news: Guess What I Just Heard



By a Gossiping Bitch on November 3rd, 2005

Last month, Starbucks, the notorious Seattle-based caffeine cartel, announced the establishment of their latest stronghold in the rough and tumble neighborhood of Compton, California. Compton, widely credited as the birthplace of The Gangsta Rap and considered one of the most dangerous cities in America (I see you East St. Louis), is a far cry from the trendy neighborhoods and quaint suburban enclaves where one would normally find the upscale coffee shop. “It’s really quite simple,” says Starbucks spokesperson Steve Niles. “A fiend, is a fiend, is a fiend. And if there’s one thing there’s no shortage of in Compton, it’s fiends.”

StarbucksNiles is referring to the widespread proliferation of drug addicts throughout the city, something he feels will be a key to the franchise’s success. “Listen, in one way or another we’re all dealers,” explains Niles. “I don’t care if it’s cocaine or cappuccino, it’s all about getting that repeat customer. Our market research clearly shows these people already have exhibited those addictive tendencies, so why wouldn’t we go after them? You’re gonna tell me a Caramel Macchiato is worse for you than crack? If we can wean them off the illegal narcotics and onto the legal narcotics, I say that’s a win-win. Sure, it may end up costing them a little more out of pocket but at the end of the day, I like to think we’re making a difference. Money, and a difference.”

Not everyone is pleased with the grand opening, though, especially long-time area drug dealers. “We been out here grindin’ fo’ years an’ these fools finna come up in here and move in on our turf?” says longtime dealer Loc E Loc. “Aw, hell naw.” But Niles says Starbucks has been planning this move for quite some time and is ready if anything pops off. “Well, this isn’t your average Starbucks,” he warns. “There’s cameras everywhere and the baristas are behind bullett-proof glass, but it’s not about keeping the dealers out — if anything we’ve made it as attractive to them to come inside as possible.”

Niles was quick to point out the “little things” Starbucks has done to not only attract the gangsta element but make them feel right at home: “Instead of having a ‘Drive-Thru’ this shop has a ‘Drive-By’, um…we’re giving out logo bandanas, I mean we even got these little foam guns made up that say ‘Get Your Shots at Starkbucks’…they’re really cute. The only killing we expect is some good old-fashioned killing with kindness. By us. To them.”

Other iniatives are planned to further cement their place in the community, most noticeably partnering with local musicians for exclusive in-store content, something the chain has had success with in the past. “As with all our stores, music will play a big part,” says Niles. “Our first exclusive release will be a full length Snoop Dogg album slated for early 2006. Snoop was more than happy to sign on for this – in fact, he’s the one that contacted us, which was a first…but the point is that when people ask ‘Hey, where can I get that new Gangsta Nip?’ we want the answer to be ‘Starbucks, fool.'”

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