Portland Oregon Starbucks have always struggled to be accepted among Portland’s coffee elite being that they are often substandard, barely tolerable cups of name brand grounds. I must admit that despite the humiliation of being seen holding a Starbucks cup, my husband and I, forced by the economic squeeze, will meet with friends at various downtown Starbucks. Sometimes we like to talk to people that we barely know. We are social butterflies interested in knowing others perspectives. Some people want to get to know us and want for us to know them. I don’t know how else to explain it, it is like some sort of social interaction apparently not done very often anymore unless using digital devices. Selfishly, I must admit that my artistic soul is often ignited into action by these chance human interactions as well.
Recently we have been enjoying Peet’s on Broadway and Alder with no problems. We had been going to Starbucks at 611 SW 11th st in the lobby of the Governor Hotel. My husband took two Tums out of a Tums bottle and handed them to a guy that we know who had indigestion, no doubt caused by their pastries. A valet claimed that they were something else according to Starbuck’s workers who told us to leave and never come back. My husband showed them the bottle of Tums to no avail. We quit going to the Starbucks on Pioneer Square after my husband took our two year old son to use the bathroom downstairs, then while waiting for me to meet him there, he had a seat with our son and was unable to buy anything yet because I had his wallet. I had to stop at the Nordstrom across the street. The plan had been for the boys to use the bathroom and then go to Starbucks because my husband was in such need of a cup of coffee and was hoping to give me a few moments alone at the makeup counter. I had the debit card so he sat with our son at Starbucks and waited for me. When I got there, an employee came up to us and told us to leave and never come back. She said that she was sick of us coming in and not buying anything. I tried to reason with her but realized that there was no reasoning with insanity so we went to the nearby Starbucks on Fourth and Morrison instead. Several months later, we went back into the Pioneer Square location and were welcomed with open arms. Having to use the bathroom downstairs is a bit of an issue and I never know if we are going to get Jeckle or Hyde so I prefer to go somewhere else to drink my herbal tea or steamers. We go to many doctor’s appointments, Whole Foods, Ross and the park in the downtown area. It is nice to be able to sit somewhere warm in the winter or cool in the summer that has 50 cent refills for my husband’s coffee and free wi-fi. We have 4 children and at the time of these events, we were in a one bedroom apartment so it was a luxury of sorts.
If you know anything about our family, you will know that our kids are the world to us and that we care about other people almost as much. Everyone is somebody’s child and they deserve compassion. We also take every effort to be healthy with our diet and supplements even though I sometimes have to force them down my husband’s throat. People constantly ask me for advice concerning nutrition and supplements. I am honored to be trusted and despite not knowing everything, I do my best to help anyone who I can in any way that I can. Being that most disease starts the same way, I believe that there are a few common denominators that are beneficial for most of us. You can read more about this under HEALING DIET. We are also starting a baby supplement company called Darby Boo. We are also compassionate people that will be respectful to anyone who is respectful to us. The problem with this way of being is the ‘guilt by association’ issue. For instance, one time my husband and I were walking with our two year old son in his stroller. Some guys asked him for a cigarette (he is taking steps to quit). He gave them one to share and then picked a flower and handed it to me. I kissed him and started pushing the stroller. Moments later a police officer ran up from behind us wanting to know what was in my hands. I showed him my hands, one empty, one with the flower in it. He started questioning me wanting to know if it had been fenagrin(sp?). I couldn’t believe it. I nurse my sick son and I’m fanatical about what I consume. What a jerk! Ever after that incident I try to be careful about giving my husband his vitamins. I get nervous every time I have to get them out for him. I even carry all of the bottles with me just in case there is ever a misunderstanding. If a cop can mistake a flower for a finnigrin, I don’t know what else could go wrong. OK, back to the main subject.
There is always a high price to pay when we want to get coffee and drink it too if we do it at a Starbucks in downtown Portland. I would probably not believe the atrocities that have occurred had I not been victim to a few myself. One day, after investing in some supplements at our local Whole Foods, my husband and I met a dear friend of ours at the Starbucks at 9th and Taylor, store #3301. This friend of ours had been living near it and often met her mom there before she would take her to doctor appointments. She goes to lots of doctor appointments after enduring a near death hit and run. She was a beautiful 12 year old girl on her way to ballet class when an off duty police officer driving and looking for his cell phone at the same time, struck her at a crosswalk. She went through years of reconstructive surgery and lost all hope of going to the Ukraine to fulfill her dreams of becoming a ballerina. Let me take this opportunity to say that she is still a beautiful ballerina dancing her way through a rather unjust life with grace and charm. She, like me, will take time out to listen to people that have the need to be heard. She and I were sitting by each other and my husband sat across from us at the big table right in front of the register. I had several books from the library out and a small Whole Foods bag from which I took out several supplement bottles. We all had purchased drinks and there was nobody else anywhere near us. We were discussing the supplements and going through the books reading about afflictions that we both have the need to remedy when all of a sudden this mousy little wench comes up to me and tells me that she “needed for us to pack up our drugs and leave immediately.” I laughed and showed her the sealed bottles and explained that they were just supplements from Whole Foods and that they were unopened and then sat there expecting an apology. Instead, she continued to insist that we “vacate the premises”. I was truly taken back by her insanity and insisted that I would not leave until I got proof of what I had out on the table on camera. I knew that I would need some sort of proof as to what I really had if anyone ever were to believe it. She kept telling us to get out and that we needed to get our drugs out of there and that she had called Safe and Clean. Then another guy that worked there started threatening us too, insisting that we were going to be arrested for trespassing if we didn’t get out. My husband is suffering from post concussive syndrome and has SEVERE anxiety. He was furious. I told him to go outside and wait. Not so smart cause some drugged out freak who had been panhandling when we first got there, started yelling at my husband and telling him to “get his drugs out of here!” I got video tape footage and pictures and left. We headed straight for another Starbucks, one that we could only hope would be fair. On our way, we found a police officer. We showed him the supplements and the footage and he apologized and said that there was no reason for that. Then we walked into the Starbucks on Fourth and Morrison . We requested the manager who came out to talk to us. He said that he remembered us and our son who was not with us at the time. We showed him what had happened on video and he apologized and gave us each a free drink coupon. He also said that there is a toll free number 800-Starbuc (800-782-7282) that we could call to complain and that he would try to talk to them on our behalf. Our youngest son started getting sicker over the next few days and weeks and all the rest of life continued happening, thereby making it difficult to make phone calls, emails or anything else except basic survival for our family. Our ballerina friend that had been with us that night has met her mom at the 9th and Taylor Starbucks since then with no problems and I figured that it had been taken care of. WRONG!
