Devastated Latte Lovers (Allegedly) Launch "Save Our Starbucks" Campaigns…

The Wall Street Journal would have you believe that devastated Starbucks-lovers all over this nation are launching campaigns to try to save their “beloved” Starbucks. We’re not entirely sure that we believe this based on the single example given in the article, but we’ll play along…

In towns as small as Bloomfield, N.M., and metropolises as large as New York, customers and city officials are starting to write letters, place phone calls, circulate petitions and otherwise plead with the coffee company to change its mind.

“Now that it’s going away, we’re devastated,” said Kate Walker, a facilities manager for software company SunGard Financial Systems who recently learned of a store closing in New York City.

While searching for another example of someone who was devastated, we happened across a website called “Save Starbucks,” and grabbed some representative highlights from the guestbook.

“hey are closing two of my favorite Starbucks in Jacksonville, FL. I am devastated! This can not happen!!! I am going to try to get others organized to fight this!”

“I’m not upset… there is one within a few blocks of each other. I try to support local business anyway !”

“who gives a flying f#@k what this yuppie created pos company does…….i hope they all shut down and never-never-never-open againnnn…”

“I am a school teacher and each morning a group of about eight of us meet up at the local starbucks which is three blocks away from our school, and I just hate to see it going out of business. What may we do to stop it?”

“You’ll piss and moan about $4 gas but think nothing of paying $4 for a pint of coffee. You morons, that’s $32 per gallon.”

“Please use this opportunity to learn about good coffee and support your local businesses instead.”

“Ummm….Who gives a rats @ss!!!!!!!”

Well, there you have it. We were able to find a few folks who don’t want this particular Starbucks to close, so maybe you are out there somewhere.

If so, tell us in the comments.

Starbucks Gets Pleas Not to Close Stores [WSJ via Starbucks Gossip]
(Photo: Travelin’ Librarian )

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. mabus says:

    the ridiculousness of people lamenting the loss of yet-another-chain-of-overpriced-yet-terribly-mediocre-coffee only serves to remind me of that great article from the onion with the headline: “New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks”… yes folks, starbucks is overrated and their coffee tastes like a tire fire, get over it!

    [www.theonion.com]

  2. snoop-blog says:

    It’s funny how people didn’t do this for the local coffee shops that were put out of business by starbucks. Now that starbucks is leaving, where will you go now?

  3. snoop-blog says:

    “You’ll piss and moan about $4 gas but think nothing of paying $4 for a pint of coffee. You morons, that’s $32 per gallon.”

    Absolutely love this quote!

  4. Jesse says:

    I sympathize with the school teacher and the agony she and her group of fellow co-workers will have to endure driving that extra block to the next Starbucks for their daily meetings as a direct result of the closing.

  5. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Record time for the Starbucks haters this time around!

  6. blackmage439 says:

    @snoop-blog:

    I’ve wanted to comment on this ever since I heard about these douchebags. By supporting Starbucks, you are supporting a company:

    a) with nearly identical, if not WORSE, labor standards than fucking Walmart,

    b) that routinely abuses broken US copyright law to force their smaller, competing mom & pop coffee shops out of business, and

    c) makes shitty, bitter, over-priced coffee.

    Carribou is faaar superior for that “exotic” coffee, and Mickie D’s and Dunkin are far superior for that cheap caffeine burst. If you ever saw someone bitching about a Starbucks closing, give them a taste of reality.

  7. After Luke Skywalker did his thing I heard slaves of the Empire launched a “Save the Deathstar” campaign.

  8. mdoublej says:

    @blackmage439:

    a. please elaborate
    b. elaborate on this as well, as I can hardly sympathize with mom an pop coffee shops being allowed to break copyright.
    c+d. where I live it’s C Stores, Starbucks, McD’s, or Dunkin Donuts for on-the-go coffee, and I prefer the taste of Sbux to any of them, and they are all the same price.

  9. kaptainkk says:

    OMG! These people are devastated because they have learned of a closing?! Those idiots need to get their priorities in order. I agree with the last quote, “Ummm….Who gives a rats @ss!!!!!!!”

  10. ARP says:

    @blackmage439:

    “with nearly identical, if not WORSE, labor standards than fucking Walmart,”

    OK, I think SBUX sux (ha! Me so hilarious), but I think you might be going a bit overboard here. I believe SBUX provide health insurance, even for part time workers, and has pretty good benefits. Can you point me to evidence that supports your claim they are just as bad as Satan’s Mothership (aka Wal-Mart)? Are you talking about sourcing or actual employees?

    @snoop-blog: I’m with you. These are the same people who are all to happy to watch Wal-Mart destroy all the privately owned business in their town and then are stupid enough to wonder why their local economy is depressed because everyone is making $7.50 /hr.

