I have recently given myself credit for creating a new word: Starbattical. Do you like it? I define it as long retreat or break from Starbucks. I came up with it to describe the 20 some years I was either too busy, too poor or using my time to raise a raise a family to take much notice of Starbucks.
With the writing and publishing of my “Starbucks novel” Tripio, I have come off my Starbattcial. Odd how things come full circle. In the early nineties when I traveled home from Chicago to seed the land with bags of Starbucks coffee I was asked about a company no had ever heard of. These days I am being asked about a company every has heard of.
I am also being sent articles on Starbucks by family and friends once again. In the ninteles the articles were more likely to bear the headline something similar to “Starbucks to open stores in my city.” Now I get them like the one I received about Starbucks in the New Yorker.
If you read the article you know it concerns Starbucks closing one of its own stores. In the aforementioned novel, Tripio, the protagonist Jay has been working at a Starbucks in Chicago for a couple years. Starbucks was certainly not closing its own stores in those days. It was opening stores and attracting lots of attention while doing it, as the excerpt from Tripio shows…
The reason she was here was that she represented a coffee company just getting started on the Atlantic Coast. Was I interested? Cosmodemonic had bought a good-sized competitor in Boston not long ago, so I knew there was competition out there. My ego was happy to be talking to her. But I was an owner here at my store. This was my store. Here in my city. And it struck me that Kati would figure in all these decisions now. That was it. The source of my distraction most of the night. Only I hadn’t realized it. A big change was coming in my life. So, I turned the competitor down. Looking back, I don’t think she sought me out personally. I have a feeling she was canvassing the nearby, if not all, Cosmodemonics to see who was interested. I did put her business card in my bag, however.
The Starbucks location Jay worked at in Tripio was one of the busier locations in the city, especially on weekends. So much so that Jay finds himself wishing that “ they hurried up and opened more stores so these people could go somewhere else.” Jay had other things to think of in Tripio. He hadn’t realized that the IPO of Starbucks stock he was about to take part in was happening in part to generate revenue to open more and more Starbucks. And a quarter century later, they haven’t stopped.
An exception to that last observation is the location discussed in the above article. The loyal customers would seem to provide a good enough base to do a good coffee house business, if not quite up to Starbucks standards. Hmmm, makes me wonder if that card is somewhere in my bag after all these years.
“May I help who’s next?”