Just two days ago, months after the supplement episode, our ballerina friend went to the 9th and Taylor Starbucks to have a drink and conversation with a mutual friend of ours when all of a sudden the police came up to them and searched both of them. Our ballerina friend, who had been harassed before at this same Starbucks with us, had cash on her, which the police officer informed her that if she hadn’t had the bank receipt for it, he would have been able to keep it. He also informed her that he believed that she must have come from a broken home. When she told him that it was none of his business he accused her of being snooty. Neither of them had anything that they were not allowed to have and both got treated like garbage merely due to their choice of where they were drinking coffee. They went inside after the police left and asked the person behind the counter if he had called the police on them and he said yes. He is the manager and his name is Kraig Buetch, I am not sure about the spelling.
The moral of the story is not to drink coffee at the 9th and Taylor Starbucks, store #3301 in Portland Oregon. It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you are or are not doing. Apparently they have paranoid staff that frequently call Clean and Safe or the Police whenever someone comes in and the wind blows a different direction. I would love to know if anyone else has suffered the indignity of being accused of being a drug addict cause they stopped in to have a drink at the 9th and Taylor Starbucks in Portland Oregon? I do believe that our police officers have much better things to spend their time on then giving our friend psychic premonitions concerning her mom and dad’s past. It is too bad that he could not have foreseen the off duty officer tragically ending her dreams and causing life long damage and pain that can never truly be repaired. That would be impressive. Or maybe if he could use his powers to know that the employees of this location are idiots with nothing better to do then make false accusations. That would be useful.
Our dear ballerina friend still chose to go back to 9th and Taylor to meet her mom and sister before going to a doctor’s appointment. What a forgiving sweetheart. Talk about customer loyalty! They had been meeting at this location for over a year, a few times a week and decided to let the facts prove her innocence since even after being searched and humiliated, she came back. They assumed that the manager must have felt horrible for being so wrong. Instead, he came over to their table and along with some comments that I won’t repeat, he told them that they were no longer welcome. If anyone reading this has it in mind that our friend or her mom and sister might look like the type of people who get judged unfairly often, this is not the case. All three of these beautiful ladies are well dressed, pleasant, refined and proper. Her sweet, loving mom was so upset and offended by his cruel accusations. He was out of line and foul. What a creep! Even if they were homeless drug addicts with blue hair, which they are not, his actions are unacceptable.
I have had people come up to me since then and tell me that they were present when we were harassed for the supplements and gave me contact information in case I needed someone to talk to management about how badly we were treated. I will contact them and management concerning these issues. I hope that anyone reading this will also heed the warnings concerning the workers at Starbucks on 9th and Taylor and let them know how you feel. It can be embarrassing enough just to drink at Starbucks in Portland Oregon let alone suffer further humiliation by Portland’s finest. How can they take these people seriously considering the number of times that they must call to report figments of their imagination? Any exchange can be life changing. Recently the exchange of cigarettes, flowers, vitamins and ideas have led to some obscure circumstances. I believe that we can unite all coffee shops and those that work for them to stand up for their customers rights to human interaction without fear, psychic cops and body searches.
This is the contact information for Starbucks if you feel inclined to let them know how you feel:
Please use the links on this page to email a specific department. http://
Starbucks Customer Relations
PO Box 3717
Seattle, WA 98124-3717
Mon – Fri 5 AM – 8 PM (PST)
Sat 6 AM – 4 PM (PST)
I have pictures and videos that I will be uploading soon.
We still LOVE PEET’S!!!!!! Never ANY problems, just friendly staff, great drinks, everything that a coffee shop should be and more. We have been going here for months, a few days a week sometimes, with the kids, without the kids, with no complaints ever.
Portland—DT Portland Peet’s
508 Southwest Broadway
Portland, OR, 97205