  11. Tmoney02 says:

    @blackmage439: with nearly identical, if not WORSE, labor standards than fucking Walmart,

    Don’t mean to rain on your hate parade but doesn’t starbucks offer health insurance to even part time employees? That is far better than Walmart does.

  12. zigziggityzoo says:

    lol.

    I’ve never used Starbucks because every other coffee shop in town offers WiFi for free. That may seem insignificant to the execs up there, but that’s *the* deciding factor for most I know. Taste is secondary (though If taste were the primary concern, I probably wouldn’t go to Starbucks just the same).

  13. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    In most cities, the store closures aren’t a big deal. Mainly because there’s usually another Starbucks a couple miles away. And in some cases, there’s another Starbucks right down the block.

    I forgot where I was, but there was a Starbucks inside this particular mall. And it had a small cart/kiosk on the other side of the mall. And if you go outside the mall, there were 2 other Starbucks stores within a half mile in either direction. Now that’s crazy.

    As for the teachers finding a new place to meet. Don’t fret. I’m sure another coffee chain will move in and set up shop.

  14. Here’s an idea. Why don’t they actually buy something from the store instead of bemoaning its loss? The store wouldn’t be going away if it actually did any business.

  15. dip_cone says:

    @blackmage439: Yeah those mom and pop shops have it so hard.

    1) Starbucks introduces a large part of the population to fancy coffee drinks and a variety of roasts.

    2) They charge a price you can most likely beat as a small business owner.

    3) In an attempt to make their coffee taste the same at every location they sacrifice some amount of flavour buy “burning” the coffee and using automatic machines. (though, personally I don’t mind the taste)

    So a with proper machines and trained staff you can make a superior product at a competitive price. My heart bleeds.

  16. chiieddy says:

    As someone who’s mortgage is partly paid for by Starbucks, deal people. The stores that are closing are either in dual markets, not profitable, or both.

  17. EyeHeartPie says:

    @TheSpatulaOfLove:
    Actually, the Starbucks hate was built in to the story. The second blockquote has plenty of Starbucks hate in it.

  18. oldheathen says:

    LOL @ mabus: “tire fire”. Say that with a drawl: “Yer cowfee taase lahk tarrrr farrrrr.”

  19. allycakes says:

    @blackmage439: As a former barista, I can tell you that you’re wrong about labor practices at SBux. Full benefits while part time, a pretty flexible schedule (at least where I was), and the company had a lot of programs set up to help employees (tuition reimbursement, emergency funds, etc).

    Really, it’s got to be the ever-changing business model that’s hurting them.

  20. snoop-blog says:

    @zigziggityzoo: I have friends who agree with you all the way on the free net.

  21. Craig says:

    I live in the suburbs and there are at least 10 Starbucks within a 10 minute drive from where I live. That’s insane. Now, I admit that I’ve been a Starbucks supporter for the past decade (they turned me on to espresso), but lately it seems that the taste has been getting worse instead of better. As a result I’m trying out the local coffee shops as well as experimenting with making espresso at home and I’m at a point where I could care less if they all close.

  22. Colage says:

    Why do people act all snobbish about how Starbucks coffee tastes? If someone is on their way to work and they want coffee, they’re not looking for some kind of spiritual experience. And even if they were, the rate at which people dump cream and sugar into their coffee obfuscates the “tire fire” taste anyway.

    Second, if there’s any reason to patronize Starbucks, it’s to avoid the bad poetry nights, the snooty holier-than-thou attendants, and the general “coffee shop” atmosphere that gets real annoying once you start making more than $20,000 a year.

  23. ludwigk says:

    Here in SF, the two stores that they’re closing literally have other StarBucks’ within one block. I can say this with absolute confidence without even checking the SF locations that they’re closing (I know that there’s 2 of them).

  24. MCQDeltaT says:

    @blackmage439: You do know that the First Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain has an 87.8% stake in Caribou and that they do support terorism? I’m not supporting SBUX but I’d prefer it any day to Caribou. Anyway I prefer give my business to indie coffee shops better than the above listed companies.

  25. Kos says:

    Why. Is. This. Part. Of. The. News. Cycle.

    This is the same BS as when Starbucks closed early for “retaining.” Awesome free press for SB. I think there are far more important things going on then worrying about certain redundant SB stores closing.

  26. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    @EyeHeartPie:

    You’re right, and it’s my bet the Haters submitted the story only to salivate waiting for its posting.

    Bottom line, if you don’t like the product, DON’T GO. This incessant b!tching about it on Consumerist is getting old and contributes very little to the conversation. It’s always the same cast of characters who jump in and b!tch about the flavor, b!tch about the price, b!tch about anything that has Starbucks printed on it.

    It’s COFFEE – BIG F’N DEAL!

