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Starbucks employees spend weeks training

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BY SAMUEL EVERS
Staff Writer

Monday, July 2, 2018

For an idea of how novel Starbucks is to the Twin Counties, look no further than the new storefront’s enthused, if inexperienced, employees.

Normally, said store manager Megan Cherrier, who lives in Raleigh and commutes to Rocky Mount, there is a by-the-book procedure when a new Starbucks moves in.

A store opens up in a metropolitan area. People walk by and walk in, without having seen any coming soon signs, because a new Starbucks is less an occasion and more a ritual. And the workers are usually about 70 percent experienced transfers from other Starbucks.

“You make a new Starbucks, and a bunch of employees say, ‘Hey that’s close to my house. Let me transfer over,’’ Cherrier said.

In this case, though, with the large, full, sit-down storefront that opened earlier in June on U.S. 301 in front of Sam’s Club, the other nearest full Starbucks was 25 miles away, in Wilson, the only other being the corporate store in Target.

So, there were no transfers. For that reason, the first few weeks have been about training employees in coffee-related nuances, and training supervisors on how to train employees in coffee-related nuances, on everything from drive-thrus to tall non-fat lattes with a caramel drizzle.

“Since we’re a remote location, everyone here is brand new. We’ve been focused on that; everyone is still in training. It’s been a little hectic, I think, is the word,” she said. “My priority has been coaching them.”

In the beginning, during the recruiting process, Cherrier and the rest of the assembly looking to hire for the new store were worried about the turnout for applications. They drove from Raleigh to Rocky Mount with flyers, without an idea of where to put them, or whether posting them in Sam’s Club was a breach of unwritten chain store rules.

But the applicants came pouring in — about 300 of them initially — thanks in part to a job fair about three months ago. The store still gets walk-ins hoping for a chance to fill out an application.

And, just a few weeks into the newest store’s opening, a common thread has been heard at the only full Starbucks in Rocky Mount’s corridor of I-95.

“I know people are excited there’s a Starbucks here — I know there’s a Target one, but it’s a much different experience to have the standalone versus the corporate store. I think people are really excited,” she said. “It brings an opportunity to a town like Rocky Mount for some job creation.”

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