The Starbucks cafe and drive-thru officially opened Monday at noon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with a handful of Arnold's elected officials attending.
“We’re so excited that you’re here and we’re going to work together to make it out of this bad economy,” Ward 3 Councilman Phil Amato said to Starbucks District Manager Robert Wise and the employees at the store.
The café opened, unofficially and without fanfare, in a soft opening on Jan. 21 to give the store employees experience working the equipment and meeting customers.
Ward 1 Councilman Christine “Cricky” Lang and Arnold City Treasurer Dan Kroupa also attended the ribbon-cutting event at 3884 State Route 141.
Part of the decision to open an Arnold store was the large number of residents who commuted to the other Starbucks locations in South St. Louis County, Wise said.
“This is also a very vibrant area with a tight community and a feeling of home,” Wise said about Arnold.
He said the company wants to be in communities where it can support the residents’ projects.
In Arnold, Starbucks will donate food to the Arnold Food Pantry and find ways to support the Arnold Branch of the Jefferson County Public Library, Wise said.
The retailer also hopes it can create a few programs with the Fox C-6 School District. The retailer could display students’ paintings and drawings as a way to support teenagers’ and children’s art interests for example, Wise said.
“We’re really more than just selling coffee,” Wise said about the company.
He does expect the Arnold store to be busy because the drive-thru café is the only Starbucks on Interstate 55 between St. Louis County and Cape Girardeau.
In terms of advertising on I-55, Wise said the State of Missouri has the final decision.
Starbucks can apply to place its logo on a roadside Missouri sign, which are usually near highway off-ramps, and then the state would look for available space.
The Arnold Starbucks will have about 20 employees, Wise said.