FAIR TRADE: Coffee locals brace for battle from Seattle

By on September 10, 2013
The calm before the storm: Starbuck’s construction zone. (JAKE NICHOLS)

The calm before the storm:
Starbuck’s construction zone. (JAKE NICHOLS)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – When Stefan Grainda set up shop three years ago just east of the Town Square, the coffee market already was becoming a bit crowded. By the time he looked to move JH Roasters closer to downtown, the bean juice business had gone from slow-drip to double espresso.

Within a comfortable walk, java junkies can now get their cup at JH Roasters, Dolce, Cowboy Coffee, Shades, Pearl Street Bagels, Pearl Street Market, The Bunnery, Cafe Genevieve, Wake Up Café, Persephone and Betty Rock. Are we missing any?

Oh yeah, Starbucks.

News that the global megamug was swooping into Town Square’s premier corner with a 2,000-square-foot café at Lee Gardner’s t-shirt shop rocked Jackson’s caffeinated society. It sets the stage for a David and Goliath showdown: Corporate America, heck, corporate world, versus the local little guy. And Grainda, for one, isn’t about to go down without a fight.

“I was talking with Lee about renting his space. He liked my idea and everything. We were all set to move in,” Grainda said.

The owner of JH Roasters thought he had a deal with Gardner to pay what he called a really high price for rent – $65 per square foot. Then Gardner stopped answering his calls. He heard through his real estate agent the deal suddenly was off. “It was a plan for exactly the same location. Same layout and square footage. Same idea and concept as what Starbucks eventually came in with. Only I was local.”

Grainda said he knew Starbucks had been sniffing around Jackson for nearly a year. He heard the corporate coffee giant had approached Gardner over the winter but that the deal never materialized. Grainda thinks once he got close to signing, talks with Starbucks heated up again. Starbucks signed a letter of intent and Grainda was sent packing. Gardner did not return calls for comment.

Bullish business model

Starbucks’ construction manager, Eric Hopp, said the new Starbucks at the corner of Cache and Broadway will be a flagship shop with more amenities and menu options than most cafes flying under the logo. It will be open into the night hours as well. Hopp turned all further inquiries over to District Manager Amy Thompson, who said the spot on the square is a premier location for Starbucks and that they’ve been looking to put in a company operator store for quite some time.

“I was just in town there last weekend,” Thompson said. “We’re really excited to be a part of the community and to be a partner with Lee and Lee’s Tees.”

Starbucks’ business model has been wildly successful. The Seattle-based company pulled down $13.29 billion in revenue last year, making it the largest coffee corporation in the world with 17,575 stores in 55 countries, according to the company’s 2012 year-end report. And they’re still growing. Worldwide, Starbucks has expanded into China with an anticipated 4,000 stores there by the end of 2013, and most recently, corporate announced it would be opening its first stores in Columbia, South America. Domestically, CNN reported late last year that the coffee king will increase its number of U.S. stores 13 percent by 2017.

But some methods Starbucks has used have come under fire. The corporate giant has been accused of buying out competitor’s leases and otherwise using its financial clout to muscle into a market and drive out local competitors. Starbucks insists they only bring more buzz and business to local shops when they come to town.

Locally-owned Shade’s Cafe, situated near the Town Square in a historic cabin, has been in business for 28 years. (MARY GROSSMAN)

Locally-owned Shade’s Cafe, situated near the Town Square in
a historic cabin, has been in business for 28 years. (MARY GROSSMAN)

“That’s Starbucks typical PR spin,” Lisa Miller said. Miller owns Shades, a 28- year-old local café next to Sweetwater Restaurant that’s been serving Great Northern Coffee. “Their modus operandi has been to put others out of business. Why else would they go in right next to everyone? All these places around downtown create a high saturation point and now comes a national chain anchoring the corner right on the Town Square. Yeah, it’s easy to have sour grapes but that’s their business strategy.”

Dolce owner Joe Rice was blunter. “They are the bastards of the coffee industry,” he said.

