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Friday, July 24, 2009

Starbucks/15th Avenue Coffee and Tea: The Protesters

Posted by on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

UPDATE: Four protesters on the sidewalk outside 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea Inspired By Starbucks are welcoming passersby and shouting, “Grand opening! Capitol Hill’s first local coffeeshop!” Asked who organized their protest and where they’re from, they’re adamantly refusing to break character. “We’re just in the neighborhood and wanted to come out and support our first local coffeeshop,” Faux-Barista-With-Balloons said.


Fake Howard Schultz described a focus group in the folksiest terms possible: “We sat a bunch of people down around a table, and we gave them some Pellegrino, and we talked about what local is… A lot of people are skeptical, but that’s natural with new ideas… To think we could have local everywhere!


Over by the doorway of 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea Inspired By Starbucks, a blond woman with sunglasses perched on her head looked in and said, “Whatever! I’m gonna go to a real local coffeeshop.”

Near the protesters, a gentleman was drinking a 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea Inspired By Starbucks beverage.

“How is it? Tasty?” inquired Faux-Starbucks-Exec Susan B. Local.

“Starbucks?” the man said. “The same.” A discussion about Victrola, the actual independent cafe visible a block away, ensued. The man had worked for Starbucks International for seven years, lived in Laurelhurst, and said he just didn’t know about Victrola. He indicated he preferred local cafes—Voxx on Eastlake is a favorite of his—and that he’d try Victrola next time.



“We think of Victrola as the Homo erectus of local coffee,” said Faux Howard Schultz. “Here, we’ve got the sapiens sapiens. We have arrived!

Faux Howard Schultz still refused to break character, but he’s going to call me later, which I’m sure the real Howard Schultz would never do.

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StillNon 1
Uhhh... seattle IS a local company, so isn't this technically fail?
Posted by StillNon on July 24, 2009 at 10:21 AM · Report this
kid icarus 2

Time to consult the
"Oh snap!" diagram

Posted by kid icarus on July 24, 2009 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
I really don't get the outrage on this. It's not like Starbucks is hiding that this is a Starbucks. And frankly I LIKE Starbucks Coffee made in the old La Mazzarco (sp) machines.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 24, 2009 at 10:22 AM · Report this
i bet each one of these protesters is a barista from a magical local shop who gives me attitude and expects me to tip them 2 dollars for putting something into a cup
Posted by desperately seeking money on July 24, 2009 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Seattle is such a magical place.
A magical place filled with magical people.
Magical people making a difference.
Posted by Ackham on July 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM · Report this
PussyDunkinHines 6
I'm not getting it either - If this is supposedly an affront to 15th Ave sensibility then were were the protests when it was an actual Starbucks??!
Posted by PussyDunkinHines on July 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Um, yeah, this doesn't exactly seem like a spontaneous upwelling of grassroots outrage -- who organized it?
Posted by Murgen on July 24, 2009 at 10:26 AM · Report this
I normally am not one to defend chains, but Starbucks is pretty important to Seattle. I doubt the thousands of people who are employed by them would like to be unemployed. They do provide health care which is better than most. Their coffee sucks, though.
Posted by Couldn't care less on July 24, 2009 at 10:28 AM · Report this
meowmeowkitty 9
I think it's just a touch of performance art, but seriously people? Get some perspective and put your anger toward the health care debate.

Hip trends have always been hijacked, rendering them not hip.

What's hip now?

Making your own coffee.
Posted by meowmeowkitty on July 24, 2009 at 10:29 AM · Report this
JF 10
What a bunch of pricks. I don't hear these assholes complaining about the jobs, wealth, prosperity, & tax revenue created by Starbucks.

Not one of the current, local coffee houses would exist today if it weren't for the coffee revolution that Starbucks helped create.

I'd run them over it weren't a crime.
Posted by JF on July 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM · Report this
@1 Yes. Fer Christ's sake, the corporate headquarters is on 1st Ave. Any Starbucks you buy is by definition local.
Posted by Westside forever on July 24, 2009 at 10:32 AM · Report this
What a complete waste of energy. Go back to your blogging hippies!

I mean really, I would think there are bigger better issues out there right now... healthcare anyone?
Posted by Cale on July 24, 2009 at 10:33 AM · Report this
spoiler alert 13
@ 1 ends the debate. any way you package it, starbucks is a local company.

they look cute, tho, and i guess unemployed actors have to do something with their days.
Posted by spoiler alert on July 24, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Jigae 14
If everyone has such a positive feelings towards Starbucks, why are they participating in this brand camouflage?

I don't take issue with them on the whole, but this rubs me the wrong way somehow.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
That's the way to show 'em, hipsters!!!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM · Report this
V 16
These people need to be over at Cantwell's office instead.
Posted by V on July 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
Big corporations might be local to Seattle, but really, they might as well be headquartered in Mumbai for all the practical difference made. I guarantee that most of your local employees work in the shops, not on first avenue.

"Ends the debate" my ass.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Baconcat 18
I love this.

SBC and Starbucks get their idea for coffee chains from Peet's, get their start in Seattle, bring coffee culture here. They nurse it, raise it, let it fly away.

All these "local" shops (generally founded by non-locals-- we can spot eachother) copy the Starbucks and SBC model, but try to say "oh, but we're local" and whine whenever Starbucks moves too close to them.

To make themselves "special", they go back to where it all started and copy San Francisco's frontier chic from the 60s and 70s and add in that reclaimed wood paneling thing NYC did in that same time and say "oh, but we're unique". Starbucks copies them, they cry foul again.

So, lesson: If you're a successful Seattle-based and -founded company, you aren't local. You're multi-national. Even if you helped get coffee culture off the ground in the city. And even if you throw local chains a bone by popularizing certain aspects of the local coffee chain model.

Starbucks is the non-local local coffee giant. Oh, and they'll win. They have more money, and since they've been in Seattle FOR DECADES, they know the vast majority of the legal circuit in this region. They won't let unoriginal newcomers boss them around. They make the rules.
Posted by Baconcat on July 24, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
levide 19
Hey, Susan B. Local, call me!
Posted by levide on July 24, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
playswithknives 20
if you want to hate on a corporation, hate Boeing.
Posted by playswithknives on July 24, 2009 at 10:39 AM · Report this
Hey matt from DENVER wtf do you know about it anyway??

Do you think all of the people are flown in to HQ from outside the pacific northwest?

please just go away.
Posted by Local vs non local gets criticism from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 22
Hey 21,

My Seattle credentials are way more than yours. Learn something before you cowardly post anonymously.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:42 AM · Report this
AR 23
Corporations bad! (errr, except for our corporation, then it's not so bad...and those corporations that get us clothes, food, drugs, furniture...)

Yeah, you guys have an AWESOME perspective.
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Banna 24
@14 what brand camouflage? Starbucks isn't hiding anything; there have been tons of reports on this; if anything Starbucks is starting some "micro brands", but isn't keeping it a secret that they're behind it.
Posted by Banna on July 24, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
What are your Seattle credentials, Matt?
Posted by Local vs non local gets criticism from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
I said this yesterday, but it bears repeating:
I don't get all you Starbucks haters. You whine that they are soul-less with the homogenized cookie cutter decor and charbroiled coffee. So they listen to that and come back with a new concept that individualizes the store to fit the neighborhood (and Linda *doesn't* have a patent on distressed wood, faux vintage decor) and allow the store managers to offer local coffee beans if they find something they think customers will like, and to top it off, hire artisan baristas that know how to do more than push buttons.

