The fight to stop Starbucks from forcing a small independent neighborhood coffee-house, Safari Cup is growing nationwide. http://bhamterminal.com/blog/2012/12/10/safari-cup-vs-starbucks-chicago/. Realizing that small, independent businesses are the backbone of America, WCPT, 900poundgorilla and Revolution and Beer are standing squarely with Safari Cup, especially since there is no need for the current controversy. We have repeatedly reached out to Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.
So far Mister Schultz has not accepted the offer, which remains, and which will be a respectfulbut earnest conversation . The key here is clarity. The Starbucks move appears predatory in nature, given that a Cleaners next to Safari Cup is being forced out to the detriment of their customers and employees despite a willingness to pay higher rent to remain in that location. Starbucks is pushing hard to cross the street from their current location to move in right next door to Safari Cup, and apparently twisting arms to do it. What is their urgency to move from the current good and profitable location? The question for Starbucks CEO Schultz is what responsibility he feels to the neighborhood, and whether it is right to force another business out for the sake of higher profits. It comes down to this, is Starbucks a part of the community or simply feeding off it.
An Invitation to respond to questions from WCPT has also gone unanswered by 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney . A spokesperson for the Alderman, however, commented that what Starbucks is doing is well within their rights in the so-called free market. While there is perhaps no specific legal issues, this has caused a significant disruption in the community. Safari Cup, friends and supporters are digging in and prepared for a fight, that isn’t necessary if Starbucks were to stop their planned move across the street, or the Alderman would show some leadership on the issue. We are still hoping to hear from the Alderman soon.
Listen to the show 8-9am Sundays on WCPT in Chicago, streaming worldwide for updates on this David and Goliath story.
Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And if you have a cause to champion, please let us know as we work to become the grassroots support network for Chicago Activists and community organizers