Sunday, July 01, 2007

Open Open Open

Is what I was saying at 5:45 AM on Saturday morning in front of a Starbucks.

You see things that are subconsciously understood but then you're confronted with it. I was waiting for my mint tea to cool down when I noticed that staff were stocking up on muffins, etc. and they were coming out of an ugly brown cardboard box covered with plastic. Where else are their treats supposed to come from. I know that Starbucks doesn't make these items from scratch and they're probably manufactured at some plant in some unknown location that I've never been to yet their website claims to buy their baked goods from local suppliers. But then why does every Starbucks more or less have the same set of baked goods? Perhaps there's a new definition of local that I missed!?


Dustin said...

I realize you're more or less in the Pacific Northwest.. but Starbucks is evil. Their business practices put locally run coffeeshops out of business, and yes, their pastries are made in central kitchens in large urban areas and then shipped to the stores.

That's not to say that your local coffeeshop is doing any better -- one of my favorites buys a few dozen bagels at Einstein Bagels every morning -- but if it's fine baked goods you're after, you can find a shop that has them. And the people are much more interesting and friendly.

As S so often points out when I start criticizing, Starbucks is a pretty good corporate citizen -- they push fair trade, they treat their employees really well, and they have a good green record. I think they've shown pretty effectively that there is a market for a froofy-coffee McDonald's (much to McDonald's chagrin). But local coffeeshops deserve your support.

Nirmala said...

Ok. You're preaching to the choir. I agree with S in that they aren't entirely evil. They offer great benefits, even to their part-time employees, and they offer a living wage, more or less. They're also a blue company. Quite frankly, I haven't found a place that makes my vanilla latte as well as they can and I've been to many.

It was my mistake to focus on Starbucks because really all coffee shops do this. I was merely trying to point out that before I saw those goods come out of the packaging, I could fool myself into thinking I was eating something some what healthful, and now I really can't.