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The Museum of Coffee Gift Shop (aka Starbucks)

Joe Heitzeberg
August 22, 2009

In his book, “Pour Your Heart Into It”, Howard Schultz describes his life story and the story of how Starbucks was built. Great book, btw. In it, he mentions being inspired by Italian cafes that function as gathering places and are part of the daily routine of people in the neighborbood.

That is certainly an aspirational vision for Starbucks, but I think implementation totally misses the mark. What Starbucks has actually created is a gift shop. It’s the exact same gift shop that you might find at The Museum of Coffee, if there was one — packed with overpriced coffee-related trinkets, contrived art books and specially packaged music CDs — and instead of a museum they have a coffee bar.

So I’m wondering, why does the world need nearly 20,000 Museum of Coffee Gift Shops?

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