  27. Werrick says:

    I’ve never understood “corporate loyalty”. We see it all the time in gaming circles with the various Sony/XBOX/Nintendo fanboys, all viciously, frothingly defending their chosen system.

    I don’tknow why people would be lamenting this clearly cut-throat, multi-national corporation having to close a few shops and spread the wealth a little. Do they not realize that if the location is a good one that another shop will open eventually anyway? Do they think that Starbucks gives a rat’s ass about the individual consumer? Are they somehow under the impression that Starbucks would show them the same loyalty?

    Since when did corporations become rallying points?

  28. Mr.SithNinja says:

    HO NOES!! You might have to drive an extra 12 feet to get to the next one! With today’s gas prices who can afford that??

    “SAVE STARBUCKS”??? they do realize that they a Billion dollar corporation right? The only reason they are closing SOME stores is because they over expanded and are staring to crush themselves under their own wieght. I mean seriously when you have a SB inside of a Safeway and a full walk in SB in the same damn parking lot, then there is a spacing issue here.

  29. Mr. Bungle says:

    The only reason that I am somewhat upset is that they are closing the Starbucks where my wife and I met. We go back there every year on Valentines day.

  30. William Mize says:

    It didn’t work for Firefly; it ain’t gonna work here.
    Move along, people. Move along.

  31. coren says:

    Hmmm. Coffee here at my college is something like 1.00 for a 16 oz cup. That’s 8 bucks a gallon! OH MY GOD, SHUT DOWN THE CAMPUS COFFEE SHOP!

    I drink soda that I get probably 1.50 for 4 liters. That’s less than a buck fifty a gallon! Everyone stop buying gas, start buying soda!

    Hurrah for specious logic

  32. mdoublej says:

    @Mr. Bungle: I think that’s what some posters can’t wrap their heads around. These aren’t pizza hut delivery stores, or bank ATM’s closing. They are(were) places of social interaction. If you went there most mornings for a couple years on the way to work, you likely knew the some of the people serving you, and they likely knew what you wanted to order. If you spent time inside, you probably did it with friends, or to get some time to yourself.

    Humans are creatures of habit, and we don’t like to have to change our habits, even if it means in some cases, changing it a half mile down the street.

  33. divrekku says:

    @blackmage439:

    Per your 1), above, Starbucks has very decent benefits packages for its FTEs. In fact, part-time employees have available (and incrementally better) health care than most FTEs at other companies.

    Please refer here: [www.starbucks.com]

    What is the source of your comment?

  34. Sh3rpa says:

    where were these assclowns when their local coffee shop had the screws put to em?

  35. bobpence says:

    Walmart also offers health insurance to part-timers. Mom-and-pop coffee shops, like many other small businesses and franchises, usually do not offer health insurance to anyone. Other large retail and non-franchise restaurant chains, depending on union contracts and state laws, may not offer insurance. I worked for three moderately upscale department stores in the 1990s and not one offered coverage to part-timers, not sure of their current practices. Pick another target, they are not bulletproof here (i.e. the health insurance is not at UAW contract levels) but they are not as vulnerable as they are elsewhere.

    Starbucks has had successes and failures in the marketplace. Ultimately all of us who make up the market — and not solely those of us who don’t like burnt coffee — will determine their future.

  36. Colage says:

    @Sh3rpa: How many local coffee shops actually closed down because of Starbucks? It always seemed to me that people were introduced to the mixed espresso drinks and then migrated toward local coffee shops when it became uncool to drink Starbucks. And really, if there’s a local coffee shop next to a Starbucks, which one do you really think is going to succeed?

  37. tmed says:

    I frequent the Starbucks around me because I like the people, I receive great service, and if something goes wrong, I get a free drink coupon.

    I have had other places that have given me better latte, but I have found them inconsistent, and service at any local shop has paled when compared to Starbucks.

    I love to support small, local shops and will pay a bit more for the priveledge. But I don’t see a reason why mom-and-pop can’t make as good an experience, at least not near me.

  38. Techguy1138 says:

    @mdoublej:

    Most people would have you think coffee shops are like oil change places or a Walmart.

    Starbucks has succeeded in large part by offering nice locations for people to sit and talk or sit and work. There almost NEED to be so many locations because if you start to service to many people per store there is no longer a place to sit or socialize.

    $5 an hour for a place with internet away from my roommates where I can write papers made college a more successful time. As a bonus you got coffee for that price.

    It’s a also a cheap and safe location for a date or meeting. Not to many eateries have that pick up and go simplicity and a pleasant fairly atmosphere.

  39. timmus says:

    I cry out “support your local businesses” at every chance I get, and I still do. But I do agree that a lot of locally owned coffee shops dish out condescending, mediocre service. Still, I don’t want to hear people whining to bring back Starbucks unless they also provide a reason why the local shops aren’t cutting it.

