Coffee lovers might need to get their fix elsewhere for a short while, as Starbucks announced Friday that it would close its Canadian stores for one afternoon in June to provide staff with implicit bias training.
The announcement comes about a month after the company publicly apologized for the arrest of two black men who had been refused permission to use the washroom of a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia.
A Starbucks employee called 911 after the men refused to leave.
Footage of the arrest on social media sparked a backlash against the company and brought on discussions about racial bias.
Company didn’t initially include Canadian stores in closure
As part of its initial apology, Starbucks announced that it would close more than 8,000 U.S. branches of its coffee shops for one afternoon on May 29.
No plans for Canada closures were part of that announcement.
But on Friday, Starbucks Canada president Michael Conway sent a memo that schedules store closures for part of the afternoon on June 11 for a training session to address implicit bias.
The memo says Starbucks believes “everyone deserves to be treated with respect” and that its employees have the support and clarity they need to create “a culture of warmth.”
In the meantime, Victorians are sure to find somewhere in the city for a quick espresso fix.