Recession Busting (Stateside version)

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Ok, so we’ve had a couple posts in recent weeks about coffee shops in our northern neighbor, Canada, opening amidst tough economic times, and now we’ve got one a little closer to home.  This story, out of the Seattle Times, reports on the upswing of new shops opening in the city.

Our friend Matt Milletto from the American Barista and Coffee School  has some good and educational quotes in the story, but this line in the article stood out for me: [A new café owner] is among a handful of optimists opening local coffeehouses at the same time consumers are pulling back from their latte habits enough to seriously damage Starbucks’ profits.

I wonder, though, how much the economic situation is to blame for Starbucks’ continuing problems and how much is from the company’s own over-reach, unsustainable growth patterns and wildly vacillating strategies to win back customers. If in the meanwhile, independent coffee shops can open and grow, I would think that would be an indication that there is still room even in a down economy for quality-minded cafés to succeed. Let’s hope that’s the case.

About the Author

Ken

Kenneth R. Olson is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Huskies. Go Blazers! Go Dawgs!