  40. TVarmy says:

    @PhilVillarreal: To be fair, the Death Star was going to be a big boon to the economy. Shops, restaurants, barbers. Pretty much a gigantic mall/military base. And it was creating a ton of jobs for unskilled labor. Sure, it was bankrupting Mom and Pop space stations, but that’s galactization. Plus, the small ones were trying to screw you before. Then, some whacked out hippies go and blow up the best thing coming to an empty chunk of space.

  41. PinkBox says:

    I’ve tried a lot of the other coffee shops in this area, but sorry… their lattes are pretty gross in comparison.

    As much as I’d love to support the local shops more, I can’t force myself to drink something I don’t like.

  42. ophmarketing says:

    I think was has some people (at least those I’ve spoken with) somewhat bewildered is the apparent randomness of the sites selcted for closing.

    One that’s closing near me is, like one example above, across from a school, where it draws teachers before and after school and moms in the mid-mornings. It’s also right across the street from a church, which means it’s PACKED after every mass. About the only time it’s not fairly crowded is after dinner. It seems as though it would make sense to simply close earlier, rather than close up shop entirely.

    The next nearest Starbucks (or ANY such coffee shop, for that matter) is a good mile or so away–not a big deal if you’re driving, but pretty much a deal-breaker if you’re walking over before or after school.

    Two other factors: 1) It’s in a pretty nice neighborhood (that, unfortunately, has no other coffee shops–corporate, indie, or otherwise–nearby), and 2) They just opened the damned thing less than a year ago.

    I can see why it might rankle some people.

    Meanwhile, near my office, I can walk off the train and hit a non-closing Starbucks within a block no matter what direction I go.

  43. TVarmy says:

    Seriously, I’m not going to miss Starbucks, but they did leave a great legacy. They introduced the country to Italien coffees, which helped to make my daily coffee ritual a little nicer, but not much more expensive, as I’ve always made coffee at home. Plus, offering Mom and Pop shops some competition improved their coffee and inspired them to become more sustainable to differentiate themselves from Starbucks, making them better than the company they were mimicking.

  44. ARP says:

    @crycry: and other: It’s not as simple as competition. Starbucks uses its financial muscle to force out smaller mom and pop shops. For example, there was a mom and pop coffee shop in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. SBUX wanted that spot and the coffee house wasn’t interested in giving up its lease. So, SBUX bought the entire building from the owner, cancelled their lease, resold their property, and then got a lease for that location. They also pay extra for exclusive leases (i.e. no other coffee shops) in Malls and other areas.

    So, technically a mom and pop can compete, but its not really a fair competition.

    @bobpence: Yes, if they pay obscene amounts for it. Many qualify for government subsidized health care and food stamps beacause WMT intentionally keeps its full time employees (who get slightly better crap insurance) to the bare minimum.

  45. MadameX says:

    The only Starbucks closing in Arizona is in Eloy. I’m pretty sure there isn’t another one within 50 miles of there.

    Actually, I’m a little surprised that there WAS a Starbucks in Eloy to begin with, but not the least bit surprised to find out that it’s ‘underperforming’.

    That said, I indulge in the occasional Starbucks white mocha. I don’t drink them often because I don’t want to develop an expensive coffee habit and they’re a killer in the calorie-counting department.

    But damn, they’re tasty.

  46. asaturn says:

    just because you guys are anti-starbucks doesn’t mean some people don’t love the place, or even that they’re a bad company. they simply made some poor business decisions under their previous CEO and expanded too quickly. some of the stores they’re closing were opened less than a year ago and have barely had time to get a customer base going. it’s pretty sad… tons of people are potentially losing their jobs.

  47. asaturn says:

    Starbucks doesn’t force mom and pop shops out of business… people just like their coffee better. there are PLENTY of cases where Starbucks was unsuccessful in “taking over” in certain areas (where the mom and pop shops had better coffee).

  48. glitterpig says:

    My local “mom & pop” coffee shop is staffed by people SO horrible and rude that I just can’t go there any more. (Actually, there are a lot of people in the neighborhood who’ve made the same decision, and I vaguely heard something about them retraining their employees, but whatever, it’s not worth going in to find out if it’s gotten any better.) So, really, I’d be ok with a soulless Starbucks drone serving me some coffee, but there aren’t any convenient to where I live or work. (How odd! Anyone want to print their own money? I’ve got a great location for a coffee shop for you…)

  49. CyricTheMad says:

    These people need to just not exist anymore. If there is any sort of benevolent greater being, he will close even MORE starbucks, and then about 20 minutes later, after they’ve had enough time to wallow in the outrage, he’ll off these idiots too.

  50. mdoublej says:

    @CyricTheMad:
    Your idea of a “benevolent greater being” sounds like a dick to me.

