The Starbucks CUP (“Caring Unites Partners”) fund is a fund which distributes money to Starbucks partners who are experiencing financial stress.  It is like a safety-net for  partners experiencing significant and immediate hardship.   For example, the CUP distributed funds to numerous partners who suffered after hurricane Katrina.  The money for the CUP fund comes from partner donations and fund raising efforts.

I think it is possible that many of the readers of this site were unaware of the CUP fund.  Even more interesting, there is a Starbucks store that fully supports it.  Every dollar of profit from the Starbucks “SODO 8” location goes to fund the CUP fund.

The SODO 8 Starbucks is actually located inside the Starbucks headquarters.  You have to be working in the building, or have authorization to enter into the corporate headquarters office space.  Its grand opening was March 8, 2011.  I was trying to see if I had any good photos of it, and came up empty-handed, despite that I have visited it several times.  In fact, I’ve definitely seen official Starbucks-made content that was filmed there too.  I looked on Winter’s website,, and found this photo of it here.  (Winter is a famous customer who is on a life-long journey to visit every company-operated Starbucks in the world).

A reader of this blog sent in this great photo of the hand-drawn artwork which is on the wall adjacent to the SODO 8 store.

2 - 1 - revisions 5-14-13 - Cup fund art signThe reader who sent in these photos said that the SODO 8 Starbucks location to-date has raised over $100,000 for the CUP fund!  Everything about that is awesome!  I think it’s great that Starbucks has that kind of safety net for employees.  Not many employers provide such a thing.

The next photo submitted is of a sign near an entrance of the building, signifying the global nature of Starbucks. Each country that Starbucks has a store in is indicated by the Starbucks logo magnet. The more stores, the larger the logo. Starbucks operates  in 63 countries, as I write this.  I imagine it would be humbling to feel a part of something so large – that you’re intertwined with many cultures, customs, languages, and traditions all over the globe.

close up of map1 copyPartner entrance map - 2013Hope you enjoyed this rare peek into something special inside the Starbucks corporate headquarters.