One of the top stories in today’s local paper is about a potential new coffee shop opening up in the town next to ours. ?Just for clarification we live in a suburb of Tacoma, WA which is about 30 minutes south of Seattle (home of Starbucks). ?The town next to ours is this little “island” of a town and not even classified as an actual city. ?It, quite literally, is the Town of Fircrest. ?One would say it is more of a neighborhood, but they do have a town hall and you get to pay higher taxes if you live there. ?It is a desirable little town although I’m not sure why. ?The main revenue source for the town is through speeding tickets (the entire town’s speed limit is 25). ?They’ll pull you over for 2 over.
This being said, the town’s population is 6300. ?The challenge is that a business owner wants to put in a drive-thru coffee shop. ?The town is telling them they can’t have a drive-thru. ?Coffee shop yes, drive-thru no. ?Simply because the place they want to open the shop has an ordinance prohibiting a drive-thru. ?Now this is the point that I should mention that there are 8 businesses in Fircrest with drive-thrus and 2 of them just so happen to be coffee shops. ?Ironic no?
The town staff says that the business owners operate with a conditional use permit. ?Which would allow them to operate the drive-thru as long as they help maintain the adjoining street. ?It’s a complicated little deal this coffee shop business.
I know we live in the land of coffee. ?We have 2 coffee giants (Starbucks and Tully’s) with huge roasting facilities in the area. ?We are no strangers to our coffee shops. ?It is pretty much what the Northwest is known for. ?Here is my question though. ?Is it really wise for a business owner to want to open a coffee shop in a town of 63oo, where your competition is 1) a popular locally owned roaster 500 yards down the street and 2) Starbucks, 1 mile away?