2007/09/04

Marcus Samuelsson: Starbucks

By JULIETTE ROSSANT

Marcus Samuelsson in the New York Times, courtesy of Starbucks

Are there parallels between the rise of Marcus Samuelsson and Barack Obama? They are both handsome, charismatic, and successful in their respective fields. Both have their roots in East Africa. Neither seems to carry the weight of African-American slave experience. Marcus was born in Ethiopia but raised in Sweden. Barack's mother is white and his father is Kenyan. To whom do such African-descended Americans appeal?

Obama mug The New York Times reports that Marcus has just signed a deal with Starbucks to create two new coffee blends and two pastries.
Starbucks is also selling its first cookbook, Mr. Samuelsson’s “Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa...” It includes recipes by five Starbucks employees, and Starbucks will give $1 to the U.S. Fund for Unicef for each copy sold through Oct. 1, with a minimum donation of $50,000.
Marcus' homeland certainly does produce excellent coffee, and he most certainly can come up with some better coffee (less burnt) and some decent pastries.

Will the very glamorous Marcus increase the cache of Starbucks among African-American coffee drinkers? If he helps better the coffee and pastries, why not?

As for Barack, we've got less than 18 months to find out how much appeal he has...

Press release:
Starbucks

Related news:
New York Times, Village Voice, New York Magazine, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dallas-Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, News-Tribune, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Previous articles:
Marcus Samuelsson: BlueStar
Tap Project: $1 for UNICEF
Marcus Samuelsson Hits Routes 66
Marcus Samuelsson Flees Philly
Forbes: TasteMakers 2

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1 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

The book "Discovery of a continent" by Marcus Samuelsson is superb! I hope it sells many copies as Starbucks is donating $1.00 from each sale to UNICEF! What a great idea. I would like to be able to contact Marcus Samuelsson directly as we are planning to do some PR videos in Namibia and Cape Town to promote our 501(c)3 (Deep Roots) Deeproots.org and he may have suggestions for making contact with students to help with the video taping.

Again, great book!
All the best,
Lisa Hinson

3:36 PM, September 19, 2007  

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