Thompson countered, “Starbucks creates jobs and partnerships within the community. We are just looking to be a part of the coffee culture in Jackson.”

“But our area is so small. It’s not a big city,” Grainda said. “Look at Idaho Falls. They say, ‘Yeah, Starbucks helped our coffee culture.’ That’s because there was no coffee culture. There was nothing. But we have plenty of good local businesses and good local coffee here. As far as I know we have three specialty coffee roasters – Great Northern, Snake River and us – all certified organic. I don’t think there will be any business that will be helped by having them here. Starbucks has nothing to offer here.”

Bad blood

Starbucks’ first foray into Jackson Hole did not go smoothly. A company rep approached Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Jerry Blann in 2003 about an insider deal that would bring near exclusivity for Starbucks in the valley in exchange for a $100,000 kickback to be shared by the Chamber of Commerce and JHMR if they could help sell at least 115,000 pounds of the brand name coffee, annually. Steve Duerr, executive director of the Chamber at the time, was hot for the idea and called for a hasty meeting to approve without inviting Great Northern’s Diane Guslander. She wasn’t pleased.

Opposition from Guslander, Pearl Street Bagels ownership, and several other local business owners eventually put the kibosh on the backdoor deal that if inked would have locked Jackson Hole into Starbucks for three to five years.

Sharing the pie

The large floor space at the new Starbucks (scheduled to open Sept. 20) will allow the shop to concentrate more on breakfast and lunch items in addition to their famous brew. Scott Boxrud recently moved his Pearl Street Market operation into the old Teton Steakhouse location – right around the corner from the new Starbucks.

“I don’t think it will have much of an effect on me at all. Some others, it could hurt them, maybe,” Boxrud said. “Can’t say I fully support them coming in here, of course I don’t. I’m not thrilled about it. But it’s a free market. I’m not going to be afraid of it. You just hone in on what you do best.”

Owners of Jackson Hole Roasters, Stefan Grainda and Luba Zamiskova, roast a fresh batch of beans.

Stefan Grainda and Luba Zamiskova, owners of Jackson Hole Roasters. (TED ADAMS)

Grainda said he thinks Starbucks knew exactly what they were doing when they stuck their pushpin in the heart of Jackson’s café clustered map.

“Here is what I think they did. They look at all the coffee shops around, and they said if we just land in the middle,” Grainda said, slamming his fist down on the table. “We take everybody’s business. Or part. Twenty percent of mine, 20 percent of Dolce, 20 percent of Cowboy Coffee, 20 percent of Shades. All these smaller local businesses may not get killed right away, but Starbucks, being big, can wait you out longer. They can afford to take their time – one year, two, three – to sit tight and wait for some of us to either die or give up.”

Guslander, who has owned Great Northern Coffee since 1985 and opened Cowboy Coffee in Gaslight Alley a year ago, said, “I think Starbucks will take away from everybody; like splitting the pie. We have a limited number of people here. But I think we have a good location. People will see both places. Some will choose us because of the Western image, locally roasted coffee and different atmosphere. Some may choose corporate just like they would a McDonald’s.”

Miller, too, believes Starbucks operates certain stores as loss leaders until the competition is pulverized. “They’ve got big money behind them. They can absorb losses for a while,” she said. “But I’m sure it’s not cheap what they are paying to be where they are. If locals back us, how long will Starbucks be willing to put up with losses before they give up and pull out?”

Even Cathy Beloeil, who owns Café Boheme on the other side of town, knows what it’s like to have Starbucks for a neighbor. The franchise boutique in Albertson’s has taken a bite out of her daily proceeds.

“It’s going to affect the local coffee shops. Not me as much as the shops that are in town,” Beloeil said. “And maybe not so much with locals who have already made a choice and have their favorites. But where we will lose a lot is among tourists. They will go to Starbucks just because they know the name, even if they weren’t going to have coffee.”

downloadCan locals save the day?

Everyone agrees the pie will be sliced thinner now and the off season is when local shops will really feel the crunch. “During the summer season I think everybody can thrive in here. But the biggest question is what happens when off season comes?” Grainda wondered.

