David Versus Goliath

Coffee lovers in Salem are blessed with many choices for their morning brew especially on Commercial St. SE. You may have noticed across the street from The Northern Lights Theater a new drive thru Starbucks has opened up. Of course you noticed, you've probably purchased three lattes from there since it opened. I know for sure my wife has bought at least one. I guess the Starbucks folks have figured out what the Dutch Bros have known for awhile. People in Salem don't like to get out of their cars when consuming caffeine. Let's see, 2 Starbucks downtown, 1 next to Hollywood Video, Fred Meyer, 1, Lancaster, 1, I think, at least 2 Safeways have them. Do they have any in Walmart yet? My guess is there are around 10 places in Salem to get a cup of Starbucks coffee. So what are the chances of survival for the little coffee stand next to the new Starbucks called the Espresso Road. Just opened a few weeks, SBs already has a long line and the ER not much of a wait. I'll be optimistic and say that I never noticed ER until the SB opened next to it. Maybe SBs overflow will boost business next door and that side of the street will become a coffee destination. I wonder what would happen if you ordered from ER and walked over to SBs and drank at one of their tables. Drinking an Espresso Road is like voting for a third party candidate. It's like a protest against the system, a small gesture of disobedience. If you do buy your coffee from ER, display your cup proudly. Walk around town without the thing that keeps your hands from burning and show off to everyone which side you are on in the coffee wars of Salem. This is truly a test for Salemites to pick between a mega chain and a mom and pop.


Anonymous said...

Espresso Road has outlasted the two other coffee shops that were in the building next door. They must have something going for them.

Michael said...

I'm all for supporting local coffee places, and I try and avoid starbucks as much as I can.

Starbucks does make really good coffee though. I'm still looking for a good grind, a local grind, that beats Starbucks Ethiopian Sumatra.

Unknown said...

The same thing happened between Breakpoint Coffee and Dutch Brothers, at the corner of Commercial and Owens. Dutch Bros. opened a drive through across the street from an established local coffee shop and drive through at Breakpoint. It's frustrating, and I think Dutch Bros. coffee isn't very good.

I support local coffee shops as much as possible. I usually only go to Starbucks when I'm out of town, when I don't know the quality of the local shops.

Anonymous said...

I am a big supporter of local shops and restaurants. However, I like Dutch Bros. The price, taste, convenience and service are excellent for a treat latte. They're an Oregon company that started small. I'm from south western Oregon too, and discovered Dutch Bros before they got big. But I do brew coffee at home 5-6 mornings a week.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon, just because they're becoming chain, doesn't mean they aren't local.

I prefer DB coffee, it doesn't taste burned/bitter like the other "local" places are starting to taste to me.

Michael, Allann Bros is local and makes some good coffee. You can buy packages of pre-ground, or whole bean, at the Beanery downtown (at least the one attached to the bus barn area).

Anonymous said...

My first thought is that Salem (or the earth for that matter) does not need another place where people sit in their cars burning gas and emitting noxious fumes instead of getting off their dead butts and walking to the window or counter. People in this town are LAY-ZEEE!

That being said, I will more than likely get my coffee at Starbuck's (and will park and walk to the counter or into the store) as their decaf is far superior to any other coffee stand I have tried.