So I was just browsing online and saw this interesting article in The St. Louis Post Dispatch about how a group of coffee house owners are combining their marketing efforts. The purpose appears to be out of fear that as Starbucks expands its presence in the area, the independents will suffer. “We really need an organization to market local coffee business as an experience,” said Dennis Gorg, who owns Coffee Cartel in the Central West End, before the meeting. “That local flavor and flair is what a lot of people look for in a coffee house.” Welcome to ground zero of the “Coffee Locals,” a combined marketing effort to entice coffee drinkers to support locally owned coffee shops. A couple of suggestions for our friends in St. Louis (a fine place by the way, I used to live there): Start talking about the quality. Nobody mentioned the quality of the coffee in the article, and St. Louis coffee shops need to own a difference in peoples minds. Start there. Lastly, start a blog/website like this one. You just might get results.