TIME Food & Drink

You Only Have 5 Days to Try Starbucks’ Birthday Cake Frappuccino

The first Frappuccinos debuted in 1995

It’s a scientific fact—at least when it comes to dessert—that the only thing better than chocolate is birthday cake.

Luckily, Starbucks seems to be on top of this important life-truth.

The coffee chain is celebrating the 20th birthday of its signature frozen drink with a new Birthday Cake Frappuccino. The limited-edition drink will only be available in stores for five days, from March 26-30.

So how do you make a birthday-cake-flavored Frap? (No, not with Funfetti.) Starbucks’ vanilla bean and hazelnut flavors are blended together and then topped with a raspberry-infused (read: pink!) whipped cream.

The first Frappuccinos debuted in 1995 and were available only in coffee and mocha flavors. Now, the company boasts a history of fancy Fraps: a blue Seattle Seahawks flavor for the 2015 Super Bowl; a bright green Franken Frappuccino for Halloween; and a frozen version of its newest holiday flavor, the tastes-like-a-cup-of-Christmas-carols Chestnut Praline.

Fingers crossed for a happy-hour-appropriate, boozy birthday cake flavor when the Frappuccino turns 21 next year.

This article originally appeared on People.com

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Backtracks on ‘Race Together’ Campaign

Starbucks will no longer add the phrase '#racetogether' on its coffee cups after facing a backlash.

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Baristas Will Stop Writing ‘Race Together’ on Your Cups

Starbucks Race Together Cups
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz addresses the "Race Together" program during the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on March 18, 2015 in Seattle, Wash.

But the controversial diversity and inequality campaign will continue

Starbucks baristas will stop writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups, according to a company memo, ending one of the key components of the coffee chain’s much-criticized campaign to spark discussions about racial inequality.

CEO Howard Schultz said in the memo that the cups were “just the catalyst” for “Race Together,” which launched Wednesday and invited baristas to write the phrase on the cups, the Associated Press reports. Schultz added that the campaign will still continue as planned, with discussion forums and store expansion into minority communities.

The initiative has attracted controversy as a well-intentioned yet ineffective method to generate more conversations about the topic in a bid to influence change in the wake of racially charged events, like the nationwide protests over police brutality and several officer-involved killings of unarmed black Americans.

Schultz defended the campaign last week in light of the criticism, telling shareholders on Wednesday, “All I am asking of you is to understand what we’re trying to do, to understand our intentions. We strongly believe that our best days are ahead of us.”

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson says the change is not related to the pushback: “Nothing is changing. It’s all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned.”

[AP]

TIME Race

What Starbucks Can Learn About Race From Chipotle

Starbucks Race Together Chipotle Author Series
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz addresses the "Race Together Program" during the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on March 18, 2015 in Seattle, Wash.

Starbucks' #RaceTogether needs Chipotle’s food-for-thought recipe: honest storytelling on cups and bags — and nothing more

“Must a cup, or bag, suffer an existence that is limited to just one humble purpose, defined merely by its simple function?” an obscure philosopher by the name of Chipotle Mexican Grill posted online last May.

The answer to that question, according to the burrito chain, is no. And to prove it, Chipotle decided to bestow its cups and bags with original literary nuggets penned by some of the nation’s most venerated and popular writers. A blockbuster screenwriter, a Nobel laureate, a revered M.D.-Ph.D. journalist, among others, were offered the rare chance to publish on Chipotle’s wrinkly, recycled papers, destined for garbage cans nationwide, but not before passing through millions of hands. This way, the company’s food and drink holders could manage, if only for a moment, to hold the elusive attention of its customers. And apparently, the project is a hit: the project, called the ‘Cultivating Thought’ series, kicked off its second edition in January.