All this effort to give you what you want and you still hate on them? Come on' people.

They are a locally headquartered global company that has done more for the economy and lives of thousands of Seattlites than all of the independent (god bless 'em!) coffee shops combined. The people that work at Starbucks (HQ and stores) are our friends and neighbors and are no more evil than the rest of you stone-casters.
Posted by HL on July 24, 2009 at 10:45 AM · Report this
JF 27
@17 - And I guarantee you that the employee income taxed is greater on first ave than all the local stores.
Posted by JF on July 24, 2009 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Fnarf 28
I'm sure we'll see them protesting the other corporations on the block, like QFC and Walgreens. Hmm, it's entirely possible that Linda Derschang's empire is a corporation, too. Lots of things are corporations.
Posted by Fnarf on July 24, 2009 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Jigae 29
@24: They seem so similar to Smith... if they had copied Top Pot or Vivace it would seem less like an attempt at chameleon-like passing.

Like I said, I'm not super offended by this. I just think it's another example of corporate-infiltration. They realize some people are offended by multinationals, so they try to mute that in order to be more accepted by people with a "buy local" ethos. They wouldn't have had a sign saying "try your new neighborhood coffee shop" if this wasn't part of their plan. I'm not saying it's "wrong" just somewhat deceitful.

also, @25: Stop being a dick. Or register, so we know which easily offended native you are.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 10:52 AM · Report this
AR 30
what, exactly, IS the debate here, 17? the set-up here seems to be "The only thing Starbucks can do right is close". That hardly sounds like a "debate" to me. More like a "religion".
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Starbucks trying to pass itself off as local (which hey, it is) is no where near as lame as Chase's Seattle themed bill board campaign. If you've got to bash a huge mega-corporation, go for the banks.
Posted by Don't you think he looks tired? on July 24, 2009 at 10:54 AM · Report this
kk in seattle 32
@ 14: Different brands get more shelf space, duh. That's why Ford makes Lincoln, Toyota makes Lexus, etc. The outrage completely escapes me, too. You don't see protesters outside McDonalds or Chevron. This is classic left-eating-left behavior, while the true multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble (which owns Folgers) and Kraft Foods (a subsidiary of Altria f/k/a Philip Morris, which owns Maxwell House) laugh all the way to the bank, largely ignoring the concepts of "organic" or "shade-grown."
Posted by kk in seattle on July 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
29 -- this is partially a local vs non-local debate, and I find it hilarious that Matt from Denver feels authoritative enough just chime in with lies.

I LIVE HERE. The burden is not on *me* to give credentials, the burden is on Mr. I'm From Denver and Know Everything about Seattle (even though he is wrong about the HQ vs store employee ratio)
Posted by Local vs non local gets criticism from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
I bet these guys protest Foie Gras too. Noting better to do eh?

Seriously, it's not like anyone in the neighboorhood is going to not know the place is a Starbucks. Who cares what it looks like?
Posted by Valentein on July 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Sally Struthers Lawnchair 35
Here we go again, with protester hate/I don't get it....shocking.

Why not protest something else, why not love and appreciate our very own giant corporation that's against workers even talking about unions, why not this why not that? Blah blah blah...yawn.

Why not just sit on a computer and post on Slog all day? That's really being super interesting.
Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair on July 24, 2009 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 36
Uh-uh, 25. You go dig for them yourself. I've posted my Seattle credentials many times, including within the week.

Besides, it has little to do with this debate anyway. I could talk about Qwest and whether they're really local since they're based in Denver or not, using the same arguments but substituting the name and place. I could also do that if I was speaking about Bank of America and Charlotte, NC, where I've never lived. My current location, and yours, is completely beside the point.

Now, if I was commenting on the Mayor's race (which I am qualified to do, as I have voted many times in Seattle elections), you might have more of a point - I'm not in Seattle now, so my opinion has almost no bearing on the outcome. But it still doesn't change the fact that you have to attack me for being from Denver - something you would never have known if I hadn't made it part of my screen name - because you can't answer my actual point. Sucks to be you.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Starbucks HQ generates a lot of income for people in Seattle. I have had many friends work there over the years, mostly doing temp work, but they got paid well. You would bitch even more if they left, just like Boeing and the Sonics.

The protesters are pretty funny though, I just think their "outrage" is misplaced. By the look on their faces they seem to know it. I like Smith but seriously that decor is far from original, and I am more appalled that Linda is complaining that they are stealing "her idea". I really don't like Starbucks coffee but I might just get coffee from there to spite the hipsters.

All the hipsters go to Victrola or Ladro anyway. When I lived on 15th that Starbucks was mostly filled with Group Health employees, who probably didn't have time or patience to deal with the attitude of Victrola and their army of macbook using, snarky slogbot customers.
Posted by Canterbury Troll on July 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Hernandez 38
This is just silly. Everyone needs to stop acting like it's a big deal, because it's not. Half of you probably wouldn't care one way or the other if Linda hadn't gotten so worked up about it. Don't like Starbucks? Don't go there. It's as simple as that.

Posted by Hernandez on July 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 30, ask @ 13; s/he declared it "ended."
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM · Report this
stinkbug 40
@32: "while the true multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble (which owns Folgers) and Kraft Foods (a subsidiary of Altria f/k/a Philip Morris, which owns Maxwell House) laugh all the way to the bank, largely ignoring the concepts of "organic" or "shade-grown.""


Kraft owns Boca and Back to Nature. Multinationals aren't ignoring the concepts of organic, they're buying up smaller companies that offer those items.
Posted by stinkbug on July 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM · Report this
It's shit like this that makes me embarrassed to live in Seattle. What a bunch of ass-clowns. Maybe I'm just old and cranky, but I was brought up in a time when activism actually involved a cause. You want to change your world? Then volunteer your time to help the poor, sick or elderly. To rail against the world by standing in front of a Starbucks does no good for anyone and proves you to be nothing more than a pathetic waste.
Posted by Phyllis on July 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM · Report this
I'm offended.

Starbucks Is Now the Official Joe of ‘Morning Joe’

NYTimes May 31, 2009

Starbucks is becoming a naming sponsor of “Morning Joe,” in what is the closest integration between an advertiser and a national news program in recent memory. Harkening back to the “Camel News Caravan,” an NBC news roundup sponsored by a cigarette manufacturer in the 1950s, graphics and voice-overs will tell viewers that “Morning Joe” is “brewed by Starbucks.”

Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said in an interview that the deal indicated that “the rules of engagement in marketing and advertising have changed quite significantly.” He called it an opportunity to “align ourselves with, in my view, one of the smartest morning shows that air on TV.”

One executive with knowledge of the deal said Starbucks would be paying more than $10 million to MSNBC. The executive spoke on the condition of anonymity because the companies would not comment on the deal’s terms.

Fuck Starbucks
Posted by PU on July 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM · Report this
mackro 43
This is just comedy, not protesting.

I'm more taken by the righteousness of people on the internets not protesting Cantwell or anything else that these 15th ave people should be protesting Cantwell or anything else.

