I’ve heard many good things about Starbucks Coffee outlet in Fort Richmond. Words such as friendly, caring, conducive, quiet, peaceful, and even loving were used to describe the place.
So I read a little about Starbucks and found the company's mission statement:
"Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."
I found this interesting. Further research revealed another statement, this time, on customers:
"When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers — even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection."
I was amused, so I decided to go and check it out. I walked up to the gentleman behind the counter at the 2750 Pembina Hwy. location and told him that I was not there to buy coffee.
I expected him to brush me aside. But no!
Seth Ruf, a fine gentleman, beamed with smile and willingly gave me all the attention I wanted. He explained his role as a barista who maintains the café and makes drinks.
I found out he is a University of Manitoba computer science student and he was eager to help me in any way. I looked around and saw students with their laptops reading and chatting. I confirmed that Wi-Fi is free and available. I saw customers smiling and chatting. I looked around and saw Steph, Ruf’s colleague, who also offered to assist with anything.
Ruf read my mind, and quickly explained that a regular customer had commented about "how the Starbucks outlet is like the show Cheers with its friendly atmosphere."
I got back home to read Starbucks’ statement on neighbourhood:
"Every store is part of a community, and we take our responsibility to be good neighbours seriously. We want to be invited in wherever we do business. We can be a force for positive action – bringing together our partners, customers, and the community to contribute every day.
Now we see that our responsibility — and our potential for good — is even larger. The world is looking to Starbucks to set the new standard, yet again. We will lead."
I then muttered to myself, "No wonder Seth Ruf was so courteous, treating me with respect and dignity".
Sunday Olukoju is a community correspondent for Fort Richmond. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org