More Starbucks Less Problems

Sabrina Picou, Editor-In-Chief

The city of Downey is currently home to six Starbucks coffee shops; the newest addition to these is inside of the Ralph’s grocery store on Firestone Blvd., and it opened on Jan. 11. Just a few months ago there was a Wells Fargo bank inside of the grocery store, but due to a contractual agreement between Wells Fargo bank and Ralph’s they decided to replace it with something most people cannot resist – coffee.


The Ralph’s employees went through a two-week hands-on training in order to be baristas at the Starbucks stand. At the end of the two weeks the employees have to take a certification test in order to represent the Starbucks brand.


“The manager that runs it is actually a brew master which means he has passed the Starbucks 12 week course, so he can tell you everything you want to know about coffee,” Ralph’s Store Manager, Pastor Valdez said.


Although the Starbucks is inside of Ralphs grocery store, they still must adhere to the Starbucks guidelines. Once a month a Starbucks District Manager and checks in on the operation and the back stock. The Starbucks Corporation does not allow just any company to have a Starbucks stand within another store.


Rosa Ayala, a former courtesy clerk turned barista compares the different benefits she receives as a Ralph’s employee to being a Starbucks employee.


“They have a lot of health benefits and they have a union and not a lot of markets have union, that gives you a lot of benefits there,” Ayala said. “I used to do bagging and combo cashier as well; this is definitely something different than cashier and bagging but I like it.”


Due to Starbucks’ store hours being 5 A.M.- 9 P.M. and Ralph’s hours being 6 A.M.- 1 A.M. the whole grocery store had to change its hours and open an hour earlier. The biggest coffee rushes are in the mornings before school and after school because it is right across the street from Downey High School.


Students enjoy going to the coffee shop after school to hang with friends, wait for their rides, or do homework. It is a place to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or pastry and decompress after school.


“I like Starbucks because it’s next to the school and the drinks are really refreshing,” Itzel Olivares, 12, said. “I like coming with my friends because after school you don’t have to go home, when you’re with your friends you can just relax and enjoy it with your friends.”


Whether you are going to get a coffee after a long day or coming to hang with friends, there are now more Starbucks locations for Downey students and the community to enjoy.