The Mazagran story is well-known and well-documented story - that's mostly because wrote about it in Pour Your Heart Into It. Essentially, Mazagran represents the first partnership of any kind between Pepsi and Starbucks.
It was a short lived experiment in 1994 - 1995. And the failure of Mazagran led to the birth of the bottled Frappuccino.
From what I heard, there were two varieties of Mazagran. Original and Spice Blend. I only have the spice blend version of Mazagran. The packaging/ bottling would've looked the same. That big cardboard box in the background says expires in October 1996!
Believe it or not, this was something I bought out of the garage of woman in Kent - and I don't know where she got it. Obviously, I've held onto it!
Mazagran just came up on a Howard Schultz interview in FastCompany: http://www.fastcompany.com/3046890/the-inside-story-of-starbuckss-race-together-campaign-no-foam
Howard Schultz told FastCompany this: (From the FastCompany.com article)
Schultz has long been wary of hubris born of success. In his office he keeps a bottle of Mazagran, a disaster of a coffee beverage Starbucks put out in the ’90s that reminds Schultz even the most well-intentioned ideas can fail. When I inquire about it, he grabs the bottle from a side table and looks down at it. "It reminds me every day that we’re not invincible," he says. "It was my idea, and it was a complete fuck-up."
Seattle Starbucks mug with mis-spelling.
On the bottom of this mug, it's dated 2003.
The only reason this mug is interesting because Starbucks misspelled Rainier! Notice it says "Mt. Ranier" - It's a little funny they didn't get the name right.
I found this mug at a yard sale in Capitol Hill, one summer day a few years ago. This one is a keeper!
1996 25th Anniversary Poster:
This is a large mylar banner from 1996, hung in stores to celebrate Starbucks' 25th Anniversary. It was the year that Starbucks introduced Anniversary Blend coffee too.
Lengthwise, it's about 4 feet and 2 1/2 inches. It's just under 2 feet tall - About 1 foot 10 inches.
Both sides have the same thing on them. This is really cool. It's just interesting to see this creative and fun design from the Starbucks of the 1996 era, and the 25th Anniversary was huge. Baristas wore tie-died shirts in stores too. I got this from a former partner. I got this random email from a person in W. Seattle saying, "I'm sick of hauling Starbucks collectibles around with me every time I move and I want to send them to a person who won't eBay them ..." and that's how I got this.
Collapse into cool: This poster is interesting only because of the controversy it caused! There was a whole theme of summer images of bees, dragonflies, and green straws as grass... there were other posters with the same themes. But this poster said "Collapse into cool" and in 2002, this post caused controversy because it was reminescent of 9-11.
By the way, I have a friend who has a frameshop in Belltown, so I've managed to have a number of items beautifully framed. One thing about this is that you can totally look at this and see that it's framed with "conservation clear" glass, not "museum glass." I can just look see from experience.
Museum glass is so much more expensive than conservation clear, so I'm sure that's why I didn't go for it, but in hindsight, it would've looked so much better - no glare!
It's pretty collectible. A snow globe depicting the historic 1912 Pike Place Starbucks!
The sticker on the bottom says it's from 1999.
It's just very unique!
Via Ready Brew was Starbucks' diving into the instant coffee market. Or "single serve" coffee as it's often called. It was a bit controversial at the time, because people thought it was sacrilegious that Starbucks would offer an instant coffee.
The signed letter by Howard Schultz dates to 2009: I know that I got it within a week or two of this official Starbucks blog article:
Starbucks sent about a dozen customers a sample of Via about 2 weeks before its launch. Each of these special customers got this signed letter. It went out to people who were very active on their website MyStarbucksIdea.com, and at that time, in 2009, I used that site all the time. I've stopped being active on it, largely due to lack of time.
All the other customers who got the early Via and letter, got it mailed to them, folded in thirds in an envelope. Since I work within about one mile of the Starbucks headquarters (my office is in Pioneer Square and Starbucks is in SODO), a nice partner just came and dropped it off! Mine never got the annoying folds from being in an envelope!
The name Via is a play on the inventor's name - Don Valencia is the true inventor of Via. In some ways, Via revolutionized instant coffee. Sticks of coffee weren't really a thing until Starbucks did this. Before 2009, if you talked about instant coffee, you thought about a jar of instant on a shelf in a kitchen!
I think it would be super fun to do a display with the letter, the aprons and packages of Via all around it somehow.
When Via was brand new in 2009, baristas wore orange aprons that said "Via" on them. Much later (Jan 2014) Starbucks introduced a "Mocha Via" and "latte via" into the lineup - Those versions have dairy in them.
The "Verona" Starbucks story. At one time, all bags of Starbucks coffee had a "coffee stamp" design. They still do today, though now it's less of a stamp and more of just a graphic that goes with the coffee. Verona is a very popular Starbucks. The story behind the coffee is fascinating:
In the mid 1970s, Starbucks started blending and selling a coffee for a restaurant called Jake O’Shaunessey’s on lower Queen Anne (a Seattle neighborhood). It was the very first “private label” coffee for a restaurant and it was called “Jake’s Blend,” a blend of 80% Yukon and 20% Italian Roast, and nobody else had it on their menu. customers started coming into the stores and asking for “Jake’s Blend”. Baristas scooped out the coffees, and weighed it out on scales, and labeled it “Jake’s Blend”. Starbucks sold enough of the coffee that they began to pre-blending and labeling the coffee, labeling it 80/20 Blend. Starbucks added it to the whole bean menu board as “80/20″ Blend. If a customer asked for Jake’s Blend, they got 80/20 Blend, but labeled as Jake’s, otherwise they got a bag stamped 80/20 Blend!
