By Emily Green

Since Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle Washington 1971, it has been satisfying coffee lovers and curing the caffeine cravings of people everywhere.  Whether you’re a coffee addict or not Starbucks is still a great place to quench your thirst with non-coffee beverages or to satisfy your sweet tooth with a variety of desserts. Now, 40 years later, nothing much has changed, except for the fact that the company has expanded their brand globally with over 17,000 locations, in 57 different countries, gaining dedicated followers like groupies to a rock band, and it keeps on getting bigger.

Photo Credit: Jenna Chabot

This year was Starbucks Coffee Company’s 40th anniversary, and to commemorate this milestone, Starbucks took the opportunity to spice up their already booming business.   A subtle change that Starbucks has made following their recent anniversary was to alter their long standing logo from the classic picture of a mermaid and the words “Starbucks Coffee,” to simply the picture. Starbucks also came out with a new blend of coffee, called the Tribute Blend, for the anniversary. The Tribute blend is made up of aged Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, sun-dried Ethiopia and Colombia coffee beans.

Also commemorating the anniversary is the publishing of a book by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, titled Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. In the book, Schultz writes about the struggles, like when Shultz decide to step back into the role of CEO in 2008, to help reinstate the company’s financial health, and the eventual success of the Starbucks Company.

“Starbucks is my favorite coffee shop,” said chemical engineering freshman Andrew Lantz. With statements like these we can see why there seems to be a Starbucks mania going on across the country.

Starbucks still appears to be a fast growing and competitive company with new stores seemingly popping up on every street corner. Michigan State is joining in on the mania – on September 26 they opened a new Starbucks store here on campus in Wells Hall, (and yes they do accept Sparty cash).

Jacob Mercado, one of the supervisors of the Starbucks in East Lansing on Grand River, said they opened in the new location because of “growth of the economy and simply because the space opened up.” Students on campus appear to be happy about it, as they anxiously wait for coffee in a line that winds halfway down the hallway.

Photo Credit: Jenna Chabot

“I don’t think that the new Starbucks will affect the business of Starbucks on Grand River, people go there when it is convenient for them, but they come here to relax and study,” Mercado said. We saw if this statement was accurate by seeing what actual customers had to say, after stopping by the Starbucks on campus.

“No, I only come when it is on my way to class,” was the response from both Lizzy Wacker, a kinesiology freshman, and Lantz, when asked if they come to this Starbucks regularly.

For the Starbucks veterans who think they know it all, hold on to your seats because you are about to find out some big news. Did you know that there is a secret Starbucks menu? So when the person in line before you orders a drink that takes longer to say than to drink, no, they did not just make it up on the spot. It really does  exist.  Have you ever heard of a Zebra Mocha or a Crunch Berry Frappuccino?  Well they are two of the fun flavors you might want to try the next time you go to Starbucks. If you are interested in checking out  any of the other  secret Starbucks  treats here is a link to a website that will show you quite a few of them:

“The 40th anniversary was a very big deal for Starbucks as a company,” Mercado said. “It was the first coffee shop of its kind. Starbucks opened up a whole new market and culture for coffee shops. Starbucks was the pioneer of the coffee industry,” Mercado offered enthusiastically.

Seeing someone who believes in Starbucks this much was refreshing. Starbucks has become more than a coffee shop, it is a place where people can go to hang with friends or relax, and it is a social hub buzzing with conversation and the smell of brewing coffee beans.

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