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I am so Wise

Common Ground and El Rancho Grande are supported by people hating on the best. Or think they're cool by embracing a less popular, less common option.

Rusty Chompers

That is the dumbest thing I've read in a long time.

As someone who buys coffee at both Common Ground and Rancho Grande as well as numerous other coffee shops around the city (except for Starbucks because I've had their coffee, it's terrible - and it tastes the same at all the shops since it is a chain), it seems pretty clear they are supported by folks who simply want an affordable cup of coffee (which Starbucks is not known for) that tastes good (which the convenience store options in the neighborhood) are not known for.

Most people who look at coffee in less utilitarian ways (caffeine delivery system) will also regularly acknowledge the horrible taste of Starbucks coffee - that "burnt bean flava", if you will.

Also, you seem to confuse the concept of popularity with dominance. The reason so many people go to Starbucks, and the reason that people like me are experiencing schaedenfruede at their current failings is because their business model was not based on fair competition but a monopolistic destruction of competition leaving few options in many places for coffee drinkers other than Starbucks.

It seems to me that the expensive latte middle class fad is just one of many casualties of Republican economic policies that are designed to redistribute wealth from the bottom and middle to elite few at the top.

Yes, I'm saying Starbucks is a passing middle class fad.

It's good that you name yourself "wise" because based on your comments, one certainly wouldn't get that sense.

Sorry if I just turned it personal, but then, you set the rhetorical tone when you made stupid and offensive and ignorant stereotypes of people like me.

stevo

I've been trying to avoid chains and to support local. No, I don't have the numbers to back it up, but, I'm guessing in general that the local guys are gonna keep the dollars closer by.

Benn

For every dollar you spend at a chain - 15 cents stays in your community.

For every dollar you spend at a locally owned, independent store - 45 cents stays in your community.

Independent businesses tend to rely on other local businesses for the services they need. In the case of a cafe - locally owned, independent cafes tend to buy their milk from local dairies, they tend to buy their bagels, muffins, (or the ingredients to make them), etc. from local suppliers. They frequently buy their beans from local roasters. They rely on local accountants, local means of advertising, etc.

All this means they support a local economy.

Corporate chains and franchises like Starbucks rely on out of state corporate suppliers and services.

They do nothing for a local economy - they take the consumer's money and ship it back to the corporate offices.

Chains are frequently given tax breaks to open in areas. But they don't stop charging that tax to the consumer. That means, additionally, that 6% (in MD) sales tax you pay at a chain, especially the big box ones, is an additional 6% added to the price of goods under the guise of going back to the community.

Locally owned, independent businesses rarely get any sort of aid or tax breaks, so the sales tax you pay there isn't corporate profit - it goes back into the community as well.

Statisically, locally owned independent businesses give more to local charities and tend to be more active in and responsive to the communities where they are located.

In a way, it's easy to see corporate chains, when you look at it from a community perspective, as parasitic while local businesses tend to have, in theory, a more symbiotic relationship with their community.

Factually speaking, there is no way one can logically argue that corporate chains are better for a community than locally owned, independent business.

You can like corporate chains - like a Starbucks or a Panera or a Target or a Wal-Mart. That's fine. But liking them is sort of liking smoking. It's your choice, but it ain't healthy.

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