Starbucks Headquarters: Coffee Gear Store and More.

I dropped by the Starbucks headquarters this past Friday (May 10th).  It’s affectionately called the “SSC” – The Starbucks Support Center.  You will find the SSC at 2401 Utah Avenue South, Seattle, Washington, 98134.  Take the Link Light Rail to the SODO station, and simply walk west to First and Lander Streets, and you cannot miss it.

The Coffee Gear Store is open to the public – take the elevators to the 8th floor to find it.  I know that sometimes there is confusion that you might have to be a Starbucks partner to shop there.  At least as far as going to the one physical Starbucks Coffee Gear Store in the headquarters, anyone can shop there.  It is open to the public.  This is the place to find unusual logo merchandise that cannot be had anywhere else.  There are logo tote bags, t-shirts, sweatshirts, headbands, pens, magnets, key chains, and much more.

On this visit, I noticed a few new things:

IMAG5094 Starbucks Striped Tote Coffee Gear Store 10 May 2013IMAG5095 BackPack Starbucks 10 May 2013 Coffee Gear StoreIMAG5066 Starbucks wristlet 10 May 2013 Coffee Gear store

 

I noticed these tiny Starbucks logo buttons, which I am told are a top seller right now. They’re very new to the store.  Apparently, you place them on the “home” button of your iPad or iPhone.  Since I am much more an Android user myself, I was a little confused.  I can’t say that I’d ever noticed buttons  for i-devices before, but I will definitely pay attention now.

Here’s the little iPhone buttons:

IMAG5065 Starbucks Button Dots for iPhone 10 may 2013

I waited in the lobby of the headquarters, as I was meeting a partner there that day.  I noticed these coffee mugs in the lobby of the Starbucks Support Center:

IMAG5068 Visitor mugs in lobby of the SSC 10 may 2013

They tickle my funny-bone!   They’d be a little better if they said “VIP Visitor” on them. ;)  Seriously, I think they’re kind of cute, and since I was very thirsty, I walked around holding a “Visitor” mug in my hand, filled with water.  It’s funny but I posted this picture on the Facebook side of this blog already, and one person found them offensive.  I think that’s reading too much into them.  I got a good laugh out of these mugs- and I very much wanted to take one home with me! (Of course, I returned the mug at the end of my visit).

I dropped by to say a quick goodbye to a friend who is a Starbucks partner.  She’s leaving Seattle, and will be gone shortly so this was my chance to say goodbye over a cup of coffee.  She’s not leaving Starbucks, rather moving to a new region.  As I was inside the SSC, I noticed this sign:

IMAG5093 Visit to the Starbucks Headquarters 10 may 2013 Old Siren sign from Pike Place Starbucks

The funny thing is, I am sure I have walked past that sign before at some point in the past, yet never snapped a pic of it before.  My friend thought maybe the sign had come from the store at 1912 Pike Place, but I’ve been told that it came from the original Starbucks roasting plant on Airport Way in Seattle.  Actually, the 2010 Airport Way facility was a consolidated roasting plant and headquarters for Starbucks up until about late 1993.  According to the Seattle Times, in 1993, Starbucks had grown to over 350 headquarters employees, and had outgrown their Airport Way headquarters/roasting plant location and the company moved their employees to their new headquarters location at 2401 Utah Avenue South in two phases.  That also means that as of this year, the company has been headquartered at 2401 Utah South for 20 years!

Here’s the Seattle Times article for the Starbucks history buffs reading this. ;)

Hope you enjoyed this trip to the SSC with me!

And for all the moms reading this, Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope someone is serving your coffee in bed!

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19 Comments

  1. Becca
    May 12, 2013 @ 09:42:44

    Omg I must have those button stickers!!! Too cute :)

    Reply

  2. Chris
    May 12, 2013 @ 09:45:55

    IT IS SO SO SO CUTE.. the iphone button stickers. :) Do you do shipping service also? :)

    Reply

  3. Melody
    May 12, 2013 @ 10:04:40

    Hi Chris! Really, the only way to go shopping at this store is visit Seattle. However, partners can shop online via https://www.starbuckscoffeegear.com/

    I almost never take requests and go buy them for people. As I look back at these articles on the coffee gear store, sometimes months go by before I visit again. It’s usually 6 weeks between my trips to the Coffee Gear store – mostly because their hours are the same hours that I work. I am sorry to disappoint!

    If you ever visit Seattle, here’s my big Starbucks to-do list:

    http://www.starbucksmelody.com/2013/04/19/top-10-starbucks-vacation-seattle/

    Reply

  4. Lisa
    May 12, 2013 @ 10:26:41

    I find it interesting that the SSC sign has the word “spices” on it. What spices was Starbucks selling back in the day? Or are they just referring to coffee beans as spices?

    Reply

  5. Amanda
    May 12, 2013 @ 10:57:51

    Oh my goodness! I love those little buttons! Let me know if you ever go back. It looks like you could have a little side business re-selling SB stuff. :)

    Reply

  6. Audrey
    May 12, 2013 @ 11:02:41

    I love that tote!! Do you remember the price? I am hoping to make a trip to Seattle at the end of August. Thank you for the Starbucks vacation ideas!!

    Reply

  7. Pencil to Paper
    May 12, 2013 @ 11:18:26

    I wish wish wish there was an online way to purchase this merch! I would buy SO MUCH of it. I absolutely love the tote, and the home button logo. And everything!!!

