It's time for Book Club with Heather!
This week I'm reviewing:
STARBUCKED will be the first book to explore the incredible rise of the Starbucks Corporation and the caffeine-crazy culture that fueled its success. Part Fast Food Nation, part Bobos in Paradise, STARBUCKED combines investigative heft with witty cultural observation in telling the story of how the coffeehouse movement changed our everyday lives, from our evolving neighborhoods and workplaces to the ways we shop, socialize, and self-medicate.
In STARBUCKED, Taylor Clark provides an objective, meticulously reported look at the volatile issues like gentrification and fair trade that distress activists and coffee zealots alike. Through a cast of characters that includes coffee-wild hippies, business sharks, slackers, Hollywood trendsetters and more, STARBUCKED explores how America transformed into a nation of coffee gourmets in only a few years, how Starbucks manipulates psyches and social habits to snare loyal customers, and why many of the things we think we know about the coffee commodity chain are false.
This is the first non-fiction I've read since...probably ever. I thought I'd give non-fiction a try so I combined two of my favourite things - business (best major ever!) and Starbucks (latte, what?!). Good decision self. The book was split up into two parts - the rise of Starbucks Co. and the various social issues surrounding its rise. I'm so glad I went with this book instead of the one written by the (one-time) CEO Howard Schultz ; I feel it provided me with a far more objective perspective.
In short, the rise of Starbucks is extraordinary. What's funny is that they became big in the US in the mid-90s and my first exposure to its existence wasn't until the mid-2000s when I started university, and there was one on campus. Since then, I've grown to respect the brand both professionally - one hell of a successful business story - and personally - yummy lattes in cozy shops with perks for the regulars!
I have a lot to say on the Starbucks topic so I'm going to be doing a couple of more posts on to discuss some things in more detail. Like the 'death' of mom-and-pop coffee shops. Like their re-usable mug. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, read the book if you like the combo of business & Starbucks as much as I do!