(Written for Vegansaurus, but unedited)
As I'm sure you've already heard (unless you live under a rock -- I have some friends that do!) Starbucks has bought San Bernadino-based juice company, Evolution Juices, for an alleged $30 million! Starbucks plans to carry Evolution in their cafes, and also to open juice bars* in the next year. Starbucks has already dropped the "Starbucks Coffee" from their logo, much like Apple dropped "computers" from theirs, when they started carrying iPods, iPhones and iPads. Now, here's the question I have for you, because I am honestly interested in your opinion -- is this good news or bad news?
I ask because I feel so torn about this move by Starbucks. On one hand, I shop at Whole Foods and Safeway, and have bought the 'Just Greens' Evolution juices there. In being honest with you, I obviously patronize corporations, so I don't necessarily see the big deal about Starbucks buying Evolution to spread juice to the masses. How is that a bad thing? Plus, I like Starbucks because their internet is not spotty, and I need that in order to write outside of my home. I will always choose to buy coffee from a mom and pop operation, but if I need to use the internet to work, Starbucks is the only place I can go that doesn't let me down.
Starbucks is taking on selling more vegan food options and now juice (plus beer and wine, right?) and I don't see this a bad thing. So many people frequent Starbucks, isn't that a perfect outlet to spread veganism to the masses? Isn't that what we want? Or are we trying to keep veganism like our favorite indie band; all to ourselves?
The interior of an Evolution store -- someone needs to use their spell check! I can't hate too hard, many of you point out my spelling flaws and it's super embarrassing! (Though I appreciate it!)
On the other hand, I don't want to lose the sense of community we gain with small, local business. I don't want corporations to take over the world, and the hippie in me hates myself for shopping at chains, as I truly believe in supporting local cafes and juices shops. Especially because I live in a city, and I can do just that! I would also like to point out that I appreciate that both my college town (Arcata) and my neighborhood (Upper Haight) refuse to let Starbucks in. However, what does one do when they don't live in a city, but the suburbs where chains are prevalent? What if getting a juice, or soy in coffee or vegan food is only available at Starbucks, Safeway or Jamba Juice? Can we have both? Can we shop at both local and corporate and be okay with ourselves?
My conclusion is this: I will buy juice and vegan food where it is available, and if it's available to a larger demographic of people, then I see that as a win for the animals and therefore the environment (except all the plastic packaging!). On that note, I will hardly go to Evolution, or buy beer at Starbucks because I prefer cold-pressed, raw vegetable juice and dive bars.
One more thing -- as long as Starbucks is going to try and take over the world, I would like to see an emphasis placed on using compostable packaging! Biodegradable cups would be a fantastic start, Starbucks! Pave the way for corporations to start taking responsibility for the planet by using little to no plastic!
*The first Evolution juice bar opened on March 19th, in Bellevue, Washington.