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The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that two years after Starbucks opened its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, sales are up 24 percent in 2016 over the previous year, and "the average Roastery customer spends four times more than at a typical Starbucks store."

CEO Howard Schultz says that "the Seattle Roastery's success is proof that the new concept can grow the company ... He sees an opportunity to eventually have as many as 30 locations in influential cities around the world.

"Starbucks has already announced plans to expand its premium Roastery brand in Shanghai, New York City and Tokyo in 2018 as well as a Roastery scheduled to open in an unidentified European city in 2019. Starbucks also plans to open 1,000 or more Starbucks Reserve stores and have Reserve espresso bars – an espresso bar that makes coffee in a variety of different brewing methods – in 20 percent or more of existing and new Starbucks stores, Schultz said."

(Content Guy's Note: You can check out MNB's coverage of the Seattle Roastery here.)

In other Starbucks news from yesterday, Forbes reports that Schultz sent an email to the company's 170,000 "managers, employees and other partners" to say that while he was "stunned" by this week's election results, he urged everyone to give President-elect Donald Trump “the opportunity to govern well and bring our country together.”

He wrote: “We cannot know what the precise impact will be on our country and the rest of the world. I am hopeful that we will overcome the vitriol and division of this unprecedented election season. As Americans, we must honor the democratic process ... Whether you are pleased or disappointed by the outcome, we each still have a choice … in how we treat one another in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and of course in our stores."

And, Business Insider reports that a week after Starbucks released a green holiday cup that features a design that is a mosaic of more than a hundred people "drawn in one continuous stroke" but does not have Christmas-themed wording, the chain debuted not one but 13 new red holiday cup designs on Wednesday, each of which is "inspired by customers' photos of their decorated red cups, posted on Instagram last year."

The Christmas cup decision by Starbucks is making news because last year, when it had a cup design that some believed was insufficiently Christmas-oriented, it causes a social media and eventually mass media backlash.
KC's View:
I'll take these in order...

First, I'm not surprised the Roastery is doing big business. It ain't cheap, and it also has become a major tourist stop in the city. I do think it remains whether this can be replicated precisely in other markets, but it is worth a shot.

As for Schultz's political message, this certainly is in keeping with the CEO's high-profile approach to public policy issues. He may be personally liberal, but he sells a lot of coffee in red states ... and he has to be careful about this kind of stuff.

Finally, regarding the coffee cups ... I just hope this can be the last story we write about the subject this year. Because to me, it is much ado about nothing, and the backlash had more to do with people who are just spoiling for a fight.

Rudyard Kipling once wrote that "a good cigar is a smoke." In this case, a coffee cup is just a way to drink coffee. And as Robert B. Parker wrote, "A thing is what it is, and not something else."