Posted by mackro on July 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Baconcat 44
@32: Along those lines, a major company that can conceal their negative practices can reveal the negative practices of other companies. Or small local shops.

Which I'm soooooooooooooooo ready for. Best drama bomb to hit Cap Hill in years, I'm sure.
Posted by Baconcat on July 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Heather 45
If all their benefits were all tey are cracked up to be then some of their workers would not be forming a union. Which they are and I wish them good luck.
Posted by Heather on July 24, 2009 at 11:08 AM · Report this
AR 46
42 - CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP! Mein Gott, next thing you know, they'll be sponsoring stadiums! And arenas!

Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Starbucks sold the Sonics to Satan Bennett.
Posted by joykiller on July 24, 2009 at 11:11 AM · Report this
crazycatguy 48
Individualizing the stores is a good idea and I think makes the neighborhood more interesting. Is that what the protesters are complaining about - a more interesting neighborhood?
Posted by crazycatguy on July 24, 2009 at 11:15 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 49
@ 48, check out the other thread about this. The debate about whether this is good or not is more focused and interesting there.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
thegeneral 50
@1 @28 @41 and a bunch of others. Yes, yes, yes. A local corporation trying a re-branding strategy after struggling with their revenues is not a scandal. They were already in the neighborhood. It's a redesign, not an infiltration. Our city directly benefits from its success.

@17 I guarantee that most of your local employees work in the shops, not on first avenue.

So? Unemployment for all those employees is your preferred alternative? What is your golden vision here?
Posted by thegeneral on July 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Well, at least now we know how to get Seattle really worked up and active and protesting. "Offend" locally. Make sure it's largely visual and "copies" over produced uses of "rustic" decor ... then you will get people off their asses and protesting!

The nearsightedness of this whole thing is rather embarrassing ... I am born and raised in Seattle ... I am sure that most of these "protesters" were not. It just amazes me that THIS is what pulls people out of bed for protest. Are you all bored? Or just not paying attention to things that happen outside of your 3 block radius??
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM · Report this
these "protesters" are likely baristas or owners of local shops
Posted by they them those on July 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 53
@ 50, you miss my point. People are saying "starbucks is local!" That's technically correct but it's incorrect in the idea that they care more about Seattle and how they impact it. That's generally the connotation that "local" carries.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM · Report this
in-frequent 54

i suppose the problem may have been with starbuck hater's in the first place saying they didn't like the generic fast-food like atmosphere found in most starbucks. because, while that may be true, there is also more to it than that.

even this store looks pretty cookie-cutter to me. it's too perfect. it does look better though. and when starbucks' look better, i don't mind. i like the comfy atmosphere and the fireplace and the wifi.

that said, a real small business local store has more a soul. the chalk was written by an artist friend of the owner, because they cared about it. they choose each item of furniture based on what they want and what they can afford, or who they know. it's a community effort just to open the place. the employees seem to want to work there. and when you spend money there, you feel like you a supporting a neighbor.

i don't hate starbucks, and i don't hate them more for trying to make their store nicer. but i do dislike that it rings false to me, and i dislike that by making their location look more lik the other local shops they may be winning business from them. i'd that for that: to thing that as long as you have enough money for a redesign you can eventually beat out my neighbors.

let's face it, walmart is "local" somewhere. starbuck is miles ahead of walmart, but they still have additional burdens because of their size.
Posted by in-frequent on July 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM · Report this
@31 Completely right. CHASE Manhattan trying to tell us they are "Washington's Bank" while inhabiting old WAMU shells is very unsettling. Like bodysnatchers.

That said, the "Corporations = Evil" argument is a popular one in these days, and certainly not without reason (see wall-mart who is resurging in this bargain-buy economy). Starbucks, however monstrous, and whether or not it is multi-national or local is allowed legally to adapt to a changing comsumer environment. A little gross in the way it's being done, but I honestly doubt that anyone is going to be fooled about whether or not this is a Starbucks, and those who would be fooled would probably choose to go to a Starbucks anyway. If anything, the fact that Starbucks is being forced to put a thin veil over it's familiar corporate face is a compelling sign that the local shops in Seattle are already winning whatever war is supposedly being fought here.

Posted by savedfromthesouth on July 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM · Report this
AR 56
So funny - ten years ago, the culture warriors made fun of people who went to hoity-toity coffee shops like Starbucks to buy their "fair trade mochas" and such - and now culture warriors of the left are merely upset because their "independence" is being co-opted.

Cry me a river, hipsters - no one was really all that interested in your culture anyways.
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Jigae 57
@46: But corporate sponsorship of a news show... boundaries are being crossed. It's one thing for NBC comedies to have product placement "My Name is Earl: Klondike Bar; Chuck: Subway; 30 Rock: GE" it's another entirely to mix it in a news show.

It's a slippery slope argument, but a valid one.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Starbucks is ashamed of their brand.

That is the story here.

Fuck Starbucks!

Posted by PU on July 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM · Report this
AR 59
57 - not really. If you think that the news coming out of Mornin' Joe is distorted by corporate sponsorship, then get your news elsewhere. No one's forcing you to turn on the television, and the internet certainly doesn't lack for alternative viewpoints.
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Jigae 60
There's also a level of the "no one is allowed to criticize Seattle, especially not outsiders" thing going on here, best evidenced by @51. I have never lived anywhere that circled the wagons as much as Seattle when they felt like a local institution was under attack.

If Starbucks was based in LA, I assume about 90% of these posts would be calling for us to burn the new shop to the ground.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
thegeneral 61
@53 That's fine if that's the connotation it carries, I just think most of the people arguing the point in this thread are looking at it more from the perspective that Starbucks brings a lot of money and jobs into Seattle. Regardless of the corporation's intent. Aside from that, It absolutely played a part in the "coffee culture" that is associated with Seattle, which, along with our "tech culture," has helped shaped our city's economy. I'm not saying Starbucks can do no wrong, nor that it cares more about Seattle than its own succes. But without it, Seattle's economy would look very different than it does right now and I have a hard time believing it would be for the better.
Posted by thegeneral on July 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Jigae 62
Cross-posted from the other thread:

A really great book about this debate is Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, … by Anne Elizabeth Moore. The author doesn't attack the corporations as much as she does bemoan the steady erosion of any barrier between "authentic" and "indie-washing."
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 63
@ 61, good points.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Parker Todd 64
53 Matt From Denver: you are simply wrong

Do you have any idea how much money Starbucks gives to the arts and other programs in Seattle? Are you callous enough to believe that the company that got its start here could give a fuck about us and the community from which it draws employees?

From the first cursory google search that I performed:

"Starbucks Makes $550,000 Donation to the Revitalization of Three Hometown Parks; Community..."…
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 11:42 AM · Report this
@60 oh don't get me wrong, I am all for criticizing Seattle, be you from wherever, I support "Matt from Denver" protesting ... I just think that this particular "protest" is rather embarrassing.

As many have said, Starbucks is not hiding that this is in fact a "Starbucks" and as somebody else pointed out on one of these threads, growth and change in trends cause corporations to "re-brand" this is not a Starbucks inspired concept, it is the nature of marketing.

It all just seems like such a waste of energy to protest this re-branding. The simplest form of protest can sometimes be the most effective, don't like it? Don't patronize it!

