The Starbucks at 1401 New York Ave NW in Washington — two blocks east of the White House and across from the Treasury Department — believes it’s uniquely positioned to serve up some fiscal advice along with its peppermint mocha lattes.
“We want Congress to come together in bipartisanship and put this fiscal cliff behind us,” store manager Leon Evison said today in an interview.
As President Barack Obama and members of Congress make their way back to a cold and drizzly DC in a last-ditch attempt to head off a “fiscal cliff” before the calendar flips to 2013, Evison and other employees at Starbucks stores across the nation’s capital are busy writing “Come Together” on paper cups and sleeves, part of a corporate effort to use the ubiquitous coffee containers for more than just mermaids.
“Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground,” Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz wrote today in a blog post.
The edict from Seattle headquarters calls for all Washington stores to keep the cup inscriptions going until the end of this week.
“It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about,” Schultz writes. “Imagine the power of our partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing such a simple message, one cup at a time.”
Starbucks retailers in DC were asked to start the call for political unity on Dec. 20, though the 1401 New York Ave. shop opted to begin three days early, according Evison, who says he’s already received feedback from regular customers who work nearby at the White House.
“They’ve been saying ‘thank you.’”