WHEN my daughter was in high school, one of her dreams was to go to Starbucks with a laptop and study. During those days, going to Starbucks was an aspirational thing and I actually look back at those years and think how it must be so good to have such simple dreams.
I know that people my age are annoyed that teenagers hang out at Starbucks for hours, each one just nursing the least expensive drink but I always think “let them stay and relax.” There are very few places that young people can hang out in safely and Starbucks is one of those places.
To many kids, going to Starbucks and having the iconic Mocha Frappuccino is a treat or a reward.
“Starbucks is a different kind of company, staying true to our mission to nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection,” said Noey Lopez, president of Starbucks Philippines, as the company opened the Abad Santos Tondo Community Store.
This is Starbucks’ first Community Store in the Philippines. These Community Stores create environments for Starbucks partners to connect and engage with, and represent the communities they serve in unique ways around the world. There are Signing Stores dedicated to empowering the Deaf and International Community Stores that focus on providing economic opportunity in communities and creating impact in partnership with local nonprofit organizations.
In South Korea, one of Starbucks’ Community Stores aims to support descendants of national merit.
The Abad Santos Tondo Community Store supports youth education in the Philippines. A portion of every purchase store will support scholarships and after-school learning programs in partnership with Young Focus Foundation and AHA! Learning Center.
“We hope that this is the start of creating a positive and lasting impact on the youth within our local communities,” said Lopez.
One of things that Starbucks Community Stores worldwide have in common are murals. In San Antonio, Texas, the store’s mural, created by local artist Alex Rubio, depicts local culture, traditions and history. Xiulin Township, Hualian, the Starbucks Community Store mural was created by two indigenous artists. In Seoul, the Starbucks Community Store in the Seoul National University Dental Hospital has a mural created by Starbucks partners.
In the Philippines, the Abad Santos Tondo Community Store features a series of murals titled “Brewing Knowledge, Blossoming Communities” by visual artist Anina Rubio. The series intertwines elements of books, indigenous flora and fauna, and the diverse wildlife from coffee-growing regions.
Coffee and books are seen all throughout the mural since Starbucks fosters community growth through education with the help of its first-ever community store in the country, said Rubio.
The artist, by the way, was a former Starbucks partner. “Being a Starbucks partner taught me to be patient and kind. It also taught me a lot about customer service,” said Rubio.
The Abad Santos Tondo Community Store’s interior design and mobile furniture are thoughtfully incorporated to be easily adapted to cater to different activities and events, opening up inviting spaces for hosting future workshops, fostering both learning and connections.
Lopez said it took Starbucks Philippines a year and a half to plan for its first community store. He said they are looking to build more of it in other underserved areas in the country.
“We’re already looking at several other stores where we can do community stores as well because this is not the only community where we do business.”
The Starbucks Abad Santos Tondo Community Store is open daily from 7am to 10pm for dine-in, take-out, and drive-thru.
Image credits: Starbucks Philippines