Silence brews success at Starbucks

29 Jul 2019 / 17:29 H.

THE world’s first Starbucks Signing Store located in Bangsar Village II commemorated its third anniversary by celebrating the success of their deaf partners, who have been certified as Advanced Coffee Masters, an achievement that further develops their barista skills and coffee knowledge.

Newly certified Advanced Coffee Masters - Muhammad Aizad Ariffin, Yap Yee Lin and Mohd Akmal Abd Khalid, showed off their skills to members of the media during the special event on July 25, 2019.

The Advanced Coffee Masters Programme teaches qualified baristas new coffee mastery skills for different coffee equipment. Thus, the newly-certified Deaf Advanced Coffee Masters are able to brew coffee using the Pour Over method.

In addition, these deaf baristas are also qualified to conduct coffee chat sessions with the public using sign language much like the baristas at the Starbucks Reserve stores in Malaysia.

“At Starbucks we always endeavor to create a culture of diversity and inclusion. This was how the concept of the Signing Store came about more than three years ago by offering the deaf and hard of hearing community in Malaysia with employment and career advancement opportunities,” said Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei Corporate Social Responsibility manager, Rina Siew.

Berjaya Food Bhd CEO and managing director of Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei, Sydney Quays said Muhammad Aizad was the inspiration for the establishment of the Signing Store in Bangsar Village II.

“In most places, a disabled person will not be at the front desk. They are hired to clear tables or clean toilets. At the Signing store, deaf partners work at the front desk,” he said.

He said the idea of hiring deaf partners is to help them build a career and grow with the company.

Quays added that Muhammad Aizad is the first deaf shift manager in the world in Starbucks, a meaningful achievement for the company.

Dedicated to empowering the hearing-impaired community throughout Malaysia, Starbucks Malaysia has announced plans to open the first Starbucks Signing Store in Penang. Mimicking the Starbucks Signing Store in Bangsar Village II, the Deaf baristas in the Penang Signing Store will get the opportunity to develop soft skills, such as work ethics, teamwork and career attributes. The Penang Signing Store is scheduled to open by the end of this year

Starbucks Malaysia has also launched a new exclusive Signing Store merchandise collection in conjunction with the third anniversary celebration. The merchandise is priced from RM25 onwards and is only available at the Starbucks Signing Store at Bangsar Village II.

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