I recently ran across this article that was to tell me how Starbucks is good for small coffee shops. I was, indeed, interested their reasoning. I also issued a rebuttal in the comments, and stand by the comments wholeheartedly. I believe it as much today, as I did five years ago. Here's the article link: http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/market-movers/2007/11/26/why-starbucks-is-good-for-small-coffee-shops
Also, you may know that part of my job is creating coffee and espresso programs in restaurants and bars, and the coolest project I was able to work on recently was a new three story club that opened up here in downtown Charlotte called HOM. Anyway, I helped come up with the menu, did the training, and was also honored to have my personal signature drink chosen to be on their menu. It's a drink I have held onto for many years, waiting on the right home for it, and there it is, right on their menu. Mocha Diablo. Beautiful. When I read it I was like a proud papa. Grinning from ear to ear. It's a good job what I get to do, heck, what we all get to do, let's not forget it. This coffee life is a good life.