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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    Okay it's time for my two cents...Remember everyone in this business rather being a cafe, coffee shop, cart, drive thru, or roaster all began with a dream. In the beginning we all have a lot to think about including, but not limited to serving the best drink possible, providing great customer service, and educating your customer. Starbucks was not the first, but they have proven through time and smart marketing that they had a goal. That goal was to bring a little taste of Europe to the U.S. and multiply their efforts by generating excitement and creating a feeling that the U.S. would continue to expand into the future. Well today they have proven that their idea has worked. Until recently their biggest competition was Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC) who controlled most of the wholesale market, whereas, Starbucks basically controlled the retail market. Now, Starbucks controls both since they purchased SBC last year. In my opinion it does not matter how they got to where they are, just the fact that they created a successful model and stuck with it.

    I agree with both E.O. and Topher, one should never bad mouth the competition, but instead should embrace the competition and learn how to fulfill the areas they may not address. I joined this forum with the hopes of educating those that wish to start a business and hopefully become a supplier for them, while at the same time learn something new myself. This is not a difficult industry to be in but if not started correctly or if you lack dedication, you are destined to fail rather you have a Starbucks or any other competitive coffee business in the area.

    If you want to get into the business and be successful at it you must commit. Part time will not do it. After spending at least 90 days with your business, you'll have a better idea of what's going on. Only then if you feel comforable should you bring someone else into the picture to assist you and give you a little relief.

    Bottom line is you can be respectful of your competition and be respected by your competion.
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    8
    First of all let me preface my response by saying that I am new to the site and to the business. My wife and I are opening our coffee shop in the fall and have been doing nothing but educating ourselves in every facet of the espresso product and the business in general.

    To me, quality has to be a priority; whether your competing with Starbucks or an Independent Shop. We're all asking our customer to spend part of their already slim disposible income on a $2-$3 cup of coffee and why would they do that on a marginal product. Competition is healthy for everyone involved and the customer will always win, educated customers will always find the best value being the best quality for the best price and I don't believe Starbucks is too hard to beat in that respect.

    Article of interest for those worried about Starbucks putting them out of business. (Wall Street Journal- Tue.Sept24,2002) The article is entitled Counting Beans - Despite the Jitters, Most Coffeehouses Survive Starbucks. The synopsis of which is that against conventional wisdom independents benefit from Starbucks educating the market and getting people interested in what it is you have to sell. If you focus on Quality instead of losing business to Starbucks or anyone else; combine that with a competitive price and great customer service you will succeed.

    I appreciate all of the insite I get from this forum, great site.

  3. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    8
    I know this is a dated discussion, but I just joined the forum today....

    I believe the coffee shop "mania" that's going on right now wouldn't be there if it weren't for Starbucks, so I feel grateful to them for opening the eyes of the public.

    I own three coffee shops (not Starbucks), and I just want to give all you "little" coffee shop owners like myself some hope. Our shops have won the "Best of Omaha" title for two years in a row now, even though there are several Starbucks in town. How do we do it?? Besides offering great espresso drinks and brewed coffee, we also offer the customers a smile!! That's right, something as simple as GREAT customer service will bring the customers back, as long as you're providing them with a product that's at least as good as the competition.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/Bukit Sentul, West Java
    Posts
    1,065
    Hey Java Lover welcome onboard. Congrats on the award as well! Agreed, and I think most of us who are in the business also hold similar sentiments to you. The phenomena which is specialty coffee has been in part driven by the Starbucks of the coffee retail world. Where I am Starbucks is like coffee 101...it gets the kids and the hip crowd (early adopters lets say) interested in the product then as this crowd learn more they search for alternatives and discover real specialty coffee retailers. Quality of product, quality of service...the small but simple things such as remembering a customers name, their birthday, what they do for a living and of course their regular drink all speaks volumes for the impression people have of you, your staff and your store.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    Hey Java Lover:

    Welcome aboard, and your comments are well stated
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  6. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    9

    Thumbs Up

    Hey, Java Lover, I think I know which coffee shops you own & just want to say thumbs up - you ARE the best in Omaha !!
    Quote Originally Posted by Java Lover
    I know this is a dated discussion, but I just joined the forum today....

    I believe the coffee shop "mania" that's going on right now wouldn't be there if it weren't for Starbucks, so I feel grateful to them for opening the eyes of the public.

    I own three coffee shops (not Starbucks), and I just want to give all you "little" coffee shop owners like myself some hope. Our shops have won the "Best of Omaha" title for two years in a row now, even though there are several Starbucks in town. How do we do it?? Besides offering great espresso drinks and brewed coffee, we also offer the customers a smile!! That's right, something as simple as GREAT customer service will bring the customers back, as long as you're providing them with a product that's at least as good as the competition.

  7. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    8
    Hey Makjava,

    Thanks for the thumbs up, if you are in deed thinking of the coffee shops I own (which are Scooters Java Express). There are actually about 15 of them in Omaha right now, and I own three. If you were thinking of another coffee shop, then kudos to them!!

    Keep enjoying that java, no matter where you go!!

    Java Lover

  8. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    9
    Java Lover, I did know that you were referring to Scooters - definately the best in Omaha ! Scooters is my first stop everytime I come into town. I have been playing with the idea of starting my own coffee drive-thru. In fact, I have talked with Don E. a few times about it. If you could give a "newcomer" one piece of advice, what would it be ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Java Lover
    Hey Makjava,

    Thanks for the thumbs up, if you are in deed thinking of the coffee shops I own (which are Scooters Java Express). There are actually about 15 of them in Omaha right now, and I own three. If you were thinking of another coffee shop, then kudos to them!!

    Keep enjoying that java, no matter where you go!!

    Java Lover

 

 
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