If people were really anti-Starbucks and yadda yadda yadda they would have protested the Starbucks moving in in the first place, wouldn't they? It's still Starbucks ... the name is on the door ...

I just can't wrap my head around the anger ... that's all.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 11:46 AM · Report this
stinkbug 66
Whenever people ask me about Portland's fascination with PBR, I send them this link:…

Posted by stinkbug on July 24, 2009 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@ 60

oh and to my comment "I am born and raised in Seattle ... I am sure that most of these "protesters" were not" I simply meant to say that this nearsighted protesting and thinking is not necessarily a product of the Seattle native.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 11:48 AM · Report this
TVDinner 68
Honestly, where's the props for the creativity of this? Sure, they're not protesting for world peace, but they're pretty funny.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on July 24, 2009 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 69
@ 64, all big corporations do this. It's a great way to itemize corporate income taxes. Why is it more special if it's happening in Seattle?

I didn't say (or mean to imply) that they do no good locally. But their profits don't all stay here, like the ones your local shop earns. And if they cared as much about the community as real local businesses do, they wouldn't try to reap even more share out of a market they already dominate, putting even more pressure on local businesses to stay afloat, if not putting them out of business.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Baconcat 70
Oh, another contribution to Seattle from Starbucks: making Top Pot suck less.
Posted by Baconcat on July 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Parker Todd 71
I'm aware that all corporations do this, however you are wrong (again) as to why: it is incredible PR.

If you want Starbucks and all of its jobs to go away, fine, fuck you, and please stay in Denver like someone else was hassling you about.
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this
AR 72
69 - I think it's weird you have such an affinity for local shops, given that they are routinely overpriced, with poor service.

And what are they supposed to do, just start writing checks to local shops that cannot compete?
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this
pragmatic 73
What a bunch of fucking whiners! Get a life losers! Seriously, it's a fucking coffee shop. I hope McDonalds builds a new location next to Dick's on Broadway and makes it look exactly the same just to see the fun of the angry idiots that would cause.
Posted by pragmatic on July 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Jigae 74
@67: That's completely fair -- Seattle definitely draws a certain class of anti-corporate transplant.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 11:57 AM · Report this
thegeneral 75
@73 Holy Jesus that would be hilarious. Apocalyptic, but hilarious.
Posted by thegeneral on July 24, 2009 at 11:57 AM · Report this
Jigae 76
@72: Up until now I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Now I realize you're either trolling or a corporate apologist. Either way, not interested anymore.
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 12:01 PM · Report this
What if these "protesters" are actually hired by Starbucks to bring attention to itself? Could it be that smart? Probably not. But it would be very savvy.
Posted by Trevor on July 24, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
@66 Thank you for that link. Funny and insightful.
Posted by Ackham on July 24, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
AR 79
76 - sorry to hear that. the fact is, is that corporations, big or small, are generally forces for good, and it's a reflexive anti-corporate mentality that led to these airheaded protests.
Posted by AR on July 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM · Report this
I love that some commenters seem to seriously fear this whimsical stuff will lead Starbucks to relocate their headquarters. It's perfect Friday thinking.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 24, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
stinkbug 81
@77: I assumed that's what it was.
Posted by stinkbug on July 24, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
@68: Thank you, sir. 78 comments and nobody else has pointed out that these protesters are hilarious? Whether or not you agree with the 15th Ave. Coffee concept, at least the protesters are making their point in a clever way.
Posted by giantladysquirrels on July 24, 2009 at 12:12 PM · Report this
josh 83
eh. isn't victrola (3 stores + wholesale) owned by whidbey coffee (9 stores + wholesale) anyway? it's hilarioius that people care this much though.
Posted by josh on July 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Yah, stupid protesters out having a little fun at $tarbux expense - how totally stupid of them!

Geez, lighten up people - and maybe cut down on the caffeine for good measure; you-all seem way too tightly wound up about this - $BUX may be "local" in the sense that it started here, and still maintains its corporate HQ here, but is that all that's necessary for one to buy into that argument? Do you think people in Sand Bernardino still think of McDonald's as a "local" company? Do the citizens of Cincinnati still refer to Procter & Gamble as a "local" company? Do people in Vevey, Switzerland still consider Nestle a "local" company? At what point does a "local company" transcend its roots and become just another monolithic multi-national corporation?

And some of you need to brush up on your History of Coffee In Seattle 101. $BUX may be the most famous example of the exportation of "Seattle coffee culture" to the global marketplace, but they're certainly not even close to being the first, and most certainly far from the best we have to offer. For example, SBC (nee Stewart Brothers Coffee, now owned by $BUX), founded in 1969 predates $BUX by two full years. $BUX didn't really even begin its march toward world-domination until 1987 when Howard Schultz bought the operation from the original owners and changed the name of his own fledgling Il Giornale coffee shop to create the "second Starbucks" location.

Here are some other examples of pre-$BUX Seattle coffee establishments: Torrefazione Italia, founded by SBC's Umberto Bizzari started in 1986; Uptown Espresso started in 1985; Monorail Espresso, for many years known as "Seattle's First Espresso Cart" started in 1980; B&O Espresso opened in 1976 I believe; Cafe Allegro in 1975. All of these well-known, still-running establishments far predate $BUX in its present form, and are the true foundations of the "Seattle coffee culture" that Schultz & Co. has attempted to re-write into its version of its own corporate mythology.
Posted by COMTE on July 24, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
This is a great protest. More like this.

Starbucks may be decent to its domestic employees (that is, when they're not unionbusting) but they're otherwise the Wal-Mart of coffee: terrible to the third world, and steamrolling over local culture everywhere.

Everyone rushing to their defense should check out this video by Robert Greenwald, yr favorite lefty :…

I recommend Ian Svenonius' essay on this topic, anthologized in his Psychic Soviet book.
Posted by Kevin Erickson on July 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM · Report this
w7ngman 86
#69, "Why is it more special if it's happening in Seattle?"

Wasn't that the point? Whether they're "local?"
Posted by w7ngman on July 24, 2009 at 12:29 PM · Report this
I seriously cannot believe how fucked up Seattle hipsters are sometimes. In fact, I can see this coffee shop as the perfect critical counterpoint to the absurd search for "local" and "authentic" experiences that they seem to be obsessed with...
Posted by demo kid on July 24, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
john t 88
Trevor #77, you beat me to it. I think it's a clever "guerilla marketing" tactic that shows Starbucks understands "local" better than we thought.
Posted by john t on July 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM · Report this
At what point does a business become so successful that it goes from OK to evil? If Cupcake Royale opens 10 locations is that ok? What about a hundred?

Should this limit be self-imposed or should customers decide to no longer go at some random point?
Posted by giffy on July 24, 2009 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 90
@ 1 thru 88: How Seinfeldesque - wake me when pantyknots untie.
Posted by Rhett Oracle on July 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM · Report this
I am amazed to have read through over 80 comments, with not a single one discussing the quality of the products being delivered by the new store and its competitors.

If 15th Street Coffee/née Starbucks delivers a better product, I'll go there; if the others stores are better, I'll patronize them instead.