  51. ryan89 says:

    Even though Starbucks is a large corporation, it is still a local job for some people. I’m not a big fan of Wal-Mart, but its all I’ve got in my suburb and it is supporting the local economy by providing jobs to a lot of people so I don’t mind shopping there.

  52. tmed says:

    @CyricTheMad:

    So, in effect, “I hope more people lose their jobs, then I hope that some other people die”.

    Good times and great comedy.

  53. dadelus says:

    Sorry, but I feel no sympathy for SBUX. They did this to themselves by not understanding how badly they oversaturated their market.

    For instance, where I live in Olathe, KS there is a SBUX to the West of I-35 on 119th street. Travelling East, as soon as you cross the overpass there is a Target store that has a SBUX inside. If you continue going east one more block there is another SBUX. Additionally if take that street (Black Bob) South about a mile to 135th Street there is ANOTHER SBUX. Additionaly, You can go about 2 miles North East from the 119th/Black Bob location and find another one at College and Pflumm but they are closing that one down.

  54. pixiegirl1 says:

    These people need to get over it! There are a millions of other places you can get coffee local coffee shops, Dunkin Donuts, Mc D’s, Burger King, 7-11, Caribou Coffee, and any of the millions of quickie marts and gas stations. It’s not like we have a shortage of coffee people come on.

  55. laker says:

    1) There’s an irony in the fact that most of those who ramble on and on with hatred for Starbucks seem to cite reasons and things that only someone who would have spent considerable time in a Starbucks would know lol.

    2) Starbucks is not like Wal-mart and if you don’t believe me, take a survey of all the local S’bux employees in your area. I’ve met something like .5% of employees in like 12 states of Starbucks I’ve visited who were unhappy. I’m against big business on many levels, but most tell me they receive great benefits, they feel good about their job and they like the pay (and flexible hours).

    3) I go to Starbucks for great customer service, and I never pay over $2.50 for a medium or large Iced coffee beverage. A “ghetto latte” (look it up) is under $2.25. A medium or “grande” Iced Coffee is under $2.30. And their Iced coffee drinks are superior to any other places in my area (Brooklyn). That’s my shpiel. I also enjoy the customizable drinks.

    Anyway… there’s one not too far from me that is closing down (just saw it on the list on this site) and someone launched a local petition (www.starbuckson3rd.info according to the fliers).

    Adios

  56. laker says:

    Oh I should add that I frequent local cafes but the closest good one is 10 blocks away (I visit once a week) which is too far before I head to work. There is a local cafe within 500 ft of my apt but it’s higher priced than Starbucks is. Try that on for size! It’s nearly 2x the price.

  57. SpdRacer says:

    Just the smell of coffee makes me want to throw up!

  58. Half Beast says:

    Boo-freakin’-hoo.
    Someone get me a tniy violin.

  59. Half Beast says:

    @half-beast: or a tiny violin…one of the two.

  60. WEGGLES90 says:

    @mdoublej:

    For Copyright

    someone owned a coffee shop, who’s logo was a green (but different shade of green than Sbux) circle with an elephant in it. and Sbux sued for copyright infringement. :|

  61. baristabrawl says:

    Again: some people work there. Stop being hateful. Hate the company, but a lot of the people who work are nice there need the jobs. How would you feel if someone told you they were glad you were losing your job, excellent health insurance and tuition reimbursement? While the job may not be the most amazing job where people save the world every day these benefits are not easy to come by. Plus? Recession, much?

  62. baristabrawl says:

    @bobpence: Wal-Mart’s health insurance SUCKS. Starbucks does not. I’ve had really good insurance and I’ve had really bad insurance. SBUX has really good insurance, and it’s not all that expensive.

  63. ohiomensch says:

    @Kos:

    I would like to see a list of how many new starbucks are being opened. We have one inside Target- which doesn’t seem to be slated to close anytime soon, and they are getting ready to open a standalone store across the street from it.

  64. jonbruc says:

    I’m disappointed that a number of the suburban starbucks in my area near Silver Spring, MD are slated to close. I don’t go there all the time (can’t afford to), but my area does not have the number of small-business coffee shops like I used to have access to when I lived in DC. I’m afraid the absence of Starbucks will not foster the growth of independent shops, but serve as a warning to other businesses that the market cannot sustain them.

  65. forgottenpassword says:

    @TheSpatulaOfLove:

    its well warranted

  66. ealexand says:

    Yeah great idea. Force Starbucks to operate unprofitable stores so they have to raise their prices. This isn’t socialism. I don’t want the price of my coffee raised so Sally Coffee-drinker doesn’t have to cross the street to get her morning frap.