Vacationing lemmings may gravitate toward the familiar green mermaid siren logo during the busy summer months, but when off season hits, it’s usually the locals who determine the businesses that live or die.

“I’m not saying Starbucks is something bad or Starbucks Coffee shouldn’t be here. I mention that all the time: It’s the free market. It’s a free country. It’s just business and that’s how it works,” Grainda said. “But it comes down to loyalty. I don’t want to say I rely on locals, but I trust in locals. If you treat your locals right and they are really loyal to you, well, they work in other businesses and industries. They work in motels and hotels. If locals really want to promote a local business, which helps them in the end, they can recommend for visitors to go to Jackson Hole Roasters, Cowboy Coffee, Dolce, or to Shades, or to Persephone. I think this gives power to the local community. Power to help us survive or power to hurt.”

Guslander said she has never taken her customer base for granted, especially the locals. “I hope our locals stay loyal,” she said. “In Jackson Hole, you have a group of people who are really passionate about supporting local businesses, and they appreciate the freshness and high quality of coffee.”

Boxrud tried serving Starbucks coffee at Pearl Street Market. He listened to his loyal customers and switched back. “I’ve always liked Starbucks,” he said. “But we got a lot of feedback. We listened to our customers, and switched back right away. Snake River Roasting has been really good to us.”

Boxrud said he thinks most tourists prefer to seek out local shops rather than the convenience and predictability of a brand name. “I will say this: big chains are going to find they are running right into a community with loyalties.”

Jackson, USA

Free enterprise issues aside, some business owners worry more about the future of Jackson than their own bottom line.

“To me, it’s a little more pollution of what we have here in town,” Grainda said. “What’s next, are we going to put McDonald’s on the Town Square? Are we going to put a Walmart in here? It’s going to become like every other town. Do we want to go in that direction? I think it’s a question for building owners and city officials. You are now going to see a huge Starbucks logo up on that tower where the clock used to be. Is this what we want people to see when they first come into Jackson? I think it’s just kind of chipping away at the last of the Old West we claim to be.”

Miller doesn’t see the trend reversing unless city planners give the little guy a leg up against the deep pockets of out-of-state developers and retailers.

“I feel bad that Jackson is getting to be the kind of town where the average Joe has to have such mega bucks behind them to get a foot in the door,” she said. “We have been barely scraping by for the past two years. Even without Starbucks, it’s been harder and harder to get by. You can be really bitter about it, but maybe it’s time for some of us to pull out. We’ve ridden out a lot of stuff but when you see big money like this come in, it’s pretty scary.”

When the dust settles, Grainda might be the last local café owner standing. If Starbucks wants his business they’ll have to kill him.

“This is my life. This is my baby. This is everything I have,” Grainda said. “I live in a 500-square-foot apartment. I do it all because I love what I do.”


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

42 Comments

  1. Ca Fene

    September 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    McDonald’s does bang-up business with locals. Why not Starbucks?

    Every coffee shop that complains about Starbucks is just pissed off that they have to compete in the free market with another player. Their game plan is to pin the BIG EVIL banner over Starbucks and claim the ‘local little guy’ status for themselves.

    Hasn’t worked for MacPhail’s, but Jackson’s coffee drinkers tend to be more snobby than burger eaters so look for a interesting off-season for Starbucks.

    • Larry

      September 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Starbucks moving in to downtown Jackson is clearly a misfit. It doesn’t belong there and the locals will gladly demonstrate this by not patronizing the business. The city of Jackson needs to be loyal to the local businesses. It is these people that have built this community thru time and generations of commitment and love for the community. Lee Gardner should be embarrassed and ashamed of himself for selling out to major corporation that will ultimately be destructive to other small businesses unless the people of Jackson say no to Starbucks. We have choices, and I hope that people will choose locally owned businesses over mega corporate businesses. Starbuck’s doesn’t need Jackson Hole to be successful and frankly Jackson Hole definitely doesn’t need Starbucks.