In this case, I define a good product by the quality of the food/beverage, the store environment, and the service. While each of us may weigh these factors differently (or find other factors important), I would hope that we all can agree that more competition for our dollars will lead to better products from all the stores.
Posted by Ben in Seattle on July 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 92
@ 71, butthurt much? Do you work for them or something? PR is just as self-interested as tax write-offs, so spare me the tales of Starbucks' angelic good. Enron did plenty of good things for Houston, too.

@ 86, read Comte's comment.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 93
@ 91, that subject was pretty well exhausted last week when SLOG first posted this story.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 12:49 PM · Report this
@89 it's not size, it's behavior. deceptiveness + bad labor practices + human rights violations.
Posted by Kevin Erickson on July 24, 2009 at 12:50 PM · Report this
Starbucks may not be "hiding" that this location is there's, but they're sure not marketing it. "Inspired by Starbucks"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean. Seems more like it should be "Starbucks: Inspired by *insert local cafe name here*". And I think THAT is the point of the protest. There's no question that the new CHASE Bank locations are a part of the larger Chase system and not some local small town bank.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don't read SLOG and may have missed the Times article. Would THEY understand what 15th Ave Coffee & Tea is all about?

And sure, there are a lot of things to protest in this world - but at least these people are motivated about SOMETHING. That's sure a step up from 95% of the population in Seattle who are too caught up in their apathy to take action, much less even notice what's going on in their neighborhood.
Posted by marigold on July 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM · Report this
levide 96
Speaking of which, whatever happened with that Jason guy and Jimmy John's?
Posted by levide on July 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM · Report this

I hate the whole "participation" is good enough argument. At least they're doing "something", what ... exactly ... are they doing?


All this says is that "our coffee shops are more important to us than health care, education and civil rights" ...

hence the slight tingle of embarrassment I feel for our fair city ... because I do agree with you that our population seem rather apathetic to other plights of this town. It is embarrassing that THIS is what gets them off their asses.

"Think Locally, Fuck Globally" - Gogol Bordello.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 1:01 PM · Report this
@94 They pay better and offer more benefits than most local shops. They also buy a huge amount of fair trade coffee.

Not sure any individual Starbucks is worse than any other coffee shop when it comes to such thing. Probably a bit better.
Posted by giffy on July 24, 2009 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 99
@ 97, why does it mean that they care *more* about this than those issues? Do you know for a fact that none of them were protesting at Maria Cantwell's office? Or that they don't already write letters to Congress about those other issues, or donate money to those causes?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 100
Matt, you troll the blog of a local paper of a city that you don't reside and apparently have no vested interest in day in and day out and .

Your argument is invalid, KTHX.
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 1:15 PM · Report this
JF 101
@94 oh please.... Human Rights violations?

And by "bad labor practices" do you mean providing a shit ton of jobs to people in Seattle?

But I assume you're talking about the union busting actions and the fact that they don't provide health insurance to all their employees. Even with those perceived negatives, Startbucks brings far more benefits than any local coffee shop ever will.
Posted by JF on July 24, 2009 at 1:18 PM · Report this
102's just a coffee shop that's been there for a long ass time. It's not like people don't know who is behind it. It's too bad these protesters do not have more altruistic activities to spend their huge amounts of spare time.
Posted by steakhaus on July 24, 2009 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Oldskool 103
1. Of course you realize there's a Starbucks team analyzing this very thread, if not planting commenters to foment discussion. Not to be grandiose/paranoid, but Slog commenters are part of the sweet spot they're trying to connect with.

2. Are the "protesters" still there? Has the Stranger sent an intern up to dig into just what the fuck is going on with that? Why speculate when you can investigate?
Posted by Oldskool on July 24, 2009 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Scalpel 104
I love that for the most part, the Slog Comments section is dominated by conservatives and Republicans. I never thought of The Stranger as a conservative paper.

Then again, it may be that the average Slog commenter just instinctively hates everything except Cheetos and World of Warcraft...
Posted by Scalpel on July 24, 2009 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Nobody actually *in* the coffeeshops is local anyway. Oh, they may *live* nearby, but they're lost somewhere in cyberspace, sporting that trendy 'I'm far away' look.

Does it really matter where you're sitting while you blog or post snark to other blogs? Is your *blog* local? Huh, huh?
Posted by tunanator on July 24, 2009 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 106
103 that seems a little paranoid and a lot of these comments are coming from regulars, but, you know, if it makes you feel more secure about your point then I guess you won't be dissuaded.
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 1:24 PM · Report this
w7ngman 107
#99, "$BUX may be 'local' in the sense that it started here, and still maintains its corporate HQ here, but is that all that's necessary for one to buy into that argument?"

No, that isn't all that's necessary. That is why someone else pointed out their massive monetary contributions to the Seattle area.
Posted by w7ngman on July 24, 2009 at 1:24 PM · Report this
w7ngman 108
#104 you either don't know what those words mean or you don't read a lot of Slog comments.
Posted by w7ngman on July 24, 2009 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Jigae 109
@100: Way to be dismissive for inane reasons and then attack with tired internet lingo. "@99 ftw."
Posted by Jigae on July 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
disintegrator 110
I roast my own beans, bitches. I fly down to Colombia fortnightly.
Posted by disintegrator on July 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
@99 you're welcome to protest, feel outrage if you must, I can't change that, but it doesn't make me feel any less embarrassed about what Seattle is showing the country with this particular protest.

I will say that you can review the pictures from the Maria Cantwell protest and this one ... there don't appear to be any corresponding faces.

Umm, also ... you'll notice that this blogs comments are now past 100 ... have any of the health care blogs received even half that number? (I did not look up past health care posts, this is based solely on my memory of them)

What would you say appears to be more important here? Can you honestly read through the comments on this blog and others concerning this topic and not feel that people are overreacting and sound rather spoiled and whiny? Maybe you can, but I just can't ...
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Original Monique 112
Um. Wow.

First off, Starbucks is a SEATTLE company. They have provided lots of jobs and money for this area, and helped start the coffee movement here.

Also, how is this different then Seattle's Best or Terrifonzze (or whatever the hell that place is called) that are also 'owned' by starbucks but called something else?

Third, 15th ave isn't a tourist spot. Who are they trying to fool? And why the hell do you care? WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?

Lastly, Starbucks buys 5-8% (maybe more) of its beans from organic, shade growing farmers. They helped continue the organic coffee trend, and most of the money those people make are from them, and not from coffee. They provide 401k's for their employees, they provide people flexible hours for college students, and pay over minimum wage. Christ. what will satisfy you fucking people? Do the executives need to grow dreads, stop making money, and hold hands with unicorns under a rainbow?

I don't prefer starbucks, because I don’t like their coffee. But I mean seriously, they are TRYING TO BE BETTER. Taking out corn syrup? Awesome. Putting the calorie content of their food and drinks: even better.

And, this remodel, guess what? It provides jobs for people. And just being a business, they will have MORE jobs, regular jobs for people. But ohhhhh nooooooooo they are a corporation, so apparently *evil*? Get real.
Posted by Original Monique on July 24, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
This seems a little silly, I can understand protesting an overabundance of Starbucks locations, but not Starbucks marketing itself differently. And this is coming from someone who Starbucks...
Posted by seattlegaragedoorman on July 24, 2009 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 114
@ 100, you don't even read all the comments on this thread or else you wouldn't post such drivel. For better context, go to the first thread they posted and read my comment at 8; then read my responses to the other "go home" troll on this thread. Then go eat shit.

