Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good on you Mandy....

I can make a cup of coffee in my shop for as little as 3 pence I reckon. Not just a Somerfield's own brand one either. No, we're talking Carte Noir here! That's the cost of the spoonful of the finest instant granules, the slug of semi skimmed milk and the lecky to boil a small amount of water. So it's always baffled me when I see, otherwise sane people queuing up in the morning at Starbucks on Tonbridge High Street, to pay around £2.50 for their frothy lattes served in a cardboard cups "to go." Well after today's story about Howard Shultz (the boss of the global Starbuck's chain) slagging off the UK and it's economy I wish they would "go" go leave our country if they don't like it. It's not often that I would agree with Peter Mandelson but on this one his "tirade", reported in all the papers this morning, was well justified. Who the fuck, to use Mandy's language not usually mine, do they think they are? They are a sodding coffee shop and don't have any right to pass comment on the state of our economy and, even more annoyingly, on the psychie of the British people. The day we need to take advice from a coffee shop entrepreneur, who let's face it, opened way too many outlets in the first place, is the day we really need to start worrying. Good on you Mandelson I say....

8 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

I'm with you all the way on this one Tonbridge Blogger. I must admit I hadn't heard of Howard Schultz, but was obviously aware of his chain poncy of coffee shops that have spread like a fungus throughout the developed world. (McDonalds for the middle classes is how I'd describe them). It amazes me as well to see people, with more money than sense, queuing up for their "tall, skinny lattes", or whatever takes their fancy from the vast range of coffee and tea based concoctions that Starbucks claim to offer. This is the company that refers to its staff as "Baristas", how poncy and up your own backside can you get?
If I want a coffee I nip into Wetherspoons, where I can get a cup for less than half the price I'd have to pay in Mr Shultz's emporium!
I don't know where this ill-informed clown gets his facts from, but I have seen precious few signs of "the collapse in consumer confidence" claimed by Mr Shultz. A couple of Saturdays ago we visited Lakeside Shopping Centre; the place was heaving and we had difficulty finding a car-parking space. The same applied the previous weekend when we went shopping in Maidstone. The only thing I can think of is that people are perhaps coming to their senses and seeing through the facade of fancy, over-priced chains like Starbucks, and voting with their wallets!
I too don't often agree with Peter Mandelson, but having read his retort in the papers I fully support him on this. Who the hell does this stupid coffee shop proprietor think he is, and what qualifies him to comment on the state of not only the British economy, but that of Western Europe as a whole? Sod off back to Seattle Shultz, and take your over-priced, over-frothed and over-hyped coffee with you!

TonbridgeR said...

I'm in total agreement here. I have always made it my policy not to drink coffee at either of the town's coffee retailers. These are founded on personal opinions on global conglomorates. However, I disagree that it is a McDonalds for the middle classes. It seems the patronage is across the classes and it is an experience they are buying into and often not the coffee. Where else in town can anyone and any class whether male, female, families, mothers and tots sit in comfort and watch the world go with only a glass frontage between them and the High Street. There are free newspapers to read, it's nice and warm and there's nobody throwing you off the tables. But at what price I ask myself? How do they afford it? Are the being taken for a financial ride? Or is it a good deal if you want more than a coffee but want to buy into the whole cafe experience.
What I personally cannot get to grips with is that any week day from 3.30pm onwards both Nero and Starbucks are crammed with teenagers. I ask myself where do they get that kind of cash? They are obviously not taking on after school jobs as they are hanging about in the cafes and willing to pay the inflated prices. Either they are getting too much pocket money, are using that allowance that pays them to attend school or have more money than sense. And what bothers me even more is that shoes are discarded under the table and their smelly bare feet are all over the seats. I certainly don't particularly want to sit on a sofa or comfy leather armchair are verruca infected feet have been all over it. What is this culture encouraging? I don't like it and believe me I am no ancient fuddy duddy or whatever on would call it.
I too have seen little evidence of the collapse in consumer confidence in the shopping centres. In fact I was recently at The Chaser in Shipbourne on a week night and the restaurant and bar were bursting with customers. The landlord commented that he could hardly believe that their was a recession going on. Maybe everyone is trying to spend what they earn and enjoy life rather than hang on to it. So maybe there is just a social shift going on at present which will mean new winners and losers.
So in the light of Mr Shultz's comments I would also suggest he make a quick exit back to Seattle.

Stoatbeak said...

Yeah .... On yer bike Mr Schultz. You are only a jumped cafe owner anyway !!!

Stoatbeak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graeme said...

I agree with Stoatbeak, on your bike cafe owner !

Stoatbeak said...

Welcome to Tonbridge blog....Bovvered about your town?...get something off your chest right now....stimulate a debate....get blogging....express your own views....have your say....share your rants on matters effecting the town...start blogging now....

An inviting heading indeed BUT to do all this one would surely have to start their own "Tonbridge blog" in fact I am sure I remember "Petrolstationvillage" saying something rather like this ?

SO - Watch out Tonbridge Blogger you may get some competition.

Tonbridge blogger said...

"Cafe experience" is perfectly justified TobridgeR. That's a differnt matter and pretty much the same argument as going to the local pub for the atmosphere and company rather than just getting a takeaway flaggon of ale. I'm talking about the need to queueq up to take the coffee away in a cardboard cup. There you are just buying a coffee, albeit a nice one, in a cup with Starbuck's branding on it a ridiculously expensive price tag. And yes Stoatbeak why not a Hildenborough blog as well as a Tonbridge blog, grand idea. Although what's that got to do with the price of coffee?!..

petrolstationvillage said...

I haven't even been in Starbucks. Never asked for it, we were just lumped with it. I look forward when people boycott their poxy overpriced American Caff and go back to the US of A. That Schultz bloke has done us a favour. We don't want it in petrolstationvillage either, we just stick with estate agents and petrol stations.