New Orleans, Louisiana
Joseph “Joe” Witkowski (or “Jeaux” as his nametag reads, because New Orleans), a 10-year Starbucks partner, was recently promoted shift supervisor. He wears a gold crown to work, partly in keeping with the city’s bold, eccentric fashion mores and partly because it’s a symbol of the leader he wants to be.
“It’s a very ‘me’ item and customers have come to look for it and expect it,” Joe said. “I'm the queen of my shift or the king of my shift or whatever. For me, the crown is me owning who I am as a shift supervisor, as a partner, as a person, and as someone who's really invested in what I do in my community.”
Community is his favorite part about working at Starbucks, both his fellow partners and the wide range of customers.
“You could be a bartender or you might be a CEO, and you're still coming to hang out with your friends for that cup of coffee. And being able to be that person who is the face you see every day has been really great for me,” he said. “I say a lot to my partners and to my customers, ‘I live a block away. We're in my extended living room. So, welcome. How can we take care of you? How can we treat you?’ I get to really provide that third place and that legendary service.”