I have been a loyal Starbucks patron for many, many years. There were a few “breaks” in our relationship – one for the years I lived abroad, and the others for the times I was depressed when I added up how much I spent on Starbucks each year. I saw a show once on how much you could save by making your own coffee, and it was basically enough to pay a month’s rent. But, these times passed and I would always find myself returning to the familiar smells and feels of the ‘buck.
I have to say, however, that the corporate hounds in charge of Starbucks do have things to worry about these days…people aren’t going to feel the same luxury brand loyalty when their losing their jobs and strapped for cash. People are going to cling to what is comfortable and genuine. Starbucks’ comfort level has dwindled in recent years as the staff has grown more bitter, the drinks worse quality, and the environment like a carbon copy all over the world.
I have even found myself looking for a more genuine, honest, and economical reality. I have found a place in NYC that offers these exact qualities: Joe – the art of coffee.
There are a few locations in Manhattan, and all have a sense of independent identity and something warm and cozy to offer their patrons. I found it while walking around the West Village one morning on my way to find croissants for MM. I then was told amazing things about it by MM’s neighbor. Now, I am having a little love affair.
I’m not sure what Starbucks would think, but then again – who over there is listening to me???