I love coffee. It is so good.
When Starbucks closed due to the pandemic in mid-March, it hit me hard. I reasoned that if Starbucks was closing, then things must be serious, and indeed they were serious---and still are. What is it about Starbucks? First of all, Starbucks is everywhere. However, their power in this market is about more than size. It’s also about scale, branding, and ethics. As of early 2020, there were roughly 30,000 Starbucks locations around the world, nestled into pretty much every nook and cranny of planet Earth. Everyone recognizes the logo and what it stands for---coffee and other hot drinks, with some snacks and a la carte food offerings, a place to sit, free wifi, community with other people, and the right to sit peacefully without being disturbed. Starbucks also has the distinction of being the largest buyer of certified Fair Trade coffee in the world. Early on, Starbucks branded itself as a “third space”---a place between home and work; a place to think, to read, to wo