On Wednesday, along came another cultural change campaign from another, but even more ubiquitous chain: Starbucks. The initiative started with a curious new slogan on its coffee cups: #RaceTogether. It was a well-intentioned aimed at inspiring customers to talk about race at the cash register, but the early reviews were grim: it was dubbed a “brew-tally dumb” plan by critics who also called out the CEO’s “chutzpah.” After all, how dare a coffee shop attempt to defuse the nation’s most incendiary issue with coffee cups. As the Atlantic Monthly aptly put it, the implosion of #RaceTogether is evidence of another societal truth: “no effort to grapple with race in America will go unpunished.” (Starbucks said it would stop writing “Race Together” on coffee cups on Sunday, though it said it had always intended to phase out that feature and that it’s only part of the broader campaign.)

But the good news for Starbucks is the solution is clear: Don’t grapple with race, or any other divisive issue by running into it bluntly—instead draw from literature to crack the issues open. In other words, take a cup from Chipotle. With #RaceTogether, Starbucks made a responsibility, an argument, out of the idea of race, and in the process they alienated the two groups of people most capable of tapping into Race Together: Activists fighting racial bias think it’s trivial and ineffective, and their opponents, already sick of the discussion of race, certainly won’t put up with this P.C. invasion of their coffee houses.

But as the writers who’ve been published on Chipotle’s cups have shown us, using literature to tackle the hardest topics–death, love, high school popularity, even race–has always been the best way to engage hearts and minds. With art, it’s possible to probe racial issues, even with explicit racial cues, without setting off a firestorm—so long as it’s not overbearing.

For example, while Race Together often relies on sentimental or melodramatic statements (“It began with one voice”), Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez’s Chipotle quote graces a sensitive cultural divide with distance and brevity:

I miss them, Mami. All those words I had to leave behind. Also, words that in English didn’t carry the same feeling.

In other words, it is possible for any of us, even a coffee store, to raise issues relating to non-white characters—just don’t allow their most important qualities to be non-whiteness. That’s exactly what a handful of writers have expressed repeatedly, and achieved very masterfully. Some of the authors who appear on Chipotle’s cups have long been great examples of this. Amy Tan, whose Joy Luck Club (1989) mediates more on mother-daughter relationships than their being Chinese-American; and Toni Morrison, whose Nobel-winning works prioritizes black Americans to re-imagine her characters as “raceless,” even during peak eras of racism. While there are more to these stories than race, race is also pervasive, driving history, dialogue, thoughts, actions.

It’s this simple, balanced awareness of race that is missing in Race Together, and its failed efforts, often subtle, to understand racial equality and racial awareness—writing “one race: human” here and “races” there—have rendered the initiative opaque and embarrassing.

So Starbucks, instead of simplistic, corporate-sounding slogans like Race Together, why not go right to the heart of the issue with an excerpted passage from Morrison’s most well-known novel, Beloved (1987). Those are words that would invite Starbucks’ customers to ponder, if not discuss where race may be of significance, if at all.

“Lay em down, Sethe. Sword and shield. Down. Down. Both of em down. Down by the riverside. Sword and shield. Don’t study war no more. Lay all that mess down. Sword and shield.” And under the pressing fingers and the quiet instructive voice, she would. Her heavy knives of defense against misery, regret, gall and hurt, she placed one by one on a bank where dear water rushed on below.

Of course, at some point, racial biases or stereotypes—not simply cues—demand to be addressed explicitly. Burrito wrappers and coffee cups may not be enough to tackle the raging online debates that flare up when we hear white Ferguson cop Darren Wilson’s racially-charged descriptions of being afraid of black teen Mike Brown. Or when we digest the furious reaction to Fashion Police’s Giuliana Rancic’s remarks about Zendaya’s dreadlocks, even after she apologized for trading in such odious cultural stereotypes.

Neither Chipotle nor Starbucks have waded into specific racial incidents like those, and perhaps that’s good, but either company could host lighter-hearted, thought-provoking moments pulled from literature. Take, for example, Amy Chua’s controversial parenting memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011). While a viral WSJ article prior to its publication titled (without Chua’s knowledge) “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” turned her book into a national racial debate, Tiger Mother in fact tells the exact opposite story. Chua unravels that very cultural stereotype, in both poignant and funny ways:

“Ben Franklin said, ‘If thou loveth life, never ever EVER wasteth time.’ Thomas Jefferson said, ‘I’m a huge believer in luck, and the harder I work the more I have of it.’ And Alexander Hamilton said, ‘Don’t be a whiner.’ That’s a totally Chinese way of thinking.”

