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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 17, 2007 / 29 Nissan, 5767

Starbucks has blown it

By Lenore Skenazy


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, wrote a memo that got leaked to the press. It outlined all the ways his company was losing its mojo and, by golly, he was right.


Starbucks has blown it.


The stores don't smell like fresh ground coffee anymore, because now they get it pre-packed from some factory. And the baristas don't make the espresso themselves — they press the button, and here's your soulless coffee, ma'am. And by the way: What happened to all the comfy chairs? Is it me, or are those cupcakes looking crusty? Why does everyone always screw shut the milk container? It's there to pour out milk, right? So why do we have to keep unscrewing it? Calling Howard! Grrrr!


You know how sometimes a passing remark can have an unduly large impact on your life? (Like the time my friend told me my college boyfriend was so wonderful that I stayed with him another three years, even though my friend, I later learned, had just been saying that to be nice.) That's what the Schultz memo was like. It changed the way I saw things with my own eyes.


I spent the week after reading it just loathing Starbucks — me and the rest of hipster America. Gleefully I noticed that the bathroom at the Starbucks nearest me had no coat hook. The toilet paper was off its roller. The soap dispenser was actually lying on the floor. Poof! Just like that, Starbucks became as depressing as McDonald's. "You deserve a break today," said I to myself. "Leave."


So I did. And then


I had no place else to go.


No place but home or work, that is. But like an estimated 30 million Americans, according to a study by the marketing firm Yankelovich, I wanted to be in what's now called a "third place." A place where I could hang out, be part of the stream of life and (this is very important for those of us who work at home) read without falling asleep.


Long ago — say, 15 years back — our "third place" choices were pretty slim. There was the library, where you couldn't talk. The diner, where you had to tip. Bars required drinking and gyms, workouts — both exhausting. Of course there was always the town square, where young lovers promenaded while old men fed pigeons. But those were all in Italy. America just didn't have a gathering spot, except for the mall. Gag me with an Aunt Annie's pretzel.


Then along came Starbucks, and suddenly we had the kind of public life we hadn't seen since the death of the ol' general store. People lingered, mingled. They lingled.


With this cafe culture — even this somewhat homogenized, corporate cafe culture — came a truly new way of life. Now there was a public place to meet, chat, study, work and kill time between other places. To have that kind of a sanctuary, where the rent is paid with but a pricey cup of coffee, made me feel well off. As opposed to killing time in any of the fast food chains, which made me feel poor.


So not to worry, Mr. Schultz. You have given us all an extra living room and we're not about to move out. Bring back the coffee smell (and clean up the johns), and Starbucks will remain the place America goes to lingle.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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