If you thought you knew a major Starbucks lover, you'll be shocked to know they've got nothing on "Winter".
The 35 year old computer programmer has made it his goal to visit every Starbucks in the WORLD. Today he's in Greater Detroit. Yesterday he was in Columbus, Ohio.
He's touring North America in his Hyundai Accent and has so far been to over 7,200 of the world's 13,168 (plus!) Starbucks locations. On the average day, the coffee giant opens three new locations around the world. Will he be able to do it?
He visits roughly seven Starbucks stores each day. To qualify as an official visit, Winter has made it his rule to drink a minimum of 4 ounces of coffee and take a photo which he later posts on his site, starbuckseverywhere.net
â€œCaffeine is my drug of choice,â€ Winter said in an interview.
On April 24, 2007, his video documentary, StarbuckingStarbucking was released. Promotions for the movie have kept him busy in the last month.
Why is Winter doing this? Could anyone love Starbucks that much? Is he just a major caffeine junkie? And how the hell can he afford it? He's been interviewed by several media outles and appeared on talk shows to address these questions.
He says the idea came to him when he was sitting at a Starbucks, of all places. "I always wanted to stand out," he said. "This is what I could do to be different." No kidding.
But why this? â€œI pretty much enjoyed Starbucks, and it seemed like a feasible thing back with about 1,600 stores back in '97... so I started visiting them, and they started building more, and it sort of got out of handâ€
Just how many coffees can he handle in a day? "When I'm on these trips, 15...20...28, tops," he admits. "I don't sleep much." When he does get any rest, it's in his car. Staying at a hotel would cost way too much and he would never reach his goal. He saves his money everywhere he can, even passing on meals, "I haven't eaten much in the past six weeks," he said in one interview.
The Wayne Brady show featured Winter a while back on an episode celebrating individuality (he was interviewed alongside Richard Simons). Impressed by his unique adventure, Brady offered to send Winter and a friend to Starbucks in London, England with all expenses covered.
To all those Starbucks fienders out there, Winter suggests making a trip down to Oregon. After drinking at hundreds of different locations, Winter says the nicest Starbucks he has visted so far is the one at Freemont and 15th in Portland.
As an avid Starbucks fiender myself, my curiousity is sparked...
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