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Friday, May 28, 2004
I work for a mega-national corporation bent on world domination. I wear Gap clothing, buy Levi jeans and occasionally shop at Wal-Mart. Despite compromising my liberal principles on nearly every level when it comes to the pursuit of goods and services, I still refuse to support Starbucks.
While I have yet to firebomb any of their franchises, I still derive pleasure from headlines like this. So why would a consumer whore like myself draw the line at Starbucks? Well, that's exactly what this week's cover story in Willamette Week attempts to answer (you should click on the link, if only to get a look at the great cover photo).
Despite a convincing article, my anti-Bucks credo isn't likely to change. As the writer admits, part of the problem is that Starbucks rivals McDonalds in overwhelming prevalence. Downtown Portland is home to no less than 20 of its stores and that blank-eyed mermaid logo of theirs is on nearly every corner.
The article also alludes to a family-operated joint in Lake Oswego that was run out of business by Starbucks. The name of the place was the Coffee Nook. At one time, they had three stores around town, each of which was run out of business when the coffee empire set up shop nearby. Starbuck's leech-like expansion tactics seem like they're lifted verbatim from the Wal-Mart playbook.
Plus, why pay $4 for a double-tall, whipped steamed, caramel-flavored, soy mocha when you can get a stiff drink for the same price?