it seems like the SM is quite nice. The design of this neighborhood store far exceeds the design of my neighborhood store. As a matter of fact, I can no longer sit on the benches they now have at my local store because of their design it is quite hard on my back. Thanks Melody!
@Wongster – Yes “polite” is the right word! Wish I had used that word in the blog article. It’s a good little neighborhood store – I just added it to the blog’s facebook page, so you can “like’ it there. 😉
@Denise – I love visiting stores that I don’t usually get to. There are lots of stores in Seattle which I just don’t get to often enough. There’s one in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle too that always has bold and is an especially great neighborhood store. Near perfect. And has a view too! Your industrial store sounds great.
If anyone is particularly interested, I can get “Chicago” cards and send….. You can let Melody know your adddress if interested and she can tell me…..
(@denise r…hmm, I may take you up on that!)
Amy in Boston
I never thought to ask for a prewarmed mug. Great idea 🙂 I really like the pictures of the baristas and their favorite frappucino. That’s not something that I’ve seen before. It makes the people work there seem much more personal and you can relate to them.
I thought that frappuccino madness board idea was really great, too! Looks like a really friendly store. I really like the retro interior…don’t think I’ve seen chairs like that in any of our stores here. Very cool 😀
@Kaori – I’m with you! I love all the character that the Frappuccino madness board gives this store! To me, that’s a good example of the small way that Starbucks can give the store more personality.
“Huh. When I have checked with partners at the SSC that’s not what I’ve been told.”
It’s funny. LOL (The partner must learn more Starbucks)
The store manager is a very good person. Katie is very friendly.
She worked in busy store. (1723 South 72nd Street Tacoma)
Melody, I visited this store in this January. I send the photos to you. 😀
@Noboru – Your photo collection of you standing next to partners is AMAZING. I got your email with all the fabulous attachments. You took nice pictures of this store, and that’s a very nice photo of you and Katie.
Do you remember the Memorial Day Weekend we were at First and Pike, and that store manager refused to come out and get his photo taken with you? I had a great day with you, despite the store manager. His loss for sure. You have the best photo collection ever. Now you just need a pic of you and Howard.
I love your passion for Starbucks, Melody! It makes your posts absolutely wonderful to read 🙂
The confusion-part had me chuckle as well, although I can’t quite understand why one wouldn’t be allowed to take pictures there in the first place. (I’m sure there’s a reason though)
@LatteRose: re: the card. just let Melody know. 😉
re: the cups warmed. I’d forgotten about that and now clearly remember seeing them lined up atop the espresso machine (REAL espresso machines), yrs ago. totally a distant memory. That’s what’s fun about THIS cimmunity, and sharing.
@Denise – I’m constantly reminded of the cups atop the manual machine because there are so many coffee shops in Seattle that I still see that often. I’ve been meaning (or at least thinking often about) doing a blog piece on the Seattle’s Best Coffee in Post Alley in Seattle. It’s their historic location, like their “Pike Place” and they’re still using a manual machine. With the slope of the street, you can kind of look in and see all their red cups on top of their manual machine. It looks so nostalgic.
I had to go to Tacoma again today, and again stopped by this store. This IS such a friendly and polite store. My passion tea had my name on it with a big exclamation point next to my name on the cup. I love it when the partners do that kind of thing – I know very silly of me, but it makes me smile. And everyone was so friendly. The store manager remembered me.
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This is a cute store and the partners here are very polite!