On the 29th of September, early in the morning, I left the Starbucks at 16th and California, heading to the REI Starbucks.  I realized that on my way, I’d pass right by one more Clover Starbucks.  I decided that I would squeeze in a visit to it.  At about 6:40 in the morning, I dropped by the 16th and Blake Clover Starbucks store.  This was completely a surprise visit, as it is definitely the case that the partners at 16th and Blake were not expecting me.  And, it was a bit of a rushed visit since I was trying to get to the REI Starbucks by 7:00 a.m.

My timing was great.  At about 6:45  in the morning, this was a pretty quiet store.  I took just a few photos with my phone.  By the way, I have to point out the charming exterior signage.  I’m sure there must be some story behind this:

Inside, this Starbucks had a welcoming look.  I was excited to see the fireplace!  I thoroughly enjoy a fireplace in the winter.  I ordered a tall iced Kenya from the Clover, thinking I could quickly consume that before my 7:00 a.m. meeting at the REI Starbucks.  Heather, the store manager, was at the register, and also made my beverage.  We chatted a bit and I learned that she only recently took over this store a few weeks before my arrival.  She was absolutely friendly.

I’d like to segue for a moment.  I was incredibly glad that Heather was welcoming to me taking a few photos of her store.  It’s annoying, when trying to take a photo of a beautiful lobby, to hear a partner yell across the room, “Ma’am you can’t take photos.”  And that makes me cringe because Starbucks does allow photography inside their stores.  Customers may take photos for their personal use.  At some point in 2009, Starbucks revised their photo policy to this current policy.

I can honestly say that over the years I’ve been writing this blog, the awareness in the stores about the photo policy has improved.  And so a huge two thumbs up to Heather at this 16th and Blake Street location, and the many partners in Denver who seem to be well-versed in the current policy.

In August of this year, the Starbucks photo policy came up in the news:

BusinessWeek.com article – Starbucks to GOP Conventioners, ‘Put Away That Camera.’

What’s important in that news article is the statement made by Corey DuBrowa, who is quoted as a Starbucks spokesperson.  And by the way, Corey duBrowa is more than a “spokesperson.”  (I thought it was a little sloppy that the article didn’t even bother to mention his title.)  He is the Senior Vice President of Global Communications at Starbucks.

Mr. DuBrowa’s statement on the Starbucks photo policy is this:

“Personal photography is allowed in stores,” says spokesman Corey duBrowa. “All other filming and video needs to be approved prior. This is a standard policy year round and not convention-specific.”

^ That IS the Starbucks photo policy.

I recognize that there will be some ambiguity with that policy.  As far as I can see, it seems like almost every Starbucks policy has some level of ambiguity.  And in the year 2012, seriously, any photo may end up on a personal blog, in a tweet, or on Facebook.  But if I were a partner who saw a customer pull out his or her phone and take a few photos in the store, I would never be alarmed.

(I should clarify that what I have written above pertains to United States company-operated Starbucks stores.  It is possible that licensed locations and international stores have their own photography policies.)

And so huge recognition goes to the many partners in Denver who appeared to be totally up to speed on the photo policy.  Thank you.  And thank you to Heather for the great (but quite quick) experience, and the perfect beverage.

I got my iced Kenya, and headed out the door, now running a few minutes late for the REI Starbucks.

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

Starbucks store 5803
1490 – 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 904 3580

And enjoy a few more photos of this store!