“Mommy, if the Founding Fathers thought that way, then it’s an American way of thinking. Besides, I think you may be misquoting.”

“Look it up.”

There’s one last very important lesson from Chipotle’s cups—if you’re going to talk about race, push the conversation forward. Whereas Starbucks’ Race Together repeats platitudes about the nation’s enduring racial divides, a piece published by New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell’s on Chipotle’s site, questions more broadly what really counts as social acceptance, and what that’s truly worth. Race becomes just one part of the human experience:

You can imagine what I thought, on the way to the barn-raising: How on earth would a group of Old Orders accept us? This is what we always worry about, of course. If people of different colors and creeds are to get along, we think we need to practice approval and agreement and acceptance.

This more relaxed interpretation of race—not about its groups, but how we approach it—could revive Race Together. Like Chipotle’s desire to give its cups and bags a new function, and like Starbucks’ wish to turn its sales registers into ideas exchanges is worth pursuing. Race Together can gain a broader purpose as a vehicle for thinking about people in general. And that requires looking for more carefully crafted ideas than a hashtag.

And those ideas can be found even beyond literature relating to America: take Katherine Boo’s non-fiction work Behind the Beautiful Forevers (2012), for example, which explores a Mumbai under city to investigate social mobility and justice. These are the kinds of ideas that Race Together needs. And what better way to serve them than on cups to-go?

Maybe because of the boiling April sun, he thought about water and ice. Water and ice were made of the same thing. He thought most people were made of the same thing, too… If he had to sort all humanity by its material essence, he thought he would probably end up with a single gigantic pile. But here was the interesting thing. Ice was distinct from—and in his view, better than—what it was made of.

He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai’s dirty water, he wanted to be ice. He wanted to have ideals. For self-interested reasons, one of the ideals he most wanted to have was a belief in the possibility of justice.

Read next: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Starbucks’ Flawed But Wonderful Plan To Tackle Race

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Plans to Launch Delivery Service

Empire State Building Run
Mark Lennihan—AP The Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline on Oct. 5, 2014.

Work in the Empire State Building? Then you're in luck

Starbucks says it plans to launch trials of a delivery service in the second half of 2015 — but only if you live in Seattle, or work in New York City’s Empire State Building.

Sometime within the year, Starbucks will start two different delivery trials, the Seattle Times reports. The version in New York City will be limited exclusively to within the Empire State Building. The company will have employees from the Starbucks located in the building deliver beverages and food to customers who work there.

In Seattle, the company will be following a more traditional delivery approach, using on-demand delivery startup Postmates to deliver coffee, pastries and other sundries via car and bicycle.

People in these two catchment areas can use the Starbucks app to follow the status of their drink. To use the app, customers have to be a member of the company’s loyalty program.

[The Seattle Times]

Read next: Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Initiative Is Brilliant

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TIME Companies

Starbucks to Serve Your Coffee With a Side of Race Relations Chat

Starbucks Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz takes on arguably the most polarizing political debate in the United States: race relations

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has never shied away from involving his company in controversial debates, whether those debates are about same-sex marriage, or gun control, or U.S. government gridlock.

But the executive, who oversees a coffee empire with 4,700 U.S. stores, has now taken on arguably the most polarizing political debate in the United States: race relations.

Starbucks published a full page ad in the New York Times on Sunday — a stark, black, page with a tiny caption “Shall We Overcome?” in the middle, and the words “RaceTogether” with the company logo, on the bottom right. The ad, along with a similar one on Monday in USA Today, is part of an initiative launched this week by the coffee store chain to stimulate conversation and debate about the race in America by getting employees to engage with customers about the perennially hot button subject.

Beginning on Monday, Starbucks baristas will have the option as they serve customers to hand cups on which they’ve handwritten the words “Race Together” and start a discussion about race. This Friday, each copy of USA Today — which has a daily print circulation of almost 2 million and is a partner of Starbucks in this initiative — will have the first of a series of insert with information about race relations, including a variety of perspectives on race. Starbucks coffee shops will also stock the insert.