      • Steve

        September 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        “”Their game plan is to pin the BIG EVIL banner over Starbucks and claim the ‘local little guy’ status for themselves.””

        Exactly.

  2. Who has clean water

    September 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    The World would be better off without another coffee shop selling overpriced drinks while employing underpaid kitchen workers and selling the silly idea that their coffee is ‘fair-trade’ and that they have ‘love for the community’ or whatever.

    Instead of overpriced coffee: http://www.watermissions.org/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade_debate

  3. Jean R.

    September 11, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Those bastards are doing something right.

  4. jake

    September 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Starbucks business model, while successful, has been to offer more high-end and expensive choices in coffee products to attract and cultivate the connoisseur and build up a more taste-distinguishing populace. Grainda’s right when he says JH is already fairly coffee savvy and has a healthy coffee culture. So an entry into this market sure seems like the chain is targeting bean buyers ripe for the pickin’ at the expense of those who have put in the work.

    • Love Starbucks

      September 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Starbucks has been in the valley longer than many of our ‘local’ coffee shops. It just wasn’t downtown.

  5. diane peterson

    September 11, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Its worth noting, that in my 20 year resident tenure, most chain stores who have tried town square store fronts have come and gone from the town square landscape. It’s local customers who drive non-summer business (and their successes) in our town and local economy. Locals support locals – it’s that simple here in JH.

    I give Starbucks 6 years and then they are out of here…

    • Coffee Joe

      September 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      You may prefer to shop elsewhere but I bet employees would rather work at Starbucks.

      “”Benefits-eligible partners (those working 20 or more hours a week) can get a wide range of perks, benefits and assistance. Your Special Blend might include bonuses, 401(k) matching and discounted stock purchase options. We offer adoption assistance and health coverage for you and your dependents, including domestic partners.

      Starbucks U will help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for your education regardless of where you are in your career or academic journey. We offer discounts and savings on textbooks, tuition, technology, and more.”

      http://www.starbucks.com/careers/working-at-starbucks

  6. Gail

    September 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I have found Starbucks expensive as opposed to the local say Pearl Street. I decided when I wanted a chai in the morning to go to PSB where I was able to get a large at a cheaper price than Starbucks would have had. And I was just as happy. Just because its a chain…doesn’t mean its any better or good for you.

  7. Coffee Joe

    September 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Couldn’t care less about our ‘local’ coffee shops or Starbucks. They all cater to people with disposable income – literally money to throw away.

    Much of the local coffee scene is about being seen at the shop, socializing, and acting hip by being at the cool ‘local’ shop.

    Tourists just want a reliable cup of joe at a price point they know from a vendor they know.

  8. Coffee Joe

    September 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    “It’s just kind of chipping away at the last of the Old West we claim to be”

    That’s marketing bulls… You want more stage coach rides?

    There’s nothing ‘old west’ about any store on town square other than those selling ‘old west’ paintings. Galleries never lined Jackson’s streets in the early days of Jackson.

    It wasn’t until 1953 that George Washington Memorial Park even had antler arches.

    Everything about Town Square is designed to maintain a Disney-like attraction for tourists. A truly historic downtown would cater to locals just like it did before streets were paved.

    • Jay

      September 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

      That’s a hell of a point

  9. paul

    September 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    These so-called ‘local’ coffee shops around town square are there to cater to, and profit from, tourists not locals – except during the off-season.

    Stop by and visit Kim’s Corner if you want to support a truly local experience. Or any business away from the tourist-trap in the ‘historic’ downtown.

  10. Coke vs Pepsi

    September 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Can we get Pepsi to leave town. Coke was here first.

  11. Quit Whining Jackson Hole

    September 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Starbucks will be good for all the whiners like Shades, JH Roasters and PSB, where the service completely sucks, tourists are treated horribly, and you are expected to tip for disgraceful counter-service. After going to Shade’s once a week for ten years and Lisa never remembering my name or order, I quit going. Don’t espouse to be local when you treat your local’s like crap and your life blood, the tourists, even worse. God forbid an unknowing tourist asks for a toasted bagel at PSB. The response is embarrassing and makes the Soup Nazi look like Mr. Rogers. Maybe with a little competition, the bagel bitches, JHR and Shades (who’s idea of battery acid and scalded milk makes cappuccino) will have to rise to the occasion and learn a thing or two about customer service! Welcome back to JH Starbucks!