@ 111, I'm not protesting. Hell, I even drink at Starbucks sometimes. This isn't about me, it's about the protesters and what you assume about them.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Original Monique 115
@Take it all In: I could not agree with your more. Your comments are spot on. no one cares about health care, they don't want to protest or write emails or call maria cantwell. But they can dress up in cute outfits to protest fucking starbucks.

goddamnit seattle, don’t make me hit you!
Posted by Original Monique on July 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Fnarf 116
Posted by Fnarf on July 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM · Report this

Well, all that I presented only went to show further that there is more outcry from Seattle about Starbucks re-branding than health care ...

But feel free to prove me wrong. Either way, I still find this particular outcry/protest pathetic, self-serving and embarrassing.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 118
Matt, you are a troller.

You are the last one out of any thread you pop up in to flame and assert your rightness, you will argue and argue and argue until everybody is tired and moves on.

Get a fucking life. I have the day off so I am playing online, meanwhile you are here every single day and it is pathetic.
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Sally Struthers Lawnchair 119
Why do people make statements about anything in public? Nobody pays any attention to them. It's so ridiculous and ineffective.

Oh, except a bunch of people are posting about them on the internet all day.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair on July 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 120
@ 118, Ha ha! Shows what you know, Parker. You're just hurt because I butt heads with you. As I told someone else (did you do as I suggest? probably not) you wouldn't even know I was from Denver if it wasn't in my name. Now, go read my responses to the go-home troll upthread before you embarrass yourself further.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM · Report this
@118 I actually find arguing with him to be a good intellectual mind stretch, personally. I value opposing opinions, I don't mind being asked to question my own, and I love being able to express it here.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 122
what this thread needs is more froth.

who put the sand all up in the protesters Frappuccinos?

and the Starbucks defenders are all democracy hating Seattle Basij, stamping out the Capitol Hill green uprising, and they like to kill kittens.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on July 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 123
Matt, I'm not embarrassed, and I'm not reading your responses, troll. I guarantee you you will be checking this thread, commenting on it, and arguing till you are the last one standing.

You are a dumb troll who should not be taken seriously by anybody, and it drives you nuts to be called out on it.
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Oh, for chrissakes.

Do you nitwits know for a fact that these protesters absolutely do NOT perform any sort of activism or protest ever?

It's a performance. It's hilarious. If y'all are so good at determining which activism is the most important one of them all, then pull your cocks out of your inflatable straw men and do something. At least these guys are having fun.
Posted by LRascal on July 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM · Report this

I don't have a cock ...

I'm all for fun. And if this is not a legitimate protest of something that these people actually find any value in, than by all means, I stand correct and apologize for calling their fun into question.

And no, no factual evidence. Does that make THIS PARTICULAR PROTEST any less pathetic and self serving? Because they may or may not protest other things elsewhere? No ... it is still pathetic and self-serving.

And they are welcome to it. I just don't support it. I find the whole thing to be blown out of proportion and rather ridiculous.
Posted by Take it all in on July 24, 2009 at 2:13 PM · Report this
This seems to me like Linda's Plan B for retaliation, after she backed off on her Monday meeting. Maybe not, but either way... much less serious-business, much more funny.

15th Avenue Starbucks and Facade isn't going to hurt anyone. People will pack it the first week out of faux-solidarity, and then it'll be empty again over the next several weeks/months like the previous Starbucks before they declare it epic fail and move along. Smith, meanwhile, will still do a ton of business and you still won't be able to grab a seat at 9 pm on a Saturday.
Posted by Gomez on July 24, 2009 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Cafe Ladro is up to 13 locations now, including the -- gasp! -- suburbs. I assume the hipsters will be avoiding them from now on.
Posted by bigyaz on July 24, 2009 at 2:25 PM · Report this
And Monique better get in her sparring practice, because per #115, she's going to need to hit a lot of people ;P
Posted by Gomez on July 24, 2009 at 2:33 PM · Report this
watchout5 129
@23, it's not the production of corporations that pisses me off, it's the transfer of wealth from local communities being shipped out to the global stock market. The undercutting tactics, the fascism, the complete destruction of worker rights, being anti-union in a way that would make wall mart pop a boner. Starbucks treats it's employees like numbers on a book instead of human beings, and only recently, under massive market pressure, have they start buying "some" of their coffee at fair trade prices (so farmers

However if you're ok with your value being shipped to the stock market you're more than free to participate, we'll keep protesting for our freedoms and you can get fat watching anti-depressant commercials on your comcrap.
Posted by watchout5 on July 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM · Report this
we should all be losers like Matt From Denver and go post in, say, Austins newspaper blog.
Posted by you are worse than 1000 Fnarfs on July 24, 2009 at 3:01 PM · Report this
v8media 131
Whoever supports Starbucks and other large chains:

The point to me is that after a company gets large enough, they start having too much pull and ability to get better deals with suppliers than smaller chains and single stores as well as tax breaks. This makes the larger business far easier to make a profit on than a smaller biz. These reasons are exactly why I support local businesses.

If our government fully supported small businesses with tax breaks and free health care for employees and such, and large businesses had to pay dearly in order to become as large as they do and maybe prove levels of service and employment (I'm looking at you Home Depot), I would have no problem shopping at them. Shopping at Starbucks/McDonalds/Walmart in the current situation is your way of telling local business owners F.U., and that you think they shouldn't be allowed to have their own business, but should instead go get a job with no health care benefits and less money than they need to be living in the area. People supporting corporations because of the jobs they provide are ignoring the facts of the current situation. If you feel ok about shopping at Starbucks and their ilk, you might look at the full realities of the situation.

If a corporation was some amazing place that donated some large percentage (like over 10%, not just 1% of some astronomical dollar amount) of profits towards people in the communities they served, provided great health care and well and truly served their communities, I'd support the heck out of them. That's just not the case with almost any large company.

A corporate headquarters in town does not a local business make.
Posted by v8media on July 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM · Report this
w7ngman 132
Slog kind of needs nested comments now.
Posted by w7ngman on July 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Posted by defman23 on July 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Stupid White Man 134
@94 oh please.... Human Rights violations?

Making baristas a joke no doubt.
Posted by Stupid White Man on July 24, 2009 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Parker, if attacking me personally for where I live, and calling me names makes you feel better about your inability to answer any points I make with you, then go right ahead.
Posted by Matt from Denver, at work where he doesn't know his password on July 24, 2009 at 5:19 PM · Report this
@ 127, The Stranger had a very pissy article about Caffe Ladro back when the first opened on 15th. So that's how long they've been unhip.
Posted by Matt from Denver, at work where he doesn't know his password on July 24, 2009 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Parker Todd 137
I knew you wouldn't be able to stay away, you troll.

You haven't made any points, so I really have nothing to address
Posted by Parker Todd on July 24, 2009 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver, at work where he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground
Posted by i mean you do... as you are a gloryhole for penis cum on July 24, 2009 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Oh Parker, you say the silliest things.

If I'm such a troll, here's a hint: Don't feed me. kthxbye
Posted by Matt from Denver, at work without his password on July 24, 2009 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Pabst is mighty crappy beer in general. However, when it's 90 fucking degrees out, a frosty cold PBR goes down pretty fast and cools you off. It's not gourmet. It's not artisan. However, unlike Starbucks, Pabst is 100% Union Made.