In a video addressing Starbucks’ nearly 200,000 workers, 40% of whom are members of a racial minority, Schultz dismissed the notion that race was too hot a topic business-wise for Starbucks to tackle.

“I reject that. I reject that completely,” he said in the video address. “It’s an emotional issue. But it is so vitally important to the country,” he continued, pointing to that the United States is “so much better” than what the current state of race relations portray it to be.

The initiative follows several months of consultations with employees that started in December, in part as a result of protests that roiled several U.S. cities after grand juries declined to indict white police officers in the killings of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis, and 43-year-old Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y.

Schultz has met with almost 2,000 Starbucks employees since then in cities hit most directly by racial tension and anti-police brutality protests in the last year, including Oakland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle, where Starbucks is based. Cognizant of what a powder keg the issue of race is, Starbucks says its baristas will be under no obligation to engage with customers on the topic. The goal is simply to foster discussion and an exchange of ideas.

The potential exists for arguments to break out (not for nothing this topic is the third rail of U.S. politics), and some may fairly question any move that could potentially slow in-store service. But Schultz has never been a wallflower when it comes to political debates and social activism. In 2013, he led a petition-based push urging Washington politicians to end the federal government shutdown. That year, he also wrote an open letter asking gun owners to refrain from bringing their guns into stores even they were allowed. Two years earlier, Starbucks launched a fund, fueled by the sale of $5 bracelets, to spur U.S. job creation. The company has also pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over a five-year period.

And he has also not been shy to slam critics of Starbucks’ or his political stances, including shareholders. Two years ago, after an investor at its annual shareholder meeting said the company’s support for a marriage equality bill in Washington state had hurt sales after a boycott by an advocacy group, Schultz invited him to sell his Starbucks shares if he felt he could find another stock with as a high a return rate.

Schulz will discuss Starbucks’ “Race Together” initiative at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

Read next: The SAE Scandal Is Another Example of Plummeting Tolerance for Bigots

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MONEY groceries

Here’s How Much You’d Save by Dumping K-Cups for Traditional Brewed Coffee

150305_EM_KCup_1
Shutterstock / Rob Hainer

The inventor of K-Cups says he regrets coming up with the idea and doesn't even own a K-Cup machine.

This week, the Atlantic ran a story in which John Sylvan, inventor of the K-Cup—the single-serve coffee pods that are increasingly taking over home and office counter space—dropped a bombshell. “I don’t have one. They’re kind of expensive to use,” Sylvan said of the K-Cup system he created. “Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make.”

This isn’t exactly like Henry Ford saying that he prefers bicycles to cars, or Steve Jobs praising the cost-effectiveness of a rotary phone over an iPhone, but it’s sorta in the same ballpark.

Sylvan acknowledged that he feels “bad sometimes” about creating the K-Cup, which he likened to “a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance.” Also, the proliferation of coffee pods—which are mostly unrecyclable, and which take up more and more space in landfills thanks to America’s ever-growing love affair with coffee—have raised serious environmental concerns as they’ve increased in popularity. Quartz declared them “the most wasteful form of coffee” on the planet.

For now, though, let’s focus strictly on the household economics of single-pod coffee brewers. To what degree are they “kind of expensive” compared with regular coffee makers?

First, there’s the cost of the machine. Recently, marketing professor Eric Anderson at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management noted that in 2002, the average coffee maker cost $35. Today it’s still easy to find a basic coffee maker for that price, or even $20 or $25. By 2013, however, the average coffee maker purchase price hit around $90, partly due to the spread of pricey single-pod brewers from Keurig (the K in K-Cups), Nespresso, and others. At Bed Bath and Beyond, the least expensive Keurig coffee maker is $100, which seems fairly typical.

But that’s only a small factor in how much more K-Cups cost compared with brewing traditional drip coffee. The Atlantic story estimates that the tiny amount of coffee used in each K-Cup winds up costing the equivalent of $40 per pound. That’s easily three times the price of a pound of ground or whole bean Starbucks coffee.

