Cast your vote in this year’s presidential election with a cup of coffee

Credit: Chelsea Hall

Credit: Chelsea Hall

Just like any other gathering place, coffee shops have always been home to discussions between friends and strangers about any and all topics, including politics. Dayton-based coffee roaster Boston Stoker Coffee Company, in the spirit of inciting important dialogue and awareness, is bringing back its Presidential Straw Poll this year just in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Boston Stoker began selling three versions of its Presidential Blend: The Blue Bag (Joe Biden), The Red Bag (Donald Trump) and The White Bag (none of the above). Until Nov. 8, customers cast a vote for their presidential preference by purchasing one of these 12-ounce bags of coffee from any Boston Stoker location or online. Each bag is $13.

Henry Dean, the president of Boston Stoker Coffee Company, says he hopes this unofficial presidential poll will be a lighthearted way for the company to connect with its customers — and for the customers to engage in talks with others.

“At the time, when we first started, we thought it’d be a fun way to engage our customers," Dean said. "As a company, we don’t endorse any candidate. But, since the birth of the coffee shop, politics have always been one of the things discussed by customers.”

Boston Stoker began the Presidential Straw Poll back in 2008 with the presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, and has done the poll every election year since.

Starting tomorrow, Monday Sept 21st, we're bring back our popular Presidential Straw Poll, where you get to vote with...

Posted by Boston Stoker Coffee Company on Sunday, September 20, 2020

All three options contain the same Boston Stoker House Blend, a 100 percent Columbian roast, to ensure that customers are picking up each bag of coffee solely for what is printed on the packaging and not for what blend it contains.

Apart from wanting to incite thoughtful conversations on these matters, Boston Stoker also wants this poll to encourage everyone to go out and vote. However, political tensions coupled with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic nearly led the coffee chain to cancel its Presidential Straw Poll for this year.

“So, we had employees that were nervous going into it, and we did question whether we should just cancel this year,” said Dean. “In the past, customers used to be able to buy it by the cup, and then they would get one vote for a cup of coffee and 10 votes for the purchase of a bag. They would take a little poker chip and put them in the glass jars set up so that they were casting their vote on the spot. We eliminated that part, partly due to COVID and the lack of traffic coming into the stores.”

From now and until Nov. 8, Boston Stoker will be posting weekly results from the poll on their Facebook page. For more information about Boston Stoker’s Presidential Straw Poll, visit their website.

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