from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.

10.19.2005

starbucks values

my friends can vouch for the fact that i have a certain, often verbalized distaste for starbucks. sure, think their coffee is too acidic. but the crux of the matter is that the fashionable coffee behemoth is a poster child for big corporations driving mom and pop shops out of business. say what you will, but because for many reasons i haven’t committed to only shop local, starbucks and wal-mart have been my anti-corporate-takeover-of-the-world stake in the ground.

the conundrum…

first, starbucks began offering fair trade coffee. one heck of a step in the right direction.

then, i read about ethos water, a bottled water company owned by starbucks that donates part of every sale to fund clean water initiatives for developing countries. and now, two starbucks vps “are touring the country in a biodiesel rv ” to educate employees about the ethos brand and “hosting three- to six- mile ‘walks for water’ to raise awareness of the daily treks that families in the developing world make to obtain h20.” (business 2.0)

i’m the first to assume these initiatives are purely marketing and profit driven, rather than genuine altruism. but companies are in business to make money plain and simple.

so what is the right balance between local businesses and corporate giants? and, at what point is it a (semi-) conscientious consumer’s responsibility to support the good deeds of capitalism?

and this is just a funny, related, aside.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dirty Pop said...

Three words Bets. PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE. Say no more :)

10/20/2005 10:14:00 AM

 
Blogger Kiker said...

I am a fan of Starbucks. While I do understand the need to support local business, there is an extreme shortage of coffee shops that I can find in the Tampa Bay area. So, Starbucks it is.

And they do offer products that allow consumers to feel as though they are giving back to communities in need (albeit in a small way). But other companies fail to do even that much. AND, Starbucks can afford to give money away, whereas mom & pop shops can't.

Please seriously consider equating Wal-Mart with Starbucks. Wal-Mart is notorious for sexism, exploitation of employees and being a poor steward of the environment. If you want to take aim at something corporate, Wal-Mart is a great target.

And speaking of Target... you may want to re-consider getting prescriptions filled there. Target fully supports a pharmacists "right" to refuse to fill a prescription for contraceptives (especially the morning after pill). In my humble opinion, if you don't want to fill prescriptions, find another profession. Thumbs down to Target for their stance on this one.

10/20/2005 11:20:00 AM

 
Blogger Cindy said...

Ok, I'll jump on this one. I not really a fan of Starbucks, but not a hater either. They do a great deal more than most on environmental and social causes. There is also some evidence that they actually increase business for local shops in some areas because the Starbucks presence increases overall traffic of coffee seakers.

I was spoiled in Austin Texas because I never had to consider Starbucks, there were so many local choices. In south florida that is not the case, so Starbucks it is.

10/20/2005 12:56:00 PM

 
Blogger Miss Kris said...

I'm coming from the place where Starbucks was a mom and pop shop back in the day. I personally go for other coffee because I have the choice and for that I am lucky. Some local coffee places were put out of business a long time ago when Starbucks became corporate, but there are many that still thrive around here.

Starbucks has the trendy drinks and I appreciate that it has made coffee popular to drink since now I can get a latte pretty much anywhere including South Florida. I love me some coffee!

Coffee is what brought us together. Remember the days of Epitome?

10/21/2005 12:31:00 PM

 

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