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Coffee & Tea 116

Indie coffeehouses

eatzalot | Sep 10, 201309:22 AM

Caution, evalunta: Le Boulanger and Le Boulange are different firms. Le Boulanger is a modest, venerable bakery chain, around for decades, in Peninsula and South Bay -- not the Boulange of this thread.

I still wonder what is the appeal of Starbucks in the Bay Area in the first place (with or without pastries). If you grew up in this region and not too recently, then you remember independent coffeehouses by the dozen, long before Starbucks began. Some newer suburbs maybe lacked them, along with other traditions. But for places like SF and the older East Bay and Peninsula, the need to import corporate chain coffee houses (did someone mention centrally mass produced pastries? what about coffee beans??) has never been clear to this witness. It does advowedly appeal to representatives of other national corporations -- like the one that bought the Stanford Shopping Center ftom the university, and promptly kicked out its celebrated independent roaster and coffee shop (which the new owners apparently hadn't heard of) for Starbucks (which they explicitly had heard of). That notorious episode perhaps captures the spirit of Starbucks's role in the Bay Area.

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