“Okay, I want everybody to rotate one position,” calls out Carolyn Whitley to green-aproned employees crowded into the kiosk at Starbucks’ latest location.
It’s week two of training for staff at the Starbucks at Ferraro Foods in downtown Trail. Whitley, the cafe manager, is ensuring everyone knows every job behind the counter. On Monday, if all goes well, the location will open at 6:30 in the morning, serving the global giant’s signature brands to local coffee fiends.
“It’s been incredible, we’re very fortunate to have Starbucks come,” says Danny Ferraro, watching from the sidelines. He’s learned more about coffee in the last few weeks than he ever thought possible.
“The knowledge and technique for making a cup of coffee, it’s amazing,” he told the Trail Times. “It’s all about the coffee, what makes it fresh, the smell, how you brew it, how to get the best out of it. It’s an art.”
“For these kids we’ve hired, this is an experience for them.”
It’s been an experience for Ferraro too, the culmination of 18 months of negotiations with the Seattle-based corporation. Ferraro had to prove that they deserved — and could afford — a Starbucks franchise. Ferraro wouldn’t say how much it cost, but he does say it is “worth every penny” for the store.
“We wanted something for this venue to make the experience at Ferraro’s even better, and Starbucks has been on our list for 10 years,” he said. “We waited until we could put it all together, in this location, and we’re happy and proud that they are part of us.”
The feeling is mutual, says Starbucks district manager Sean Kingwell, who’s been overseeing the staff training.
“We’re very excited to be bringing the brand to a community that doesn’t have it,” he says. “Ferraro’s is incredibly engaged with their community. We believe their values, their customer service, the way they run their business is closely aligned with ours. So it is a really good partnership.”
In the meantime, there’s lots of detail work. Staff are learning how to mix more esoteric drinks, and Ferraro himself is dealing with getting the tills to accept company gift cards. He’s also awaiting delivery of outdoor tables and umbrellas for the cafe’s patio.
The public excitement is palpable. Customers come into the store, stop, stare, and comment.
“We just landed here from Vancouver, and we have been waiting for a real coffee,” said Karen Rojen, who is visiting a friend in town. They came to shop for groceries, but were pleasantly surprised to see the new Starbucks.
Ferraro calls out to staff, who get some practice by making Rojen a tall americano with a splash of steamed milk.
“We always come to this grocery store, so this is perfect,” she says. “I need my Starbucks coffee.”
The Starbucks at Ferraro Foods will be open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and on the weekend from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.