  67. joellevand says:

    This sucks when there aren’t any little mom & pop coffee shops and it’s Starbucks v. WaWa. Such is my case. The only Starbucks on my way into work is closing. That’s it. There is not one down the block or across the street or the next town over. It’s fifteen minutes in the opposite direction for the nearest Starbucks.

    Yes, I know I know. Starving children in Africa/China would appreciate the food I could buy them with what I pay each day for a latte ($2.50) Yup, and the coffee is “burnt”. Yup, and they’re an evil corporation. I know I know. I should just suck it up and hit the WaWa. But damn their “lattes” suck and I actually PREFER Starbucks. And yeh, 15 minutes out of my way means I only have to leave the house a half hour earlier to get my coffee. But when you’re already up at 5:30 AM, that extra half hour sucks.

  68. Breach says:

    Gah, cry some more.

    Go find a nice local shop and support a local business with good coffee.

    The market can handle cafe’s I think, Starbucks saturated the market with their 1000s of stores. Naturally as people dont have as much spending money now, they no longer need Starbucks every 2 blocks. they had to many stores to begin with.

  69. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    Hello my name is Harvey. And I drink Starbucks Coffee.

  70. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @Colage: Just because something’s part of your daily routine, doesn’t mean you don’t want it to be quality. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.

    And cream and sugar are meant to compliment the taste of coffee, not override it.

    I.E. You’re doing it wrong.

  71. quagmire0 says:

    I think there are enough Starbucks within a 1 mile radius of my house to make up for all of these ones being shut down. I’d gladly ship them to you if you need them! :D

  72. Colage says:

    @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak: Yes, I understand that. But I think to say “Well, Starbucks coffee sucks and people should just go to a local store” isn’t practical. I, and I’d imagine most people, place a greater emphasis on convenience than “quality.”

    And really, Starbucks isn’t that bad. I think it’s just trendy to bash on them because they have, you know, shareholders. Can someone point out what they’ve done that’s so egregious?

    And for the record, I drink my coffee black, the point of the dumping cream and sugar into coffee was pointing out that a pretty big chunk of the population really shouldn’t be judging their coffee.

  73. MomInTraining says:

    I read that article in the Wall Street Journal. And I also saw the full-page add for Starbucks on the back. Might the WSJ write a favorable article about how sad everyone is that the stores are closing and about how much people love their Starbucks to sell the full-page add on the back of the same section? Nah, the WSJ is a real newspaper that would NEVER happen…

  74. Witera33it says:

    Actually I think Starbucks coffee IS that bad. It’s so bitter and over roasted, i would have to put milk in it, and that’s really not an option for me. Besides the more you roast coffee, the less caffeine is in it. If you’re drinking coffee for the boost Starbucks isn’t the place to go. Dunkin Donuts coffee has ALOT of caffeine in it because it is such a light roast. Might not have much body, but it’ll have you jumping.
    I make my coffee at home most times. With freshly ground beans and filtered water. Nothing i buy in a store compares to that.

  75. sean77 says:

    There are 6 locally owned coffee shops closer to my house than the nearest starbucks 8.6 miles away.

    Which mom & pop coffee shop has really been hurt by starbucks?

  76. dragonvpm says:

    @snoop-blog: Maybe this tells us something about what Buckystars is doing right.

    I often hear people lamenting the loss of small, locally based coffee shops, book stores, restaurants, but strangely most people don’t really seem to care when they go out of business. When the mega corp decides to shut down their stores though people get upset and do things like this… that seems worth looking at.

    I mean, sure it’s popular (especially here) to bash Starbucks, but obviously a lot of people like it (I don’t know why, then again I don’t like coffee at all) and it might even be argued that they like it more than they like a lot of local alternatives. It seems like that should tel us something about what they’re doing better than small, local shops (and it seems like something valuable for the local shops to learn from and copy).

    I think back to the post last week about Murky’s Coffee and it’s Coffee Nazi owner and I wonder if attitudes like that (among other factors) don’t make it so that a tolerable coffee place like Starbucks ends up winning over more people than coffee shops that antagonize certain parts of the market.

  77. verdantpine says:

    @glitterpig: We had the same experience here in Houston with Diedrich Coffee. They had some of the best coffee I’ve ever had, but the afternoon/evening staff working the Bay Area location (and I hear, the old Westheimer too) were thoroughly unpleasant and snotty. If you asked a question or requested something (you know, like cream), the staff were incredibly uncivil. The staff in the morning seemed fine. Judging by the local restaurant review site, *lots* of people had bad experiences with the staff there – so it wasn’t a huge surprise when the Bay Area and Westheimer locations were closed.

    So I’m an old fogey, but I believe that businesses should endeavor to be friendly, and be polite at minimum. Many of these cool mom n’ pop stores don’t necessarily hire staff who agree with those principles.

