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October 13, 2012


A nice coincidence: I was just speaking with a colleague whose friend is CFO of a Mom 'n' Pop bakery recently acquired by a very large company in a European country. The bakery has accounts locally with, among other companies, Starbucks. Evidently the coffee shop monolith has been wary of the imminent acquisition, and the CFO expects they may lose the account. Is it possible that Starbucks really values its local partners, even where there could be substantial improvements in efficiency produced by a larger organization? Or is Starbucks hypocritically biased against large organizations? "[T]here’s really no good that will come from reminding people just how big you really are." It sounds to me like Starbucks itself doesn't want the reminder.

At one time, the supermarket plaza near where we live boasted three Starbucks all in one block: the cafe in the bookstore, the cafe in the supermarket, and the stand-alone coffee shop between the two. The map doesn't include those former types of franchised operations. Now the bookstore vendor is a Seattle's Best and the supermarket cafe has been converted to a bank, but the company store remains. There's a Peet's one block away, too.

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