    • mg

      September 12, 2013 at 9:55 am

      While I love, love our local coffee shops and pledge my allegiance to them, Quit Whinning makes an excellent and spot on point about bad customer service which plagues this valley. I don’t get treated well at PSB either; there’s a few baristas that are really nice, but many are condescending and act put out for having to take my order. Other coffee shops MUST learn how to pull good tasting espresso and make perfect foam (something that PSB actually does very well.) A cappuccino is not bubbly hot milk with some burned espresso dumped in it. And there is A DIFFERENCE between a cappuccino and a latte! Bring in someone to train your baristas! And with Starbucks moving in, you’ll have to know how to pull a perfect good-tasting shot espresso and make the perfect espresso drink … and do it all while making everyone feel good about coming into your shop.

      • Rob W

        September 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        If I were Grainda I would be livid that Lee didn’t have enough southern grace to at least give me a call back. Not that Grainda would be able to understand that Tennessee Twang…but it’s the thought that counts.

        Also, just goes to reiterate Quit Whining’s point–the service industry is littered with rude, entitled cocksuckers who don’t deserve 6& let alone 18&. Just because you work in one of the ‘local favorites’ or the Osteria, where people will overtip you simply because, doesn’t mean you’ve earned or deserve your tip.

        For a town whose lifeline is the hospitality industry…people aren’t very hospitable.

    • JR

      September 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I have had the complete opposite experience at Shades. I was new to town a few years ago, and found Lisa and the Shades team nothing but friendly and welcoming. It has become like a second home for me. It is unfortunate that you’ve had a different experience, but I know firsthand how tirelessly committed they are to serving this community.

  12. Quit Whining Jackson Hole

    September 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    And PS: Lee Gardner, you’re the man! You’ve come a long way from the Pink Garter! Congratulations and way to buck whiners and do what’s best for the Town Square!

  13. Ron

    September 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    A “local” newcomer or oldtimer will keep all their business and even increase sales when the chains wade in if they adapt and compete. It’s business. Treat your customers the way too many locals treat them and expect to lose your shirts.
    Starbucks will do whatever it can to make it worth their time to locate here. They’ll resort to “unfair” practices like offering their workers benifits and training. A few years back they had the audacity to close their shops to retrain their staff and upgrade their products (Historical note: Bubba once did the same to his breakfast shift when he ran Bubba’s BBQ. His name was on the sign and he cared). We’ll lose the locals who don’t believe they have to compete but we’ll keep the ones with the foresight to do so.

  14. Jay

    September 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

    God damn it. I LOVE all the variety I get when I walk downtown on a weekend morning looking for a bite to eat and some coffee. Starbucks better not kill or drive out this variety! That risk, and the fact that their brand alone will add to the homogenization of downtown Jackson leaves me feeling like this whole deal is bad. But I’ll try to stay optimistic… Maybe this will lead to shorter peak season lines at PSB at least…

  15. Rob Cheek

    September 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    No one has mentioned all the requests heard for an evening coffee in Jax; merchants hear it all the time and have no satisfactory answer. With SB they will now have one. Onward and upward Jackson. Boo on the perpetual whiners; they will always exist in this Town.

    • mg

      September 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      JH Roasters is open at night, great scene with outdoor seating.

    • Bean

      September 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Good point. Town Square rolls up the sidewalks too early for many tourists. Of course, it’s mostly stores not selling food that pull the shades. Good for JH Roasters.

