Caribou Coffee, Please Don’t Go Corporate America!
I know that the hipsters and singles and “with it” people of America all love StarBucks, but I just don’t get it. Seriously, I’m not trying on purpose to be obtuse here. I’m a cheap-ass, is all, and I can’t justify paying five-krillion-dollars for a cuppa that’s topped off with something that isn’t even Cool Whip.
People have tried to explain the immense amount of yummy that’s involved, but I get just as much pleasure as they do out of an iced cap from Tim Horton’s. Probably MORE pleasure, since mine cost less. Other people have shrugged, slightly embarrassed, and referred to the StarBucks thing as their “guilty pleasure”. Okay, I get that. I’m addicted to Coke and not giving it up. And I probably drink more Coke than people drink StarBucks, so they definitely have me beat financially on that score. Still — it’s just freaking coffee, for fuck’s sake. How different can it really be?
The answer is, it’s just NOT. Yeah, yeah. I hear all your noise about how you can totally tell the difference between StarBucks and McDonalds. I agree, because I could tell the difference, too. But that’s a little like comparing a picture my 8yo daughter took using my iPod with an Instagrammed glamour shot. We could ALL tell the difference, people.
When I say it’s not different, I’m comparing StarBucks to the whole coffee shop phenomenon in general. The product is totally the same. The only differences are in the atmosphere, the clientele, and the price.
Here in Ohio we have several branches of a smaller chain called Caribou Coffee (@Caribou_Coffee). When my hubz and I go out for date nights, it’s typically to one of these comfortable places that we head. The atmosphere isn’t pretentious, thus the clientele aren’t, either. And because they cater to a less ridiculously spendy crowd, the prices are lower. This is a total win-win for us.
Unfortunately, Caribou Coffee was recently bought out by a German investment firm. Not that I have anything against Germans or Germany, having been born there. But… that’s like, another country. As in, not continental U.S. How the hellz are Germans going to run my favorite local coffee shop and keep it, well, local? Supposedly they are going to continue operating the same as they always have, maintaining their own brand and management.
My reaction? Pure, unadulterated BWA-HA-HA! Yeah, right. The corporate office is just going to sit back and keep its finger out of the pie, letting the successful chain continue to do its thing. And also? I am a My Little Pony who farts rainbows. Bullshit.
If I sound overly cynical, it’s only because the company for which my own spouse is employed recently underwent the exact same process. And the corporate office is NOT keeping its fingers out of the pie in any way whatsoever. The corporate office thinks it “knows best” even though the people in it know nothing about the local clientele, being located several states away. The corporate office is full of dipshits and idiots. Including the fucking CEO who stopped by unexpectedly on my honey’s day off and acted all shocked that my honey didn’t drop everything going on in his life to come cater to the suit-wearing motherfucker.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how I feel about Corporate America and its bigwig mentality toward underlings. Emergency? I’ll come in on my day off if I can at all make it happen — but even so, my family still comes first. Visit from some asshole who couldn’t be bothered to call ahead because he’s too fucking above me for that kind of thing? Suck my dick, dude.
I don’t have a dick, but suck it anyway. Because YES.
So to say I’m worried about Caribou Coffee maintaining its integrity as my local place to sit down for a cuppa is dramatically understating the case. Currently their vision reads as follows: “We aspire to be The Community Place I Love.” They are succeeding!
* and there was much throwing of glitter! *
But will they continue to provide an “Extraordinary Experience that Feeds the Soul”? I’m hoping yes, but I’m really fearing no. Which makes me very, very sad. As well as a large dose of angry.
Then there’s my Keurig, with which I am madly in love. Not because it’s all yummy-rific and whatnot (it is), or because it’s fast (it is). Mostly because it’s sitting in my kitchen right now and I can just walk over to it whenever I want, with no fear of a corporate takeover. If Caribou Coffee goes sour, I may just stop going out altogether.