By Jane Seiss
Since its late May opening, Severna Parks new Starbucks store has been busy, and opening night was an early indication of its local appeal. On May 20, we had a friends and family event for partners and their families. Representatives of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation were here. Local partners brought their own baked goods, and it was supposed to be a soft opening. It got out on Twitter and other social networking sites that we were giving away free stuff. Before we knew it, there were probably 200 people here. It was standing room only, controlled chaos, store manager Marc Tippin marveled.
That night, Starbucks presented the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) with a check for $30,000. We renewed our commitment to them, Tippin explained. Starbucks supports the Foundation, and with an education wall and CBF brochures on display, the Severna Park store showcases its activities and the importance of the Bay to our community.
The new store is owned by the Starbucks Corporation, and it is LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and all new company-owned Starbucks stores since 2010 have earned LEED status. LEED is recognized as a green building certification system that can be used as a guideline for commercial and residential buildings.
Before it was a Starbucks, the building was a Popeyes restaurant. To earn credits towards its LEED certification, when Starbucks renovated it recycled 99 percent of the resulting construction waste. Way Finders, little circular plaques posted around the store, inform customers of how other green features in the buidling.
We use low-flow sinks and toilets for a 40 percent savings on water use, said Tippin. The store was built using low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials for all of our cabinetry, doors, flooring, and paint. All of the lights in the store are LED, and we have all Energy Star appliances. To earn further LEED credits, the store offers a bike rack, tire pump and repair kit for any biker who ventures over from the trail and needs assistance. The impressive and sturdy tables in the store are made from already fallen walnut - no trees were cut to provide wood for them. There is an oyster shell collection site outside the store.
As a 14-year veteran of the company, Tippin is pleased to be running the Severna Park store. He was raised here, attended Folger McKinsey Elementary School and graduated from Severna Park High School. Having studied Environmental Science in college, hes happy to be a steward of the environment and Bay through the store.
The local store opens at 5:00am and closes at 10:00pm every day of the week. There is a spacious cafe area, free wi fi, and outdoor seating. Starbucks invites the community to use its conference room free of charge for meetings. The space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Besides a full range of coffee drinks, teas, and other beverages, meals and snacks are also offered, and many of these, pre-packaged bistro boxes are under 500 calories. Coffee fans will be glad to know the store grinds its own coffee for every batch brewed - each one is good for only 25 minutes. Until September 5, customers who buy a coffee before 2:00pm will receive a treat receipt for $2 off a cold coffee drink after 2:00pm. If you bring your own cup, Starbucks will deduct 10 cents from the cost of your drink.