Downtown Olympia, WA Starbucks – Featured Clover store.

In a small Starbucks store, tucked away between Legion Way and Capitol Way South, there is a Clover brewer in Olympia, Washington.  As many readers know, I am on a quest to visit as many Clover Starbucks as possible, so I decided to take a quick drive down to Olympia.  It’s only a little over an hour (or a little longer in traffic) from Seattle.  I dropped by on October 29, 2011, at about 2:00 p.m., and I was greeted by three partners on the floor: Ben, Patrick, and Andrew.  With only a short conversation about photos being allowed in the store, and the 2009 updates to the photo policy, I was invited to continue taking pictures.

This store is actually one of the smallest Clover locations that I’ve ever been too.  It is shaped like an “L,” and I primarily took pictures of the longer side of the store.  The shorter side of the store was continuously full of customers, and so I opted not to take pictures of that side of the store.

One thing I have to say is that even though there are just under 200,000 partners, at times it feels like a very small company.  Out of 200,000 partners, I probably know fewer than 1,000 people, but it is a small world.  The partner Andrew, who mostly was floating and doing a lobby slide while I was in the store, was indeed the same partner who made my Clover coffee for me when I visited the Bellingham Clover Starbucks.  I definitely recognized him, and he said that he had just recently transferred from Bellingham to Olympia.  (Although I recognized him, I definitely didn’t remember his name. I am terrible about putting a name with a face.)

While the store is very small, it is big on personality.  The side of the store along Legion Way has a lovely view of a city park, and in the background one can see a very early 20th century structure, which at one time was Washington State’s Capitol Building.

Here’s the view out that window:


By the way, I walked past the old Capitol Building on my way to the Starbucks and took this photo of it, for a closer look at it:

I talked for a bit with Patrick, who I learned is a five-year partner, and a fan of the current Reserve offering, Guatemala de Flor coffee.  He’s been at this store a while, and he sent me a gorgeous photo from his phone:  downtown Olympia covered in snow, as seen from his store:

Here’s the view out the store looking towards Capitol Way:

Stores that receive their major 10-year remodel usually end up with new light fixtures as part of the remodel.  This store has my favorite of the newer style of lights.  You may recognize this from the Starbucks at First and Pike, in downtown Seattle.  These unique lights have ended up in a number of stores, including even Neuss, Germany.  The lights say “fresh roasted coffee’ on the panel covering the bulb-area of the lights:


If you want to visit this store, here’s the address:

Starbucks store #381
530 Capitol Way South
Olympia, Washington 98501
(360) 753 7771

This store first opened November  25, 1994, and has had the Clover about one year.  The major renovation of this store was completed on November 15, 2010.  All in all, this was a delightful visit!  I actually only stayed long enough to drink a  cup of Honduras from the Clover, and take some photos, but I definitely would recommend this store to others!  Here are just a few more pics:


By the way, I keep saying that I have slow down on the pace of the blog.  The thing of it is, I really do enjoy putting together blog articles such as this one.  However, in the future if the pace of blog articles slows down to a slow drip, I’ve warned you again. :)  But please don’t leave, and be sure to tell your friends about the site, and follow the blog by “liking” the blog’s Facebook page and/or subscribing to it (widget is in the right column.)


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  • purple1

    Great to see a piece on Olympia. Note Melody a typo re the opening of the store. I have been to Olympia and the pics you have taken are just great. Curious- I guess the size of the store is not a determining factor in whether it gets a clover? I love the light fixture. And however you write a piece I sure will keep reading! Thanks.

  • Melody

    @purple1 – Thank you! And I got the typo fixed now. Fingers just moving too fast. That old building is gorgeous, and there was a sign in front of the old Capitol Building which said that in the state of Washington, women won the right to vote in that building in 1909! I thought that was cool information too.

  • Adrienne

    I have never heard of a clover store before! I live in Tacoma, so I’ll have to go down to Olympia to check this out.

  • geewhy

    Hawaii desperately needs a Clover store on island!

  • Matt Gavenda

    That looks like a really cool venue. Reminds of living in upstate NY and the coffee shops up there.

  • elly

    i love the clover stores. if you ever want to take me and kat along to some, we’d both love it :)

    i think i might go check the new lending library for howard’s books…this thought totally just struck me while reading this!

  • Cd

    Do you know the criteria for a clover? It would be interesting to see stats on those areas/stores.

  • Jess

    The 10 year remodels do tend to be really nice. My old store got one last winter but my new store isn’t due for a year or two. From a partner’s perspective, everything is laid out so much better in the new version and it’s really frustrating to work on the old lay out. Also, it’s really pretty and new and there’s more incentive to keep it clean.

  • Kristina

    I seriously need to find out whether there’s a Clover store within driving distance of my area so that I can be in the “know” and speak intelligently about it when it comes up in conversations. LOL! Okay, maybe I’m stretching that “speaking intelligently” about Clover bit, but hey, I still want to see what all the hoopla is about. :)

    By the way, that downtown snow-covered Olympia picture pulled me in and for about 30 seconds I was in another world. One day, I too will live in a land where snow is a normal part of Winter and not some “freakish miracle.” But, I digress. Great post!

  • patrick

    Thanks for the great review…glad my pictures helped. It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope to enjoy some coffee talk with you again.

  • Cd

    I agree about the 10 year remodels. The new look/style seems to be a good lesson from the street level store experiments. There does seem to be some factors that go into what a store gets beyond the old store size (grande stores, etc). I like the ones that bring in some local elements (maps, pictures, reclaimed wood, etc).

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    • patrick

      The wood from this store is reclaimed partly from the capitol forrest and partly from an old ship that was docked in our harbor

    • AmazonV

      @patrick thanks for that update, that’s awesome!
      I love the new lights Melody, I want one!
      I wonder how they choose how large an area to make the Clover – after all you have to hit certain markers to get a clover / reserve coffee

    • Rob W

      Great post, now I have to go back and read all of your other posts about Clover stores! I hope they have one up here in Lynnwood!

    • Melody

      @Patrick – Just want to say a big THANK YOU for helping me with the blog. Your photos are great. I really do love the site of downtown Olympia in the snow. It was definitely a pleasure meeting you. I notice your twitter profile is still small-ish – There are SO many great Starbucks-related twitter profiles to follow – @Starbucks @StarbucksCard @Starbucksjobs @mystarbucksidea @starbuckslive @callmemrcoffee @starbuckscanada @adambrotman @meckensb @sbuxjennifer @starbucksdave @camspi @rikiyamada @coreydu @marcygloeckler – And there are so many more! I don’t mean to overwhelm, it is just that twitter is an amazing chance to connect with people.

    • Cd

      @patrick thanks for the details on the wood. Very cool. I appreciate Starbucks’ efforts in doing that extra step for their updated stores.

    • Hayley

      What a lovely store!! I LOVE looking at the snow and the fall foliage in the background and looking out the window !! That capitol building is breathtaking too, and I don’t usually get too interested by architecture! And the clover…I don’t need to elaborate on my jealousy of the reserve coffees, soo lucky! :)

    • Karylle Lynch

      This looks like a very nice place to hangout! Thank you for the great review of this place! As always, you did a great job! :)

    • Melody

      @Karylle Lynch and Hayley – Glad you like this store. It definitely has a ton of charm!

    • natharn

      wow beautiful place wanna be there soon

    • Izi Ningishzidda

      Thanks for posting this, I had no idea I lived near one of these special brewing systems. I work downtown Olympia so I’ll have to try the clover coffee system out.

      – Izi

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