High School Student

Euporria Roberson                                                                   December 5, 2009      
National Business Chains vs. Independent Vendors
Taking time out of the day to go out and buy a cup of coffee wasn’t always a daily part of American life. A major change in coffee culture came in the 1990s, when more cafés began to open. One of the most influential parts of this change was a publicly owned company, Starbucks. Surprisingly, Starbucks is not a threat to many independent vendors. In fact, the large business chain positively impacts small, independent coffee shops in several ways.
            One way in which Starbucks positively impacts privately owned coffee shops is Starbucks ability to introduce people to coffee. Frank Figliomeni of Professor Java’s, Lee Cohen of   the Daily Grind and Dan Murphy of Uncommon Grounds all believe that Starbucks helps trigger the consumers thoughts about coffee. Cohen states, “Starbucks has the power to introduce people to coffee, people who never think about the concept.” The more that coffee is on the consumers mind, the more small coffee shops can prosper. Furthermore, because Starbucks has higher prices then private cafés, small independent vendors can offer quality coffee at reasonable prices.
            Another thing that small coffee shops like Professor Java’s, the Daily Grind and Uncommon Grounds offer that Starbucks cannot is organic, quality coffee made fresh. All three cafés provide fresh beans roasted daily which provide customers with authentic cups of coffee. Too add, private coffee shops have the ability to build stronger connections with customers.  Cohen remembers one day when a customer came in and said they had forgotten their money at home. Cohen told them they could get it next time, a situation that wouldn’t happen at a place like Starbucks. As Figliomeni stated, “…We do what Starbucks can’t do…” Small independent cafés can thrive from the influence of Starbucks...