Will i go out of my way to drink the swill? No. But guess what, buckos? When a PBR tallboy is two bucks and i've just dragged my painfully sober fat broke law student ass across the hill so that you idiots who won't ever leave the Hill won't have to leave a ten-block radius of Vivace*, i'm gonna drink a PBR. Why? Because a)You ain't payin', and b)It's three bucks with tip.

*=admittedly in the grand scheme of things, Vivace is someplace it's worth never leaving a ten-block radius of. white velvet plz k thx.
Posted by violet, uh... on July 24, 2009 at 6:17 PM · Report this
skweetis 141
@138's screen name FTW! I don't care if Matt in Denver is right or not, calling someone "a gloryhole for penis cum" is the funniest thing I've heard in a while.
Posted by skweetis on July 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM · Report this
troll survey say's, "Seattle loves Starbucks!"
troll survey say's, "Protesting (in phyiscal-human form) is sooo not cool to blog commenters"
troll survey say's, "Corporate Industry is free to (dis)appear how ever it wants to"
Posted by troll survery 1 on July 24, 2009 at 6:52 PM · Report this
troll survey say's, "Seattle loves Starbucks!"
troll survey say's, "Protesting (in phyiscal-human form) is sooo not cool to blog commenters"
troll survey say's, "Corporate Industry is free to (dis)appear how ever it wants to"
Posted by troll survey 1 on July 24, 2009 at 6:53 PM · Report this
it must be nice to be so privileged that you can actually waste time protesting a COFFE SHOP. these people are obviously NOT in any kind of REAL need, or they'd be protesting something WORTHWHILE.

these kids just look like spoilt hipsters with too much time on their hands.
Posted by rebel without a place to go, or a thing to do on July 24, 2009 at 7:14 PM · Report this
This looks like some clever people trying to have some fun while reminding us that too much of America has been overrun with corporations. By the way, I don't blame Starbucks for going "undercover" with this store. I'm sure the many stores they've closed across the country aren't too happy that the company can find the money to open a new store.
Posted by not so serious on July 24, 2009 at 8:29 PM · Report this
How would you feel if you were in anywhere USA and your local starbucks closes and rebrands as a local coffee shop? Just cause this rebrand is A Seattle mult-national that is rebranding a store in their hometown you are ok with it. But this is happening/will be happening all over the country.
Plus, the idea of stealing the ideas of businesses on the strip is both shitty marketing and unethical.
Posted by Seattle scooter geek on July 24, 2009 at 9:35 PM · Report this
To all you people asking, "What is wrong with Starbucks?" my answer is this: their coffee sucks. They rely simply on people knowing them and going there. They charge too much for their crappy coffee and you could go to pretty much any other coffee place in Seattle that IS local and get shade-grown organic coffee for less than that crap they serve at Starbucks.
Posted by Lady on July 24, 2009 at 10:01 PM · Report this
would someone please print a starfucks t-shirt so I can buy it... that'll show 'em.
Posted by fag on July 25, 2009 at 7:08 AM · Report this
I read that Linda has a seven-figure fortune from her restaurant and bar empire. I wonder if she provides health care and retirement benefits to all her employees? What about profit sharing? Three weeks paid vacation? Even one week paid vacation? Maternity leave? Extended emergency medical leave?

P.S. Bethany, every concept that Linda has come up with has been done elsewhere first. Get out of your Seattle bubble sometime. Nothing that Linda has done is original or unique.
Posted by Slogocrite on July 25, 2009 at 7:27 AM · Report this
Starbuck's: Fresh out of ideas.

I am a huge fan of coffee but I have never been a huge fan of Starbuck's; I have always found their coffee to be fairly mediocre . Starbuck's is really nothing more than fast food. I admit I am a bit biased being a local independent coffee shop owner. Just like McDonald's I have been to a Starbuck's on more than one occasion. I have also been to every other independent coffee shop in town, but not to spy on them like some peopIe-- I like coffee.
The local independent coffee shops know each other, shop each other and exchange ideas with each other. Starbuck's was like that once. Starbuck's learned the business from Peet's Coffee & Tea. The three founders of Starbuck's knew Alfred Peet personally and even bought their coffee from him originally. We all learned from Starbuck's and each other. We owe a lot of thanks to Starbuck's for not only teaching us but also the general public. Before Starbuck's you couldn't go any place in the country really and order a double tall latte without either getting funny looks or mistakenly directed to the local gay bar.
There is irony in how the teacher has now become the student, albeit a bit of a deceitful one. Starbuck's merchandising and design teams have been up in their ivory tower for so long they couldn't come up with an original thought between them; so they thought sneaking around spying on neighbors and stealing ideas, was ok--which is extremely arrogant on their part. Maybe such a privileged mentality is to be expected given how everyone credits them with inventing something that existed long before they did.
The debate is not really local vs. non-local, it is about small business versus multinational corporation. Small businesses employ somewhere around 98% of the employees in Washington State and not large corporations Think about that for a minute. There is no doubt that Starbuck's is a local company, but Starbuck's is pretend it is something other than what it is, like someone in the throes of a midlife crisis they are trying to recapture their glory days. I applaud their efforts. Being more neighborhood centric is great. Trying to revive a poorly performing store is equally admirable. It is hard to fault them but authenticity cannot be co-opted, bought or stolen. The real question is why isn't Starbuck's doing this to Starbuck's? Why hide who they are? Why can't they create a new unique identity for their corporation instead of stealing someone else's?
I wonder, will their new un-branded stores also be staffed with rude, surly hipsters? What other companies are going to try "Un-branding" themselves? How many already have but we don't know? Will Supercuts now create a chain of hip boutique salons?
All I have to say is Starbuck's may think they have the coffee down but, quite honestly, the day they came out with instant coffee was the day I lost all remaining respect for them. They started out as the alternative, the new, the better choice over Folgers and the like. Now they have become the beast they had slain.

Nescafe no es cafe.
Posted by Powdermonkey on July 25, 2009 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Oh by the way I have one thing to say about all this talk of organic, shade grown, fair trade coffee. If you really wanted to help and be more green... don't drink coffee. You can try and be more conscientious but in the end you really are just making yourself feel better. Like cold just masks the symptom.
Posted by Powdermonkey on July 25, 2009 at 9:19 AM · Report this
wow! y'all act like you HATE each other! like someone's had too much coffee perhaps ;o)
Posted by J2daMFnR on July 25, 2009 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Starbucks is the big company across the states putting out cookie cutter for the general america.
Linda is a local Hag putting out a different kind of cookie cutter for the local crap none too original herself.
Its like arguing whose better debbie gibson or tiffany.
Posted by Philo Beddoe on July 25, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
People seem focused on Linda but if you read the article in the Seattle Times you would know that Starbuck's actually infiltrated these places. Several coffee houses were repeatedly visited, Seattle Coffee Works, Victrola, Lladro... the list goes on. They came in with folders and clip boards on mass taking pictures and notes; copying down and dissecting the original ideas of the independent coffee houses often times crowding out legitimate customers. They never even bought anything. It is not about Linda at all--she just happens to be next door.
No one would have been bothered by their "Borrowing" ideas if it wasn't for the way Starbuck's had gone about it. Starbuck's used tactics that were really unforgivable. They came in with the attitude "Hey, we are Starbuck's and we can do what we want." Starbuck's is pedestrian and nothing more than the Walmart of coffee who seem hell bent on killing off small businesses. Large Corporations are not the major employers of this state, small businesses are. Small business employ the majority of workers in Washington and re-branding , or rather un-branding stores does not create new jobs.
Posted by Powdermonkey on July 25, 2009 at 11:34 AM · Report this
The only reason we didn't like the Starbucks people visiting our store is because they didn't care to buy a single cup of coffee! (And even when we offered them a free taste they refused)

All they need to do is show some basic courtesy. Otherwise no one should be peeved about being spied out by SBUX. Cmon folks -- at the end it's all about who makes the better coffee and fits in better with their community. In that regard, if SBUX can do a good job at that then they should be applauded. If they can't they'll fall into oblivion.

