Starbucks Celebrates 20 Years on Vancouver Island; Pledges $20,000 to Vancouver Island Salvation Army

Starbucks invites local community, customers and partners to special anniversary event on March 11th in support of The Salvation Army

VICTORIA, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, March 11th, Starbucks Canada is celebrating an exciting milestone in the company's Canadian history.  Starbucks will celebrate 20 years of serving Vancouver Island customers and giving back to the Island community with a special anniversary celebration and a $20,000 donation to the Vancouver Island Salvation Army.

"I remember it like it was yesterday. We opened the doors on Friday, March 11th, 1994 and over that weekend, we served thousands of customers," says Kerry Busheikin, former store manager of Starbucks first café on Fort Street in Victoria, now vice-president of Operations for Starbucks Canada.  "Starbucks Fort Street store opening was one of the most successful store openings for Starbucks at that time and it was all thanks to the incredible welcome the community gave us.  Now twenty years later, many of those same customers are still coming through the doors.  The years I spent on the Island are some of of the best years of my career and my life with Starbucks."

Busheikin is not alone. Twenty years later and with more than 40 stores and 700 partners (employees) across the Island in communities including Victoria, Nanaimo, Saanich, Courtenay Campbell River, Langford and Port Alberni, Vancouver Island remains an important market for Starbucks.    Long-time store managers, Wendy Weldring and Nancy Meret, together with Busheikin, were part of the original team to open the Fort Street location and both still work for the company to this day.

"We are still very much connected with many of the customers who came in on opening day," says Nancy. "One of our customers came in that first day at Fort Street and continues to visit me regularly at our James Bay location. We are like a family at Starbucks and that includes our partners and customers."

Creating lasting moments of connection both in-store and within the community is an integral part of Starbucks DNA.  Over the last 20 years, the company has enjoyed long-standing relationships with Vancouver Island community organizations, in particular, The Salvation Army. As part of Starbucks anniversary celebrations, the company has committed $20,000 to the Vancouver Island Salvation Army to help support the organization's important community initiatives including its soup kitchen program.

"Starbucks has grown up on Vancouver Island and we are excited to celebrate this milestone by giving back," says Caroline Ternes, Starbucks regional vice president, Western Canada and the Yukon. "We want our customers, our friends and the entire Island to know how grateful and proud we are to be part of this incredible community.  Thank you Vancouver Island for 20 amazing years."

In addition to donating funds, many Starbucks partners will volunteer their time with The Salvation Army throughout the week, beginning March 10th.

"Our relationship with Starbucks has been of great value as our community services and events depend greatly on volunteer hours," says Pat Humble, community ministries director, Stan Hagen Centre for Families at The Salvation Army. "From manning kettles to revitalizing facilities to providing in-kind donations month after month, Starbucks volunteers are always excited, positive, eager and willing to do almost anything that is needed."

To commemorate Starbucks 20th anniversary, customers, partners, and members of the community are invited to join Starbucks at a special anniversary event at the original Vancouver Island Starbucks® store, located at 801 Fort Street in Victoria.   Guests will enjoy live local music, sample delicious Starbucks® food and beverages, have an opportunity to participate in traditional coffee tastings led by local Starbucks Coffee Masters, and more. All funds raised during the celebration will be donated to the Vancouver Island Salvation Army in addition to Starbucks $20,000 contribution.

EVENT DETAILS
What:     Starbucks 20th Anniversary Celebration
Where:     Starbucks store located at 801 Fort Street, Victoria, B.C.
When:     Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Time:     1:30pm-4:30pm
       

To share news of Starbucks' 20th anniversary celebrations, please visit us at facebook.com/starbuckscanada and follow us on Twitter @StarbucksCanada.

For information about Starbucks Canada, visit www.starbucks.ca.

About Starbucks Corporation
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucksstore.ca.

SOURCE Starbucks Coffee Canada

For further information:

Katie Kernahan, Edelman
(604) 648-3458
katie.kernahan@edelman.com

Carly Suppa, Starbucks Canada
csuppa@starbucks.com