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A STARBUCKS IN THE CENTER OF MARKET


A spacious floor plan. Funky light fixtures. A giant string-art map of the coffee-producing world. And what can only be described by any laptop warrior as a bountiful selection of electrical sockets. A visit to the Starbucks on Market Street lays waste to the idea that every Starbucks is like every other Starbucks. We talked to Deb Cotterall and Sarah Lamb, two insiders at the Buccini/Pollin Group, owner of this newish Starbucks, about how its distinct look and feel came to be.

DEB: I’m the Starbucks brand champion, making sure we follow all the standards for Starbucks, here and in three hotels in two other states.

SARAH: I’m BPG’s Director of Design.

DEB: The two Starbucks we have in Wilmington are not as cookie cutter as a hotel store. At Starbuck’s bigger locations, they tend to look for more personalized style. They have a group of about 20 or so designers out in Seattle who work on stores like ours.

SARAH: We conveyed to them our wishes and hopes, and gave them some ideas. They looked at other places that we have designed, like the Merchant Bar and La Fia, and other places people like to go on Market Street. Our goal was to create a community lounge. We wanted it to feel very comfortable and be big enough to accommodate people who wanted to sit and work for awhile, as well as people who are just there to have a coffee. So we wanted to have a couple different styles of seating areas.

DEB: It has to feel like it could belong in a Starbucks portfolio, but they like it when it has an individual feel, and they felt like this fit a vision for how we hope Market Street develops in the future. It’s a similar type feel to Merchant Bar – clean and modern, yet comfortable.

SARAH: Each project that we do, we want it to be something that's a little bit different. I think this space is a good example of that happy medium between comfy and refined. The Starbucks team tied in their corporate culture and Starbucks around the world, but the theme still stayed very community oriented. They have done some string art projects at other stores before, but there's a worldly theme in this artwork, which ties into their coffee sourcing mantra. I think they thought it was neat because it has that worldwide community feel.

DEB: It is definitely reflective of how we thought it would fit into Market. There’s a small community room in the back of the store – you can either call ahead or just go in, and our supervisor on duty will know whether it's booked or not booked. It doesn't cost to reserve the room, and if you decide to buy coffee, we give you a discount if you're utilizing the room. There's a great big heavy door – super heavy – that slides over, so it's completely private. And when we’ve had a couple community organizations that were too big to sit in there, we section off an area of the store for them, because it's large enough. We’re almost 3,000 square feet.

SARAH: A lot of business people are coming down to have little one-on-ones or informal meetings, but then you get the music nights and then you get, on the weekends, a more residential crew. It's turning out to be a multi-use space, which is neat.

DEB: We are open seven days a week. Every Friday and Sunday, we do have live music, acoustic guitar. Especially on Sundays, it's a nice place to go, sit and relax.

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