How much more money, then, does a household spend by using K-Cups? The answer depends on several factors, including how much coffee you drink and what kind, and how carefully you shop for deals on coffee makers and the coffee itself. Over the years, various penny-pinching individuals have done the math on the subject, and the breakdown usually shows that K-Cups cost two or three times more per cup compared with traditionally brewed coffee.

One fairly typical analysis, comparing Caribou brand K-Cups versus ground coffee, showed that the per-cup cost was 66¢ versus 28¢, respectively. If you make three cups a day, 365 days a year, that adds up to around $723 spent on K-Cups, versus $307 for regular coffee brewers. So you’d easily save $400 a year by going the old-fashioned route—which, again, Sylvan points out accurately, ain’t exactly hard to handle.

For an idea of how much your household specifically would save—or, on the flip side, how much you’re paying for the convenience of K-Cups—check out the coffee maker calculator one economist created a couple years back. Enter a few data points into the Excel calculator, including how many cups of coffee you brew per week, the cost of coffee machines you’re considering, how much you typically spend on coffee, and even how much of the coffee pot you usually wind up pouring down the drain, and it’ll spit out the per-cup price breakdowns. We entered several different scenarios, and K-Cups were at least twice as expensive in all cases.

If the majority of your coffee does come brewed via K-Cup, at least you can take solace in the fact that you’re not hitting Starbucks or another coffee shop several times a day. Compared to that, your K-Cup habit will seem downright cheap.

MONEY salary

The Real Reason Wal-Mart is Giving Workers a Raise

Walmart exterior
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Wal-Mart is no altruist on pay.

Wal-Mart WAL-MART STORES INC. WMT -0.66% made big headlines when it announced pay boosts for its lowest-paid employees. Some investors may be appalled by this “altruistic” news, but don’t worry: it makes perfect business sense, and Wal-Mart’s smart to do it.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based megaretailer has made waves by announcing that it’s raising its minimum salary; soon, its lowest paid employees will make $9 per hour and by next year, the level will go up to $10, well above the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Some people aren’t jazzed about Wal-Mart’s decision. The stock dropped on the news Thursday, and some analysts have issued downgrades. Those are short-sighted responses, though. Wal-Mart’s doing the smart thing by working on the most controversial element of its business, and the one that makes many consumers believe its low-priced merchandise just isn’t worth the cost to many Americans’ personal bottom lines.

The move is going to cost Wal-Mart about a billion dollars, and Wal-Mart’s CEO Doug McMillon talked up the morale-boosting element of the strategy, as well as the idea of giving employees “opportunity” and a career path. People may feel cynical about his statements, but the spirit there is right on. Employees who are treated well are more engaged, and are more likely to provide a positive customer experience.

Wal-Mart gets a lot more attention for worker strikes than for its customer service, and that’s a problem that’s long overdue for a fix.

Take this job and shove it

As it stands now, Wal-Mart’s rating on job reviews site Glassdoor.com is a dismal 2.8, with only 44% of reviewers willing to recommend working there to a friend. Compare that to Costco (3.9, 80% would recommend to a friend), Whole Foods (3.6, 73% would recommend to a friend), and Starbucks (3.7, 76% would recommend to a friend). We can throw McDonald’s in for good measure, since it often shares the hot seat with Wal-Mart — its rating is 3.0, with just 50% willing to recommend a job there to a pal.

There’s been increasing attention to severe income equality and the fact that many people working for companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s MCDONALD'S CORP. MCD -0.7% are making poverty wages (and are reliant on public subsidization, which of course means we all lose). Those in the ivory towers may say the recession’s over, but there are still a lot of people out there who haven’t seen their wages rise much if at all as the economy supposedly “recovered.”

On the other hand, companies like Costco COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION COST 0.27% , Whole Foods Market WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC. WFM -0.42% , and Starbucks STARBUCKS CORPORATION SBUX -0.01% , all treat their employees well — making them anomalies in the modern retail industry. (Starbucks, in fact, began rolling out a round of pay raises to baristas earlier this year.) They haven’t been subject to nearly the same amount of scathing scrutiny on the worker front as Wal-Mart has been.

