Customers at a local Starbucks are finding inspiration from a special coffee mug designed for their city.
A Starbucks designer, created a mug for Ferguson, Missouri, to highlight unity in the city.
“The mugs have sold out twice, which would suggest they’re very popular,” said Jasmine Swanson, a shift supervisor at the Ferguson store, adding that customers frequently remark about the pronoun “us,” which is highlighted on the mug.
Adam Kendall Woods, a member of the Starbucks merchandise team, is the designer behind the mug. He wanted the project to be something that baristas and everyone working in the store could stand behind.
For some inspiration before designing the mug, baristas at the Ferguson store sent Woods drawings that represented what it feels like to be unified.
Starbucks said Woods was asked to design the mug in part due to his own activism. He’s marched for Black Lives Matter and women’s rights, among other causes.
“One of the reasons I worked at Starbucks is because the company is so explicit about social justice in a way that I wish other companies would be,” Woods said. “Starbucks does take stands. I felt like I could do a piece like this and it would matter. I felt like it would reverberate and make a difference.”
The Ferguson location opened in spring of 2016 as part of a plan to provide local jobs, create training opportunities for youth and support efforts to rebuild and revitalize communities, according to Starbucks. It is located near the site of where demonstrations occurred following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014.