Friday, September 28, 2012

Coffee Tribes of Napa: A Report

Yesterday a Starbucks opened at First and Main in downtown Napa. It is across the street from the long-time popular Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Reaction to the event falls into one of three categories:

1.  Cool, that's convenient.
2. There was a corner somewhere that didn't already have a Starbucks?

Having shed most all vestiges of brand loyalty long ago, I mercilessly vote with my feet and dollars in the most selfish ways; meaning, I buy stuff wherever it makes sense to me at the moment. My decision might be based on price once in awhile, but more often it's just convenience.

To wit, this morning I wanted a coffee. I proceeded to the ground zero of Napa's new worldview-meets-retail thrill ride, First and Main. Finding that I was on the Coffee Roasting Company side of Main Street and Starbucks was 100 feet further to go, I opted for the immediate solution - but the line inside was a long one. I've been in that line and it looked like 15 minutes of waiting, so I ankled on over to the Starbucks. The line was shorter. I was on my way in 5 minutes.

On the sidewalk there were two urchins (can 20-something dudes with their hats on sideways be urchins?) holding badly made signs. One said "n v coffee roasting" and the other said something like "Fuk Bucks" I think. Being curious, and interested in finding out why they were so committed to this cause as to be silently protesting, I resisted my urge to cross to the other side of the street and walked past them with my boldly-logoed Starbucks cup in hand. As I passed, one of the two said "That will give you reproductive organ cancer you know." So much for a chance to engage in a stimulating discussion about free markets.

I'm not sure how to feel about living in a society where it's come to be an important definer of self to identify with a particular brand of coffee. Folger's was always just fine for mom and dad. Maybe they knew something we've forgotten.


DD said...

I swear I knew that place was new! I went to the mediocre Mexican place across from there the other night and was like 'wtf, this place is turning into suburbia.'

DD said...
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