    I used to be very anti-Starbucks for all the reasons described above – wanting to support local business owners, etc. Starbucks coffee is usually good but not great or excellent, and it took time to get used to the “burnt” taste.

    But on the other hand, the staff always seem to be happy at the Starbucks around here. They appear to be treated well, better than the part-timers at many independently-owned stores. And you know pretty much what you’re going to get – you won’t be surprised by someone swabbing Hershey’s syrup in your mocha. yech.

    There are some *bad* mom n’ pop shops out there that don’t deserve to stay open, because the food and service is bad.

    Also, while some coffee shops have probably been hurt by having a Starbucks move in… Starbucks has also popularized coffee to an even wider market that never knew what a latte was, 10, 15 years ago. They may have helped many independent sellers, in the long run.

  78. Nick Wright says:

    Hating Starbucks has to be the laziest way to get your fill of irrational corporate hatred.

  79. 00447447 says:

    @blackmage439:

    Wow, you truly are an asshat. We need a Golden Asshat Award for posters like you.

    Ellsworth Toohey would be proud of you.

    The point; never think independently, and ignore facts whenever they are inconvenient.

  80. chuckv says:

    I like Starbucks, their coffee doesn’t have that raw sewage aftertaste.

  81. RandomHookup says:

    @oldheathen: Reminds me of my favorite Southern phrase to pronounce: “tire iron”. Comes out as taarr arn…and almost impossible to say drunk.

  82. To preface this, I’m not a coffe drinker, so I can’t take one side or another as to what good coffe is, or whether or not starbucks makes the aforementioned good coffe.

    What I do enjoy, though, is good beer, and after reading all of these posters go on and on about the nuances of coffe, I wish there were beer shops, like coffe shops, where I could enjoy a tasty XX at my convenience whilist checking my emails on their wifi.

    If only I ran the world.

  83. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @RamV10: Heh, they’re actually doing that at some of the Four Points hotels. I know the bar and restaurant at the Four Points LAX actually has a beer sommalier (and yes, free wifi).

  84. 23221 says:

    I hear the “Starbuck’s drives out smaller competitors” rant quite a lot, but frankly the empirical evidence doesn’t seem to back that up. In the areas I’ve lived in, the arrival of The Mermaid has actually caused an increase of coffeehouse start-ups, and most of them are still around and doing pretty well even with the Starbuck’s competition. I’m not for more corporate-owned businss over independent merchants, but the conventional wisdom that corporates invariably spell doom for the indie business doesn’t always hold true.

  85. imwm says:

    I like Starbucks. I have tried mom and pop coffee shops, and mostly I find them annoying. In my experience they usually know less about making good coffee. One time I went to one and ordered an iced latte. What I got back was just sort of cold… there was no ice in it. It was gross.

    I know there are good mom and pop coffee shops, as a friend and her husband own an amazing one in South Florida. But mostly, if I am in a town with an unknown local coffee shop or the always-the-same Starbucks, I will choose Starbucks. At least I can always order my coffee the same way. And the new Starbucks card rewards are pretty nice.

    Yes, their coffee can taste burned. Do I give a crap? No. It tastes fine to me when I order it with soymilk and syrup.

    The coffee snobs who post here act like all Starbucks customers are stupid for drinking burned coffee. I’ve tried all kinds of coffee and I like Starbucks. Now leave me alone!

  86. Brazell says:

    I like Starbucks a lot, in fact, one could say that I love Starbucks. I limit myself to going there about once a day, on my lunch break. I’ve gone to a schmorgasborg of coffee houses, individually owned, family owned, semi-corporate (Honey Dew, etc), but there’s a reason I go to Starbucks:

    - Starbucks is *consistent.* Every time I go to Starbucks to get a coffee, I get the same high-quality coffee… EVERY TIME, or at least 9/10.
    - People who work at Starbucks are customer oriented, they are nice, and they are excellent at what they do.
    - I *prefer* Starbucks “over-roasted” flavor. “Over-roasted” and “burned” are not the same thing.
    - Starbuck’s ice coffee is excellent.
    - The service is consistantly great, they hardly ever screw up, the staff very rarely acts like “they’re doing me a favor” by my patronage.

    The reasons I don’t (usually) go to the mom and pop places:

    - Their coffee is very inconsistent. There’s a lot of locally owned places around here, and I’ve tried them all and usually go to them once a week or so, or if I’m in the area… but if I go in 5 times a week, 5 of those times my coffee is different. Once in a while it’ll be good and I cherish those times, but other times… it’ll be luke warm, way too hot, sitting around for a while, etc.

    - The people who usually work at mom and pop places are NOT professionally trained nor do they necessarily know anything about coffee. I loved one place near where I work, but the couple who owned it (who KNEW coffee), sold it to people who didn’t… and they ruined it. The straw that broke the camel’s back is when the owner, trying to be nice and courteous (which she was), insisted on microwaving the cup of coffee I was buying… because it was luke warm. It’s the last time I went there.

