Seattle, WA-Starbucks, the largest coffeehouse company in the world, announced earlier today that it would begin opening retail-based health care clinics in select locations, likely in time for cold and flu season.
According to Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz, the decision to expand into medical care was inspired by the growing popularity of clinics in supermarkets and pharmacies.
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“Folks are hurting out there, and retail-based clinics are a more economical option in many circumstances,” Schultz explains. “Starbucks will offer convenience and reasonable prices for the treatment of common medical concerns just like we do for whole bean organic Mexican shade grown medium roast coffee.”
Clinic operations will be overseen by Mort Fishman, a practicing Naturopathic physician in the Seattle area who is also one of only three Grand Wizard baristas in North America. According to Fishman, Starbucks won’t simply be unveiling another version of the CVS MinuteClinic or Walgreens Healthcare Clinic. “The last thing that sick people need is the unfriendly and sterile environment of a doctor's office or pharmacy waiting area. We want them to feel comfortable in an environment conducive to the sharing of ideas so that perhaps one might incubate and ultimately be born as full concept which might more easily spread from person to person."