Baristas were told that if a customer asked what Jake’s Blend was, they were told it was a proprietary blend, but a lot like the 80/20 Blend that was offered on the menu! Eventually, Starbucks renamed it Verona blend and made it a core offering, which it still is to this day.
The image for the "Verona" stamp actually is the Wilcox Foot Bridge in Seattle's arboretum. I met the designer of the Verona coffee stamp last year when I was working on a project for a book cover design. This famous Verona coffee image (well known definitely by those who love Starbucks Verona coffee - which is a lot of people) was created by Seattle-local Sandy Nelson.
Sandy described her work on the project as follows:
"As a sr. graphic designer for Starbucks, I was part of the team that redesigned all the coffee stamps in 2001. I was assigned Caffè Verona. Caffè Verona is described as the coffee of romance and I was directed to evoke romance and old Italy in my designs.
I spent several weeks working on a bunch of concepts, from evolving the look of the current stamp (from 1997) to using photography to capture the essence of the city of Verona, Italy and romance. One of my ideas involved creating an image of a “stolen moment” or of a “peek” of a couple in love from the distance. I thought that seeing a couple, from a distance on an old bridge, might evoke old world Italy.
In order to create my concept, I needed a couple and an old bridge. Because of the very short timeline, I called my sister and asked if she and her husband were free the next day to be in a quick photoshoot. That evening I scouted all over Seattle to find an old bridge that we could use (many bridges in Seattle are fairly modern) and I found an old brick bridge over the road at the Arboretum not too far from the University of Washington. I met my sister, Stephanie and her husband, Kendall, at the bridge during our lunch break the next day and I photographed them on the bridge, standing below near the road.
This was before digital cameras so I went directly to get my film developed at a one-hour photo processor
(Walgreen’s). Then I went back to my office with the photo prints in hand and scanned the best ones. Through Photoshop, I was able to tone down the color and make the photo appear older. I added a red rose block print pattern I had created to the edges as well as an image of a handwritten love letter and a Starbucks postal ‘cancel’ stamp, overlaying the photo -- all to evoke romance, love, old Italy, the sending of love letters.
This concept was approved (thankfully) very quickly and the stamp art was finessed and prepared for printing in
December, 2001. The image lived on in a few various evolutions over the years but it basically was the identity of Caffè Verona from 2001 into 2013, nearly 12 years! My sister and her husband appeared on stamps, coffee packaging, posters and merchandise ALL over the world. My friends and family have enjoyed knowing the people in the Verona photo! People have wondered who they are and where the bridge is...it all started in Seattle, as a concept that got approved quickly and it has lived on.
The current Verona packaging still has the rose pattern artwork, but everything else has evolved."
This framed piece is from a bold coffee promotion that Starbucks did in 2009 - "8 weeks of bold coffee." It's framed in conservation clear and not museum glass. It a piece that would look better in museum glass.
Coffee First; This is a great example of a 1990s - era Starbucks poster. It's disruptive. I don't think they'd ever do anything like this today because all their marketing has to be pretty mainstream. The bottom right corner shows that it's dated 1997.
Tall-wise, it's about 2 feet 7 inches. The other dimension is about two feet four inches.
By the way, this one is framed with museum glass. You can totally see the difference. I must've been feeling like spending more money on this one. It's just stunning how much nicer museum glass is over conservation clear!
Whole bean sign: This thing is a bit large and heavy. There was a time when every Starbucks had a "whole bean" menu -listing all the coffees offered and a "beverage menu" - There were 2 of these. Each store had one that said "whole bean" and the other "Beverages."
The Il Giornale Letter comes from the 1986 era when Howard Schultz operated his own coffee biz, which he named Il Giornale. Howard Schultz was hired by the original Starbucks founders in September 1982. At that time, there were 5 Starbucks stores (1912 Pike Place, University Village, Bellevue Starbucks on 8th NE, University Way, and Broadway & Republican).
By 1984, Howard Schultz knew that he wanted Starbucks to offer beverages. In Pour Your Heart Into It, Howard describes that he persuaded the original owners to allow him a little space in one of their stores to offer Italian style espresso beverages.
The short version of a much longer story is that there wasn't a parting of the ways between Howard Schultz and Gordon Bowker and Jerry Baldwin, who were the 2 original founders still left in the business by 1984. (Zev Siegl had long since left before). Howard saw a huge possibility in selling lattes, coffee, and Americanos, and creating a "third place". The owners of Starbucks did not.
In 1986, Howard left Starbucks and started his own coffee company called "Il Giornale" where he was free to experiment with coffee, food, and beverage in an Italian style cafe. However, in 1987 the opportunity came about for Howard to buy Starbucks from Gordon Bowker and Jerry Baldwin. He raised 3.8 million dollars and bought the company and so began the very early transition to the Starbucks we know today. In June 1992, the company went public on Wall Street. The modern era of Starbucks that we know and love today began.
The book "onward" by Howard Schultz reportedly got its name from the sign-off on this letter.
This isn't THE original 1986 letter. Apparently it's a very high quality reproduction that was distributed to certain executives and regional directors at about the time that Howard released the book "Onward."
I also think it would be a lot of fun to display some mugs and aprons from years gone by. The mugs in the photo represent the different era of the Starbucks logo. The most rare version (arguably) could be the 1987 - 1992 version, which is shown by 2 of the mugs, one of which is white with a gold logo. I may have one or two more aprons not show there.