Lawyer Bill Tangeman has a mission: following the caffeine-powered quest of a man to visit every Starbucks in the world.
Tangeman, who was a journalist before going into law, is making a documentary about a computer programmer who goes by the name Winter and set out in 1997 to get a caffeinated drink at every corporate-owned Starbucks store on the planet.
On his Web site (www.starbuckseverywhere.net) Winter, who was born Rafael Antonio Lozano, said that as of Monday, he had visited 4,775 Starbucks in North America and 213 in other parts of world. There are 5,715 corporate-owned Starbucks in the world, according to the Seattle-based company.
Winter said his trek has been satisfactory on many levels, not the least of which is that it has allowed him to be on a nearly constant road trip for eight years.
“Every time I reach a Starbucks I feel like I’ve accomplished something,” Winter said, “when actually I have accomplished nothing.”
Tangeman, 32, wanted to film a documentary for years. When he read an article about Winter last year, he realized he had found his muse.
“I found his story fascinating,” Tangeman said.
29 stores in one dayTangeman got in touch with Winter and has since spent several days on the road with him, gathering about 40 hours of film for the movie, which will be called, “Starbucking.”
The 33-year-old Winter said he is baffled by the attention his quest has attracted and said that he was “tickled pink that anybody would want to make a movie about my project.”
Tangeman, a deputy county attorney, uses vacation time and long weekends to meet Winter at various spots around the country. The two will meet again late this month in Reno, Nev., where Winter will begin another leg of his tour to Northern California.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Tangeman said. “I’ve been to 22 states with him.”
On one trip, Tangeman and Winter gave a presentation, including a screening of a “Starbucking” trailer, at the University of California-Santa Barbara. It was on this Southern California tour that Winter set a personal single-day record by visiting 29 Starbucks.
“On the day he hit 29 stores he wasn’t feeling too good,” Tangeman said. “He was a little nauseous.”
Winter has visited Tangeman at his home and even grabbed a cup of coffee from a local shop. But he was deprived of his Starbucks fix: There aren’t any corporate-owned stores in Kearney, 126 miles west of Lincoln.
Tangeman wants to complete “Starbucking” by the end of the year so he can submit it to the Sundance Film Festival. If Sundance doesn’t accept the film, he will try other festivals.
Winter, who lives in Silver Spring, Md., said he and Tangeman will split whatever profits the movie may make.