    - Service is unpredictable. I’m on a schedule… I can’t wait for some Riot Grrrl to publish her latest Zine article about neofeminism when I need a cup of coffee.

    - The elitist mentality of the employees, ESPECIALLY at night, at local places… Like, if Im not one of their friends or don’t have giant guage-earings then I’m not worthy of them being friendly.

    - The employees can usually do a few things well, but lack elsewhere. I have simple coffee tastes: Black, strong, hot. Iced, strong, cream only. Not difficult. But people in front of me in line may have very peculiar tastes… long-winded lattes, etc. Mom and pop folks can make my coffee without problems, but I don’t want to wait 9 minutes while they prepare the made-to-order person in front of me.

    ** In conclusion. I _love_ the Starbucks that I go to. I’ve written Corporate letters about it… the people are awesome, the coffee is great, and it truley feels like an escape from my workday, not a necessary evil, or some chore, like almost every other coffee place does. If my store were closing, I may cry. Thankfully, it is not.

  87. Brazell says:

    @dragonvpm: Bookstores are a good analogy to this. There was a pretty good locally owned bookstore around here that everybody in the area went to, it was very successful and popular, but about 7 or 8 years ago, a Barnes and Noble opened some miles away, but within driving distance. I used to go to the local bookstore until I got so sick of being treated with disregard and disdain at the local store that I stopped going there… and then went to B&N, which had a better selection of books, didn’t have the elitism, would order any book that they didn’t have, and the staff didn’t walk around acting like because I didn’t agree with their post-modern pseudo-philosophy that I wasn’t suitable to shop at their bookstore.

    The local place went out of business a few years ago, but even when you talk to people who regularly shopped there for 20 years, nobody complained about its closing… once they realized that you don’t get treated like garbage at other bookstores.

  88. robotrousers says:

    I’ve seen them in Seattle! They’re real! Walking home from the supermarket today, I was stopped by an older lesbian outside the Starbucks on 15th Ave on Capitol Hill. She asked me to sign a petition to keep her beloved location open. I signed, cuz really what good will it do unless she offers to pay the wages of every employee. the thing that kills me is how bummed she seemed, despite the fact that there are 2 really good local coffee shops (Victrola & Cafe Ladro) within a block of this Starbucks. Some people, huh?

  89. baristabrawl says:

    @blackmage439: Clearly you have an extra chromosome and are unable to see reality. I have no patience for people like you. Enjoy your life, it will probably be really long as only the good die young.

  90. baristabrawl says:

    Starbucks helped to make it okay to pay $4 for a latte. It’s accepted, almost expected. There is also something called “The Starbucks Effect” wherein you are a mom and pops close to SBUX and your business goes up because those people that don’t want to wait in line at SBUX will go to the mom and pops.

    Not that it happens a lot but it does happen.

  91. joellevand says:

    @blackmage439:

    a) Not True
    B) Not True
    C) For me, Not True. Others agree with you, but that’s the nature of perception and sensation.

    Your comment overall = FAIL!

  92. 23221 says:

    Yeah, sadly good and friendly service is not always the magic formula that will save an independent merchant from getting tromped by a Corporate-zilla, but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt, a fact which a fair amount of indie businesses don’t seem to grasp. There are no small number of independently-owned shops that Imjust don’t patronize anymore precisely because of the sort of snotty, elitist attitudes some of the posters here have described. If I’m spending my money in your establishment, I’m doing you a favor, not the other way around. I’m always happy to give my business to the little guy, and there are plenty of them in my area who are absolutely great folks–but if they behave like dicks to their customers, they deserve to get bludgeoned by the Corporate Hammer O’ Death, IMHO.

  93. 00447447 says:

    @robotrousers:
    Cafe Ladro is truly amazing. Horribly rude employees, but I take it because they can pull a great shot.
    I go to Intelligentsia in LA whenever I’m out that way. Again, amazing coffee, but served by people I’d rather eye-fork than interact with. Thats the problem with coffee being “hip.”

  94. Coolmatt49 says:

    I don’t care too much for Starbucks; however, I will go there from time to time to buy a Frappuccino.

    Their stupid ordering system is what really ticks me off. If I want a medium coffee, I shouldn’t have to be corrected each time with “Oh, you want a grandé coffee?”

  95. enderx says:

    Starbucks only tastes like crap if you don’t know what you’re ordering.

    How can you compare McDonalds coffee to Starbucks? wtf. are you high or something?!

    Either way, they’re not gone. So a few stores have closed, it probably wasn’t worth there time anyway. I’ll still have a frap though, thanks.