Pin It on Starbucks?

I don’t want to be that guy. You know the one – who rants about the good old days and what we have lost from mega corporations. Unfortunately, I can’t help myself.

I drink too much caffeine for my own good. And while I try to support by local coffee establishments, I have a Starbucks several blocks from my work and home. Sometimes, the convenience pulls me in. While I am waiting for my double latte (non-fat!), I can’t help but notice that Starbucks has taken down the pin-up boards that held neighborhood posts for  local writers, musicians, yoga teachers, acting classes, etc.

Someone in Starbucks marketing must have determined that it was a pretty messy business, and replaced the pin up boards with a magnetic board (with only a couple of magnets per location). I remember reading that the original intent of Starbucks was to create community, and like many grown-up companies, its corporate brand police has caught up to insure consistency of look and feel.

Funny, thing is that the crowds at both Starbucks I occasionally visit may also not be interested in community. The coffee sippers stare down at their screens, content with their free wifi, and barely anyone says a word. I’d like to pin this trend on Starbucks, but we are the ones that are deciding who to give our business to and what kind of communities we want to have and live in.

– Martin Ott

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