Even more pointedly, they have managed to do so while being highly profitable, successful companies, and they have done what well-run capitalistic companies should do: they built employee care into their business missions without waiting for a law forcing them to.

Dollars and cents, not heart and soul

There are plenty of pins we can poke into the happy bubble of Wal-Mart’s announcement, not least of which is the fact that we’re still not talking about a heck of a lot of money even with the new wage floors. Wal-Mart’s wages would still leave some subsisting along the poverty line. Many activists have been rallying for what they peg as a more reasonable $15 per hour “living wage.”

Wal-Mart’s also not turning into a big softie. MarketWatch pointed out that the company’s press release not only included the news about the pay increase, but also a one-time $0.05 per share charge related to a “wage and litigation matter.” We all know that Wal-Mart’s been in the hot seat for years, but that is a good reminder that it’s facing dollars and cents risks on many fronts, including in court.

And of course, the specter of the possibility of a federal minimum wage hike hangs over it all as well. The truth is, should the minimum wage increase, companies like Wal-Mart that have already started dealing with it will be in a far better competitive and even financial position than those who haven’t. They — and you, if you’re a shareholder — will have a whole lot of peace of mind as the laggards struggle to adjust their businesses.

Positive reinforcement for positive business

All in all, though, maybe even the most critical among us should probably give Wal-Mart some credit for being on the right track. Business can be a force for positive change, and Wal-Mart’s high-profile move might help catalyze a little more of a voluntary “race to the top” regarding many Americans’ wages instead of the race to the bottom behavior that has been all too common in too many pockets of our economy.

And even the investors who are appalled at Wal-Mart’s doling out raises should think twice. Anyone who cares about capitalism and free markets should have always considered the idea that companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s actually weren’t doing any of us any favors by squeezing profits out of people and hardly budging over what the government demanded by law — resulting in a state in which so many citizens’ pay was so pathetically low that they have had to rely on public assistance.

Wal-Mart’s no altruist — it’s doing what it has to do, and it certainly seems like it could do more. Given Wal-Mart’s massive scale, though, this move will hopefully nudge more corporate managements to see the risk of not moving on this front. Not to mention highlighting to corporate American the importance of investing in its own employees. That would be a win for all of us.

TIME Executives

Starbucks CEO: Giuliani’s Obama Remarks ‘Vicious’

Howard Schultz
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz participates in a forum in Washington on Nov. 10, 2014.

The outspoken chief executive responded forcefully to the former New York mayor's comments

Though he recently told TIME he has no personal political ambitions, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz hasn’t stopped stepping into the political fray.

On Friday, Schultz issued a statement lambasting former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for Giuliani’s recent declaration that President Obama doesn’t love America. The comments were “vicious” and “profoundly offensive,” Schultz said.

Politico reported that on Wednesday, Giuliani was speaking at a private dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when he said: “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Schultz issued the following statement: “As an American, I find Rudy Giuliani’s vicious comments about President Obama ‘not loving America’ to be profoundly offensive to both the President and the Office.”

A Starbucks spokesperson on Friday morning said: “We are not providing any additional commentary around it.”

Schultz doesn’t hesitate to weigh in on political issues. In December, he raised some eyebrows when he addressed the shootings of black suspects by police offers. During an Open Forum at the Starbucks Support center in Seattle, he encouraged employees to talk about their own experiences with racism He released a video of that event, and, in a letter sent exclusively to TIME, he expressed his dismay over the situation. “I’m deeply saddened by what I have seen, and all too aware of the ripple effect,” he wrote.

Schultz has often decried the political gridlock in Washington. He has also addressed the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour. On that issue, he tends to be circumspect. Starbucks pays more than the minimum wage and offers healthy benefits packages. Schultz supports raising the federal minimum, but he has said that raising it by too much—say, to $15 an hour, as some activists have demanded—would put a crimp on businesses, and lead to lower benefits and layoffs.

 

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