Funeral Home Hopes A Starbucks Pick-Me-Up Will Provide A Nice Break From That Whole Mourning Thing

Feeling low over the loss of a loved one? Perhaps a frappuccino will go a little way toward easing your pain or least give you the chance to take your mind off things. A funeral home in South Carolina is going to add a new wing called the “Coffee Corner” which will soon welcome a brand new Starbucks.

The owner of the fourth-generation funeral home and crematory says his great-grandfather started the business inside a main street general store where townsfolk would get together to sip coffee, so a modern day coffee shop will fit right in.

The owner says he hopes it will help people take a break from grieving if they need it, without being all up in their faces, and that it’s just more service they’re offering.

“You walk in the front, and it’s off to the side,” he tells WSPA News. “It’s not like it’s right up front.”

And you don’t have to be attending a service to grab a cup of joe — the Starbucks will be open to the public. For those who expect free coffee at visitations and services, the house made coffee will still be available at no charge.

Coffins & Coffee: Starbucks to Open Inside Upstate Funeral Home [WSPA News]




Edit Your Comment

  1. chefboyardee says:

    So…unrelated to this article…where’s the (promised) explanation as to why the site was down all day? It’s normally none of my business, but since you went out of your way to promise an explanation when you returned, I’m curious.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Consumerist is taking it seriously. I suspect an security hole & exploit after they switched to WordPress.

      • chefboyardee says:

        Well played, sir. Well played.

        Also, that makes perfect sense. I’m still amazed that they moved to WordPress, honestly. Glad I’m using a throwaway email address and a 1password generated password. Also, the lack of collapsibility on the comments now still drives me insane.

        The pink highlight is funny, though. Apparently they don’t know how to change the default HTML5 boilerplate highlight color. Good times.

  2. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    I’ll have to leave it in my will to have my funeral here. Then my homies can pour out a little of their Caramel Macchiatos over my grave.

  3. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    I am sorry, full Irish wake or nothing.

  4. Sarek says:

    Does this mean that you have to tell them which coffin to buy using Starbucks terminology?
    I’ll need a grande half caf skinny latte box please.

  5. LoadStar says:

    This is somewhat misleading, as far as I can tell. (Not Consumerist’s fault, though.) This isn’t really a Starbucks Coffee; this is a coffee shop that “proudly serves Starbucks Coffee.”

    Starbucks Coffee outlets have the full menu, signage, store appearance, etc., everything you’d expect of a franchised outlet. In contrast, independent locations can purchase Starbucks products through a separate division called Starbucks Foodservice ( They aren’t Starbucks outlets, and cannot promote themselves as such, but can buy signage that shows they “proudly brew Starbucks Coffee” inside the store.

    I’m fairly certain Starbucks would never approve of a full franchise store inside inside a funeral home. They aren’t as picky about which independent coffee outlets serve their products though.

    • chiieddy says:

      Also, there are no Starbucks franchises. There are licensed stores which are different. Those are the airport and Target Starbucks that are run by employees of Aramark or Target. The contracts for those stores are VERY tight and it’s very easy to get your license pulled for messing up. The proudly brewing is very different from this.

      • LoadStar says:

        Good point, thanks for the correction. Strike references to “franchise” in my post, and replace with “corporate-owned.” (I hadn’t realized that Starbucks didn’t franchise out, that all their stores were corporate stores.)

        Either way, there is *no* way that Starbucks is going to put an outlet in a funeral home… but if a funeral home wants to run a coffee shop, and they want to serve Starbucks coffee there, not much Starbucks can say or do about it.

        I do think it’s a little skeevy that they’re trying to run it as a business, not just offering the coffee to the bereaved as a service.

        • chiieddy says:

          One little known bit of their contracts is that if your license store contract is pulled (say Target in Astoria, NY messes up) then the ENTIRE chain (all Targets in the US) will have their licenses pulled. Target doesn’t want this so goes well out of their way to make sure they adhere to SBUX standards. Starbucks goes by the credo you shouldn’t be able to tell a licensed from a corporate store. I can always tell because they don’t take my husband’s employee discount! :)

    • DaveInBillsburg says:

      There is one of these in our local children’s hospital, right on the same floor as the ICU. Talked to someone who’s nephew was there and they liked it, it had a few nice couches and chairs. Gave a nice respite where families can sit, what usually happens is parents grab a cup of coffee and sit and talk about what their kids are there for.

    • DaveInBillsburg says:

      There is one of these in our local children’s hospital, right on the same floor as the ICU. Talked to someone who’s nephew was there and they liked it, it had a few nice couches and chairs. Gave a nice respite where families can sit, what usually happens is parents grab a cup of coffee and sit and talk about what their kids are there for.

  6. baristabrawl says:

    I don’t know if I could work there because you say, “Hi! How are you?” And you get crying and wailing because of the recent death of the customer’s grandfather. Seriously? Bad idea.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      I dunno – since I guess business is slow, on the 4th of July our local funeral home had a large Italian ice and pretzel stand right in the entranceway.

  7. H3ion says:

    In other news, In and Out Burgers has set up a window at the rear of the funeral home for those who get hungry during viewings.

  8. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. It would be nice to have something other than the water cooler to hit up while at lengthy family viewings, especially when you have to get there early, and stay for several hours. But I think it would be better if the funeral home just offered coffee like in a carafe, not a whole separate business where random people just stop in for a cup of coffee. That seems a little weird to me. I mean, I wouldn’t think of stopping at the funeral home for a cup of coffee.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yeah, it might skeeve people out. Personally it doesn’t bother me, except I have never set foot in a Starbucks and this wouldn’t draw me in.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah, I could see having the option of having coffee available at a wake, and while I know that funeral homes are businesses just like any other, but having someone ringing up sale during a viewing just seems horribly tacky to me.

  9. ScandalMgr says:

    Enter the full service drive-through, complete with a viewing/signing area for the bereaved, a starbux to go window, and dry cleaning, all at the same location, and a Jack In The Box, just so you can “Marry your bacon” (is that legal in your state? not mine).

  10. gc3160thtuk says sarcasm is always the answer says:

    This is in my local area and people don’t like the idea at all. I personally find it stupid.

  11. missminimonster says:

    My mother loved her cinnamon dolce lattes and her peppermint mochas. We all ended up going to Starbucks for breakfast before her funeral to kind of honor her. This would have saved us a trip.

    Honestly, though, I think it would be better if they just offered carafes of coffee as part of the funeral. If funeral-goers really wanted Starbucks, they could go after or before the funeral. I would also find it tacky for people to be milling in and out among mourners just so they can get a Frappuchino.

  12. bugpwn says:

    Nothing wakes you up in the mourning quite like a cup of coffee! You can write a super long eulogy and take bets on how long the coffee drinkers will last too.

    All the weirdos hanging out at a funeral home for the free WiFi should probably leave though.

  13. Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

    This doesn’t bother me greatly — BUT, when you hold a funeral the normal expectation is that the family of the deceased is providing any refreshments that may be available during the viewing and funeral. Won’t it look cheesy and cheap to expect attendees to buy a cup of coffee rather than have it available for free? It’s bad enough a family is working through one of the worst weeks imaginable, now they may also have to listen to comments about how they couldn’t even provide free beverages for the people coming to pay their last respects?