  16. Coffee Lover

    September 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Starbucks isn’t going to put anyone out of business that has great customer service and good quality foods and coffees. I would like to point out that the entire Starbucks Star team (trainers) and most of there partners have been in JH Roasters everyday for the past 2weeks most more then once reaching out to get to know them and roasting with them buying iced coffees from them, and even pounds of coffee for tastings. Starbucks believes in giving back to communities and working with the smaller local coffee shops to keep the industry alive. I would hope that we as I was born and raised in this valley would take the time to educate ourselves before giving an uneducated response. Without Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices these smaller coffee farms wouldn’t be around for these local roasters to purchase their beans. I would also like to point out how long Lee has been in this valley and how much he gives back to the community. Let’s not tear a man apart based off of one clearly pissed off business owner’s say of events!

    • A+

      September 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Good points.

  17. Danny Haworth

    September 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    >> Within a comfortable walk, java junkies can now
    >> get their cup at JH Roasters, Dolce, Cowboy Coffee,
    >> Shades, Pearl Street Bagels, Pearl Street Market,
    >> The Bunnery, Cafe Genevieve, Wake Up Café,
    >> Persephone and Betty Rock. Are we missing any?

    Yep. You missed Atelier Ortega.

    • Danny Haworth

      September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Great article, Jake. I’d take JH Roasters over Starbucks every day of the week. I’ll be passing the word on to friends as well.

  18. Robert P

    September 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    What am I missing?

    There are zillions of mom & pop coffee shops all over America. The strong & smart survive. The weak & dumb don’t. None is guaranteed a lifestyle in America or a successful business. Earn it.

    Even some new coffee shops still come out of Seattle to compete with Starbucks: http://stumptowncoffee.com/

    The fear and loathing reminds me of the nasty welcome the cops gave to the abortion protestors. It’s out of character for Jackson to start acting like “Bull” Connor and trying to segregate Jackson’s business community into Good & Bad actors and actively trying to punish the ones they deem offensive. Starbucks simply created a new business opportunity and, most likely, better job opportunities for area workers.

    • sue

      September 14, 2013 at 3:00 am

      “Starbucks simply created a new business opportunity and, most likely, better job opportunities for area workers”

      The horror.

      “It’s out of character for Jackson to start acting like “Bull” Connor ”

      Jackson is lily white. Seems right in line with its character.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily-White_Movement

      • Quit Whining Jackson Hole

        September 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        Glad I’m not the only one who sees the entitled, crap services in this town! I walked into “Bet the Ranch” today just doing a Local’s Lap on the Town Square and I’ll be dammed if the girl surfing the web on the store’s computer would give me the time of day. On the flip side, we popped into Lee’s Tee’s looking for a sweatshirt for a gift and they didn’t have what we were looking for but the manager said he’d talk to Lee and get it printed and call us. There’s a reason Lee is successful! Look to at Oscar’s and Persephone. They make an outstanding product and are successful despite not great locations. JHR sucked royal ass when it was on Broadway and Persephone, with some grace, style and a great product, has a line out the door every morning. And the don’t scoff at you if you don’t tip them on their fancy iPad machine! A Starbuck’s employee would be immediately fired or severely reprimanded for acting the way PSB and Shades do every day. If you’re not a bro-bra looking for a deal on a two dollar coffee, don’t expect to get the love!

  19. Anonyholic II

    September 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Seriously, it is heartening to read here that I’m not the only one fed up with what passes for ‘service’ at some locally owned businesses. Just as that old saw says, ‘the fish stinks from the head’, it can all be traced to who owns/runs a given business. And it seems these days the younger the entrepreneur, the more likely they aren’t going to care how the customers are treated. I’ve known Lee Gardner for 35 years, going back to the walk-in closet days in Crabtree Corner next to the original Mostly Fun. He’s earned every bit of his success over these years with the right product and right service (however, he may want to pay a little more attention to his nephew’s toy operation; just sayin’). I don’t blame him for deciding on Starbucks: a.) he likely saw personal or service issues with the local retail coffee concerns, and b.) Starbucks likely threw way more than $65/foot at him and had no trouble convincing him of their state-of-the-art facilities they’ll bring and the serious training-backed service to go with it. It starts with being nice, and not just to the regular hipster crowd that populates the coffee houses as described by Quit Whining Jackson Hole, Coffee Joe and others above. Oh, and don’t compare Starbucks to any other national concern that came in here, couldn’t make it and is now gone. They have the necessary deep pockets and are here to stay. One last thing: shame on the town for letting Starbucks remove the clock and dominate the square with their logo, if that’s true.

