An Arizona Republic article by Lindsay Butler caught my interest just now. It’s about how a Starbucks recently moved in across the street from two of Tempe’s best independent coffee houses.

Now that alone isn’t shocking. Starbucks has been opening so many stores that it happens every day. What I found interesting was was the owners of Gold Bar Espresso and Xtreme Bean had to say.

I’ll quote from the article:

Karen Miller co-owns Gold Bar Espresso, which shares a parking lot with Starbucks. Gold Bar has been in business for about 13 years, known for live music and featured artists.

Miller called the move inconsiderate but said Gold Bar has a loyal following and there are plenty of coffee drinkers to go around.

The shop has many regular customers drawn to the artistic décor and cozy atmosphere.

“It’s like having my living room open with the coffee pot on,” Miller said.

Michael Wells owns Xtreme Bean, which is in the shopping plaza across the street from Gold Bar and now Starbucks. Wells has been brewing for 12 years; he has an enthusiastic knowledge of roasted beans and exotic flavors and the industry.

He said he’s not worried.

“I think it helps the market,” he said. “Starbucks educates the market.”

Xtreme Bean stands out, he said, by offering freshly roasted coffee and a drive-through window.

He has big plans for the company, including more drive-through locations and “regular” cards – debit cards for frequent customers that contain the customer’s name and favorite drink.

Arizona Coffee

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