    Reply

  8. Melody
    May 12, 2013 @ 11:22:41

    @Amanda – You’re too funny! I know it is not obvious, but I hardly have time to keep up this blog, much less have a side business. I actually have four blogs, and this is the only one I maintain regularly. (I am also SeattlesBestMelody.com & MelodyEats.Com)

    I apologize for how off topic this is, but as a blogger, it’s somehow easy to mess things up! It’s actually not all that uncommon for customers to create fan blogs for their favorite blogs. Blogs are now cheap and easy to make. There are Lululemon, Ikea, Disney, and more out there in fan blogs.

    If you google “Anthropologie fan blog” you find there are a couple of customer-created blogs about Anthropologie. I remember reading about this scandal a couple of years ago – it struck me – I am fascinated by blogs about brands created by customers. Apparently, a few years ago, there was a blog about Anthropologie run by a woman named “Kim.” I have googled a lot and the gist of it is that she ran a “personal shopping service” through her blog. Readers would pay her money, and she would obtain hard to get, or rare Anthropologie items for them. The problem was, she was taking money and not delivering the promised items.

    http://jezebel.com/5840690/alleged-scam-rocks-devoted-anthropologie-community

    “Kim” was apparently a big fish in the world of Anthropologie bloggers. Somewhere, I had Googled extensively, I swore I found that Anthropologie had sent a group of fan bloggers on a trip to a new “Anthropologie wedding store” and she’d been in that group of bloggers.

    The whole thing is such a lesson. I read about it and vowed to learn from her mistakes! I have made enough of my own online mistakes, sticking my foot in my mouth often enough! ;)

    I tend to be absurdly cautious about agreeing to send things to people. I get emails asking me to get them Pike Place mugs, and I’ve gotten emails about mailing things to people. As much as I can afford, I send gifts. I don’t to be in the business of taking money from people, and then obligated to send things. In a small percentage of cases, for regular readers, have I ever taken money to mail them a hard-to-get Starbucks item.

    I apologize for the long long reply, but I have definitely thought about this side business as you mentioned!

    Reply

  9. Chris
    May 12, 2013 @ 11:50:23

    Thanks for Melody for your reply.

    Too bad, I am not a partner and I’m living in Malaysia. I thought that you will have doing shipping business also. :) Thanks again. If I have a chance to go Seattle, I will definitely going this Starbucks Headquarter. hehe

    Support and love your blogs. :)

    Reply

  10. Becca
    May 12, 2013 @ 12:32:14

    Hi Lisa,

    You are right, originally the Pike Place store near the market sold only coffee beans, tea and spices. In the beginning there were no drinks at all.

    Reply

  11. Melody
    May 12, 2013 @ 12:34:10

    @Becca – I have wondered what spices were sold there too. I guess we’d have to ask someone who has been around for a long time. If I ever get to interview Howard, I will ask him that question! LOL

    Reply

  12. Becca
    May 12, 2013 @ 12:52:03

    @Melody I know I have seen pictures of Pike Place when it was a spice shop. I think they were in old training materials. Ill see if I can find them.

    Reply

  13. Greg
    May 12, 2013 @ 13:52:23

    Is that a backpack? I’m looking for one! Too bad, they’re not available elsewhere. It’s a far trip from Hawaii. :(

    Reply

  14. Melody
    May 12, 2013 @ 13:59:26

    Greg, it is a backpack. If you look closely, it has the MyStarbucksRewards star pattern on it too!

    Reply

  15. ensanguin
    May 12, 2013 @ 16:09:16

    Melody, I probably wouldn’t be nearly as passionate about Starbucks, their brands, their gear, and what they do if it wasn’t for you, and you’re not even affiliated with them. So kudos to you for that. You’re making a difference one person at a time. And if you think that’s too small of a reach, I’ve pushed out that passion on to at least two other people that I know of, one through the purchase of a Starbucks branded pour over system for a friend, and one through the direct contact of this blog to another friend.

    Anyhow, seeing this gear post is cool, but I’m not sure I’d pay almost four bucks for a home sticker on an Apple device, but maybe that’s just me? I’m not an Apple person either, so that could have something to do with it.

    Reply

  16. Greg
    May 12, 2013 @ 17:49:52

    Thanks! By chance, do you know/remember how much the backpack costs?

    Reply

  17. Tashara
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 08:55:53

    Melody, thank you for all of the information that you share with fellow Starbucks fans. My husband will be in Seattle later this month for work and I’d like to send him to the Coffee Gear store for me. Do you, by any chance know what days and hours they are open?

    Thanks again!

    Reply

  18. PHIL BERGIN
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 17:15:45

    I emailed Starbucks to ask if I really could get in to shop cause I’m planning on manking a trip from Spokane Washington (about 360 miles East) to Seattle to buy some items there. This is the response I received today (July 30, 2014)
    Dear Phil,
    Thank you for contacting Starbucks

    I am sorry, but I do not believe that customers are allowed to shop at this location, only at locations located in the retail stores. If you would like a better, more straight forward answer to your question, you will need to ask someone at the corporate store themselves.

    If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Sincerely,

    Christopher H

    customer service

    Reply

  19. Melody
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 17:27:09

    @Phil – That reply is wrong. It is very clear that the Coffee Gear Store is open to the public. It’s in the area of Starbucks headquarters really close to the reception desk, before the secure area starts.

    You CAN go there. It’s at 2401 Utah Avenue South – About the corner of 1st Ave and Lander Street. Go to the 8th floor. Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4:30 PM.

    I’ll do what I can to make sure Customer Service gets the right information, though I can’t make any promises.

    Thanks,
    Melody

    Reply

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