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Since its inception, Starbucks has aimed to become a “third place,” a space between home and work that serves as a casual community center.
The company is piloting new bakery items from La Boulange, a San Francisco baker chain that Starbucks bought over the summer. Starbucks is also launching an Evolution Juice Bar chain, targeted at capitalizing on the $50 billion health food market.
The company is experimenting with LEED-certified, drive-through and walk-up only modules. The retail units are prefabricated and standardized on the inside, but decorated entirely in local materials, and strive toward energy efficiency.
Starbucks is also leading the way in mobile payment processing, recently launching a partnership with Square that will soon take away the need for customers to even touch their wallets.
All of these initiatives will lead to future headlines helping the stock to move higher.
Howard D. Schultz is the well-known chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks. The self-made man is credited with defining modern coffee in the United States and creating that “third place” where people spend their time between home and work.
According to CNN, in September of 2011, President Barack Obama called Shultz to discuss jobs before he delivered a speech to Congress on the subject. He likely gained the president’s attention when he mounted a protest against partisan gridlock in Washington, and more than 100 CEO’s signed on to halt all political campaign contributions.
In September 2012, CNBC’s Jim Cramer compared Schultz to Steve Jobs, saying: “I know Schultz as the man who made you one fortune when he brought Starbucks public and then a second fortune when he returned to the helm after the business went wayward under the CEO who replaced him the first time around. He’s been like Steve Jobs in that way and I know you don’t make that analogue lightly.”
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