Posted by drinkingman on July 25, 2009 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Is Starbucks local? They may return some portion of the revenues from their global chain of stores here, but do they really need the people of the Seattle metro area the way the local Cafe Ladro or Cupcake Royale chains do?

No they don't. Everything they rely on from this area (headquarters staff, store personal, service providers, vendors, and last but not least, customers ) is optional to them. Even more than Boeing or Microsoft which are each dependent on a large, specialized, highly trained workforce not easily or widely available, Starbucks could locate their Seattle operations most anywhere and do just fine. They could close every store in Seattle and do just fine.

Maybe it's this reality which makes Starbucks seem disingenuous in its latest marketing plan."Local" to them is just an image without the any of the substance of real mutual dependency.

Posted by Atheryium on July 25, 2009 at 2:08 PM · Report this
I don't really see these folks as protestors; I'm not sure why they are being called that exactly. They are simply pointing out the realities of the situation, I think the sign they made explains it all. This has been a great thread to see what people think is local or not. And Starbucks although from here, based here, is a multinational corporation. And honestly, some corporations are neighbors and I find that signed intentionally or unintentionally hilarious. I think the folks just wanted people to think and so you all have. And as many of you know there is a revival of sorts amongst retails to change their model and make things smaller and more localized. And yeah it was what people wanted. When I lived in DC I totally wanted a trader joe's in the city so I didn't have to schlep out to a 'burb to get cheaper food items- (our safeway was nicknamed the Soviet Safeway, long lines no produce. seriously, how does any store run out of all pasta sauce? or even white bread? and bean?). The annoying thing to me is that they had an opportunity to break the design mold a little bit (and I agree, Linda does not have a TM on taxidermy, mismatched paintings, wood, shit communal tables, etc.), not have their peeps in establishments nearby (other cafes for example), send 'em to BC or Europe or Ethiopia where people really enjoy a coffee experience and see what's "comfortable" and introduce a new aesthetic, that's really not new, because the reality of local or a hood is: we like variety in the things that we are going to see and go to within our community on a regular basis. Copycat gets old: Capitol Hill Cupcake Royale gets it, for example, bringing in mr. McMakin and stuff. nice visuals.
Posted by rex on July 25, 2009 at 7:03 PM · Report this
I am going to check out this place tomorrow. I will offset the evil corporate factor by eating at Smith's or Oddfellows. The thing about Victrola is that while it is great in the wintertime, in the summertime, I want a Frappacino or equivalent. Ladro does have Frappacinos, but their chairs and tables are hard and uncomfortable. Caffe Vita: too dark. Stumptown: I've only been there once, so I can't judge. I do enjoy Tully's and Peet's as non-evil alternatives to the 'Bucks.
Posted by Max Power on July 25, 2009 at 8:40 PM · Report this
Hey Slogocrite you hit the nail on the head a person probably gets more value for their labor at Starbucks than at any of linda's establishment.
Posted by Slinger on July 25, 2009 at 11:14 PM · Report this
and they get awesome uniforms too at starbucks....

I think the only difference in the health care and benefits provided by either is that starbuck's is a wall street press release...

value for their labor? shoot me when my life becomes a corporate commodity.
Posted by fag on July 26, 2009 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Well I guess I can shoot you now. It doesnt matter whether you sling coffee for starbucks or sit at home crafting artisanal dildo covers to sell at some artist collective we all agree to an amount of remuneration for what we do as labor in order to make a living. You ARE a commodity it just matters how you choose to play it.
As for Linda's employees they don't get shit, no bennies, no vacation and less. Ask them. So in that type of a commodity exchange the neighborhood is benefited more by having a starbucks where members of the community working within have greater opportunity to thrive and create stability for them and their partners. Course if you work at Smith you get a chance to to be cool, indie, hip, broke and pray you never get sick or members of your family get sick then you are SOL. But it looks so cool.
Posted by SLinger on July 26, 2009 at 10:01 PM · Report this
Enough of the corpophobia. Corporations are people, too! On the other hand, this "protest" is bringing the new shop enough notice that I am starting to suspect they were hired by Starbucks themselves.
Posted by odd,T on July 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM · Report this
I'm here now and its AIR CONDITIONED! And easy on the eyes and senses. And the people who work here are NICE!

Jesus, that's all I want. Its too hot to get all worked up over stupid crap.

Plus, they finally have local baked goods (Essential).
Posted by Dianaa on July 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM · Report this
DOUG. 164
This is hilarious. "To think we could have local everywhere" is a brilliant line.
Posted by DOUG. on July 27, 2009 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Stranger blog posters are corporate cocksucking scum and must die
Posted by The General Public on July 27, 2009 at 10:15 PM · Report this
Yeah, Starbucks got it's great coffee idea from Peet's, who got it from Cafe Trieste in North Beach, San Francisco, who got it from Italy. Only the original culture creator is authentic, huh? Old skool? (ha).

Big newsflash: Everyone gets a chance to do it their way. Everyone gets to choose what they like.

I helped open a Starbucks in a little college town in the Southeast. I was in town for several days. A local coffee shop organized a "Friends don't let friends drink Starbucks" campaign with T-shirts and bumper stickers. They picketed in front of our store for a week or two as we continued our build-out and got ready to open.

A man in his late 60's or early 70's hung around the neighborhood a lot while I was there. Everybody seemed to know him. He was a favorite local. One evening as I walked from the store to my hotel, I saw him sitting on a bench. As soon as he saw me he beckoned me over. He said in a gruff voice, "Hey! You're the guy opening that new Starbucks!" I said that I was. He said,"You know why Xxxxxxx's doesn't want you opening up right?" I was ready for anything, and said, "Why?" And he said, "Because the second you open your doors everybody in town is gonna know what PISS they been servin' over there!"

Like I said; everybody gets to choose.
Posted by Coffee Libertarian on August 12, 2009 at 9:29 PM · Report this
Fuck starbucks you're a bunch of sheep.
Posted by auspiciousbunny on August 29, 2009 at 11:48 AM · Report this
why is the antiquated term "hipster" even being mentioned here?? and does it really have any substance in this case? the fact that this whole project is public by way of Starbucks admitting it makes the geeky "actors" just seemingly bored and annoying, not hipsters. I think they got way more credit/press than deserved.
Posted by DJ Screensaver is my action on September 6, 2009 at 5:03 AM · Report this

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