Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I saw the 60 Minutes piece Sunday night on Howard Shultz and Starbucks. I was impressed with the statement that they spend more on health care than on coffee. The other thing I’m thinking about this morning is the relational dynamic of the coffee business. This goes back to the pre-espresso days. It wasn’t just for the coffee that the good-old-boys bellied up to the counter for a cup of joe before going to work. They were (and are) there to visit with their friends and the waitress was much more than just someone who didn’t let them see the bottom of their cup. She was the presiding officer of this social club.

In the world Howard Shultz has helped create, the taste of the espresso is important but relationships are also very important. I like to go where the barista knows me and where I have a chance of running into people I know. It’s my equivalent of what I image an old English pub to be.


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