    • Just Saying

      September 16, 2013 at 7:01 am

      “Oh, and don’t compare Starbucks to any other national concern that came in here, couldn’t make it and is now gone.”

      Starbucks came and went once before: Albertsons.

      Other than that, you’re on track.

  20. Anonyholic II

    September 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Correct on your clarification, JS. Except those Starbucks operations were franchises, not company stores. Corporate SBUX did shut them down from what I understand, but I don’t reacall any further explanation. So you’re on track as well.

  21. DH55

    September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Can Jake please clarify this?:
    “Starbucks’ first foray into Jackson Hole did not go smoothly. A company rep approached Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Jerry Blann in 2003 about an insider deal that would bring near exclusivity for Starbucks in the valley in exchange for a $100,000 kickback to be shared by the Chamber of Commerce and JHMR if they could help sell at least 115,000 pounds of the brand name coffee, annually. Steve Duerr, executive director of the Chamber at the time, was hot for the idea and called for a hasty meeting to approve without inviting Great Northern’s Diane Guslander. She wasn’t pleased.
    Opposition from Guslander, Pearl Street Bagels ownership, and several other local business owners eventually put the kibosh on the backdoor deal that if inked would have locked Jackson Hole into Starbucks for three to five years.”

    How does any company gain exclusivity/monopoly on any product line via intercession of Chamber of Commerce?

    • JAKE JAKE Calling JAKE

      September 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      I don’t know how you keep businesses out of the valley since the Chamber doesn’t issue businesses licenses or control real estate or control valley business but I too would like to know how this plan was going to be hatched. The JHMR can control plenty of activity at Teton Village but not in the ‘valley’. The Chamber could never ‘control’ what coffee is poured at Bubba’s or anywhere else.

      As we know, Jake isn’t a journalist so perhaps he got some facts twisted.

      • jake

        September 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        You will have to ask Steve Duerr what his plan was but the fact is the Chamber was prepared to enter into an agreement to try and PUSH Starbucks coffee and they are certainly capable of providing influence on local businesses. No facts were twisted in my reporting on the proposing of this deal. No animals were harmed in the writing of this story. PLanet JH products are never tested on lab critters.

  22. Anonyholic II

    September 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    DH55 – It depends on how big a whore your chamber of commerce is. They can do whatever they want and justify it however they see fit. Obviously the Duerr-led local chamber stepped right up to it, and thanks to the efforts of Guslander, et.al., backed away, as they should. Hard to believe that this notion, a LOCAL chamber of commerce, dissing a number of LOCAL businesses and hitching their wagon to a NATIONAL behemoth competitor, was ever entertained as a good idea. Thankfully, common sense and reason prevailed.

  23. J. Reiland

    September 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Heck, I still miss Fred’s supermarket but things change. Unlike Fred’s and the Starbucks franchises that have come and gone, the corporate operated Starbucks shop has the resources to stay open as long as they want. Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to leave. Instead , visit them for a good cup of coffee and a lesson in hospitality.

    • Don't miss Fred's

      September 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      “The corporate operated Starbucks shop has the resources to stay open as long as they want”

      NONE has the resources to ‘stay open as long as they want”.

      Starbucks didn’t have the resources to keep 900 stores from closing during the recession.

      “So, after an eight-year hiatus, an alarmed Mr. Schultz returned as chief executive in January 2008. He shut 900 shops, mostly in the United States, drastically cut costs and put the company back on course. ”

      Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/business/13coffee.html?pagewanted=all

  24. J. Reiland

    September 18, 2013 at 5:14 am

    You’re right. Starbucks could go belly up at any time. There are no guarantees. They know maintaining their professionalism, product quality and customer service is vital to survival.

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