Friday, April 11, 2008

Ode to Starbucks

I'm selling and signing copies of Wild Goose Chase at my local Starbucks on Sunday. My publicist made posters and the staff hung them in the lobby. The lobby where I wrote much of my book. The baristas are excited. I love my Starbucks.

I should hate Starbucks. I’m a child of the sixties. I don’t like logos on my clothes. I don't shop at Walmart. I support the local grocery store instead of the fancy, new Safeway. I try to stay away from Costco (It's the 15-pack of my favorite pens that lures me back). I'm not usually in favor of huge corporations that spring up on every street corner. But any company that provides health care for its part-time employees and goes to court to protect its shift supervisors ain't all bad.

I know the arguments against Starbucks. Huge corporation smushes local coffee shops with its behemothness. But wait. Just the opposite happened. More coffee places have opened since Starbucks addicted us all.

The thing is I never drank coffee before Starbucks came to town. While that's not so good for my waistline, I can't be the only one. I see coffee shops everywhere now. Independents, small chains, drive-ins. All of them brimming with life, with conversation, with artists.

Before Starbucks, there was no place I could go plug in my laptop and write. They created a space for people to gather. For years while writing our novels, my friends and I would gather at the Orchard Valley Coffee house, have a brief conversation, then settle down to write, fueled by hot tea and each other's presence. It worked. I recommend it to anyone trying to write.

Starbucks has been good for my neighborhood. I run into old friends and make new ones. I’m still in touch with the baristas that have moved on. They’re proud of me and my book. Proud to have been a small part of it. Proud that it was written in their lobby.

So hail to Starbucks. Meet me in the lobby Sunday afternoon.


Becky Levine said...

I've heard you talk about your Starbucks--everybody there has been so supporting of you and are totally excited about your book coming out. They're individuals.

Have a great time at the signing!

Camille Minichino said...

Just another reason not to judge institutions merely by their size -- whether it's independents vs chains in coffee shops, or bookstores, or groceries.

How exciting, Terri! Give us the location.


Joanna Campbell Slan said...


My local barista told me how much she loves working there and how great the people are.

You know, we'd noticed their lattes were of uneven quality, and boom--their CEO closed shop for a day to get them all up to snuff.

I admire any company that can woo, keep and encourage great people, and do good in the world.

Terri Thayer said...

My "kids" are a great bunch. My biggest problem is getting too attached because they come and go too often. But I'm hoping to see some that have moved on to other jobs tomorrow.

As an added bonus, there's always one that is there because he or she is an artist of some kind. I have a wonderful experience of spurring into action one of the wannabe writers he saw my published book.

The Starbucks is at 1704 Oakland Rd in San Jose.