One of the most controversial topics in the CHS community is whether Starbucks’ 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea is good or bad for the neighborhood. BusinessWeek explains that 15th Avenue may signal the growing
powercorporate acknowledgment of the “buy local”movement:
By now, residents of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood have figured out that their trendy new coffee shop, 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea, is actually owned by Starbucks. With fresh flowers, beans ground to order, and a “help yourself” policy regarding used coffee grounds—for composting, of course—the store could pass for a locally owned café.
Starbucks’ “unbranding” initiative is just one sign of the growing influence of the “buy local” movement—a longtime New Urbanist dream that has finally started to become a reality in the past two years.
The Starbucks angle is less interesting than some of the studies portrayed in the BW infographic. In one, a study showed that $45 of every $100 spent in a truly local store stayed in the local economy vs. only $13 of the cash spent at a big chain.