Open Letter to Starbucks

Dear Starbucks,

You must have the smallest cock in corporate history. It’s obvious you’re compensating for something. Not only do you have the nerve to call your small a “tall,” but I can’t drive a mile in any direction without passing a dozen of you on my way. There is nothing you can say to justify the fact that the first thing I see when I walk into Safeway is a Starbucks, and the first thing I see on my way out of the same Safeway, less than fifty feet away, is another fucking Starbucks.

But all that aside, I write to you today in regards to the closure of your recent acquisition, La Boulange. I worked for La Boulange before you bought them out in 2012, and again last fall, after the buyout. I was never a huge fan of La Boulange, to be honest, but I don’t support your choice to shut them down. It’s the principle of it. You saw an opportunity and took it. That’s just good business, you might say. You saw a profitable product, swooped it up, implemented La Boulange pastries in every Starbucks pastry case, and simultaneously shut your competition down.

You acquired La Boulange in search of “something special,” according to Brian Kelly, a Chicago retail consultant who told SFGate that:

“The problem with Starbucks is they weren’t generating enough revenue… They brought (La Boulange) in to add some brand power, and to suggest a more premium product…. Often in mergers and acquisitions, the larger company winds up negatively affecting the smaller company by squeezing out the very thing that made the smaller company desirable” (Lucchesi).

Now, the claim that you weren’t making enough money to begin with is bogus as far as I’m concerned. Nothing necessitated the acquisition. You just wanted it, and your rich daddy bought it for you. And the fact that you felt the need to “suggest a more premium product” in the first place tells me you’re well aware you’re serving total shit. Be real, Starbucks. You’re not selling quality. You’re selling consistency. People are loyal to your company because, despite the diabetes, they know that anywhere they go, they can get the same venti “nonfat” quad-shot, half-caf mocha with extra whip and chocolate drizzle on the top. Your success is founded on conformity, not quality.

But ultimately, the joke’s on you because the whole reason you conquered La Boulange was to offer a higher quality product, yet in doing so, that very quality you sought has suffered. As usual, you’ve taken something that’s supposed to be gourmet and mass-produced it, compromising its excellence and artistry. So now we’re left with a global infestation of Starbucks coffee shops, plaguing our planet with substandard pastries and espresso.

It’s corporate colonialism. It’s like a losing game of agar.io, and your circle is the last one standing, now that it’s swallowed all the competition. Ever since you took the throne, your sovereignty has marked the dawn of a Holocaust against the moms and pops, a genocide of independent coffee shops. The little guys are easy targets. We all know they don’t stand a chance, but all my worst fears are confirmed when you go dissolving entire chains in one fell swoop. Almighty Starbucks, I ask you: If corporations are people, does that make you a murderer?

Illustration by Dakota Snow
Illustration by Dakota Snow

The La Boulange that paid my bills (the one I worked at), the one on University in downtown Palo Alto, closed its doors for good last month on Thursday, September 3rd.

Adieu, LaBouGone without a trace. The famous ceramic bowls in which La Boulange served their lattes will be displayed in antique stores. Old macaron boxes will collect dust under the beds of grieving La Boulange customers. The friendships that formed between the staff and customers will fade to memories. Buildings will be vacated. Ex employees will be jobless, or worse yet, forced to work at a Starbucks.

I’ve always suspected that your expansion plan extends beyond the reaches of this earth, and ultimately, “Star-bucks” will eventually become intergalactic currency exchanged across the universe. The massacre of La Boulange cafes is just a preview for what’s to come, no doubt, but I’ll fight to the death to preserve the diversity and dignity of independent coffee shop culture. Years from now, in a coffee shop of my own, justice will be served.

Cheers,

Dakota Snow

24 thoughts on “Open Letter to Starbucks

  1. You did that girl. I didn’t want to transfer to starbucks because of the reason you wrote about. It’s sad that some of the employees had to transfer because there was nothing else they could do. They needed the money. Thank you for putting this out there. Love you girl!

    1. Thank you, Roni! One of La Bou’s best! If there’s one thing I’ll miss about La Bou it will be the friendships that I formed with the people that I worked with. La Boulange may be gone (except the one on Pine St which reopened?!), but the family’s not going anywhere. Thank you for reading and commenting! Much much love.

  2. Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark
    this blog.

  3. I’m now not certain the place you’re getting your info,
    however good topic. I must spend some time finding out much more or understanding more.
    Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this
    info for my mission.

  4. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt
    donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates
    and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  5. I like the helpful info you provide in your
    articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  6. Maybe you have seriously considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I actually have a blog based about the same subjects you
    discuss and would really like to get you share some stories/information. I
    understand my audience would enjoy your job. If you happen to be
    even remotely interested, go ahead and shoot me an e mail.

  7. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
    magnificent, let alone the content!

  8. Simply want to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity in your post is simply cool and i
    can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to take hold of your RSS feed to keep up
    to date with coming near near post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  9. Good day I am so glad I found your webpage, I really found you by
    accident, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous
    post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I dont
    have time to look over it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please
    do keep up the awesome work.

  10. You could certainly watch your skills within the work you write.
    The arena hopes for a lot more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say the way that they believe.

    Constantly follow your heart.

  11. I love the valuable info you provide within your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and look again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff below!
    Best of luck for the upcoming!

  12. I see you don’t monetize your site, there is one cool method to earn extra
    income, it will work with your website perfectly, just search in google for:
    money making methods by Ricusso

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *