A rose by any other name still isn't so sweet for some.
Starbucks recently opened a new store in Seattle, and while that alone isn't big news in the city of residence for the coffee giant's corporate seat, what is news is that the new store doesn't bear the Starbucks logo.
Called 15 Ave. Coffee & Tea, it certainly looks (from our Boise standpoint, anyway) that the new store has gone to lengths to prevent being identified with Starbucks.
Have a look at the homepage for 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea. Doesn't look much like a Starbucks, does it?
Well, surely, it must say in the "About" section that it's a Starbucks, right?
Or not. According to a story in the Seattle Times last month, Starbucks employees staked out local coffee shops to take notes and see what worked. The addition of beer and wine, as well as local music are some of the new additions to the Starbucks formula ... well, the new local approach in Starbucks' formula.
The denial goes both ways, however. Not only does 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea not claim to be a Starbucks store on its Web site, but the store locator at starbucks.com doesn't claim it either.
Sure, the argument can be made that there is no truly local coffee—at least not in the United States anyhow—but this kind of "de-branding" of an internationally recognized product sure gets straight to the heart of the ol' local-washing debate, doesn't it?