I know that there is a coffee shop in the Johnston Medical Mall and there is Riverside Coffee in Smithfield. I visit both shops. I also visit Java Joe's at 40 and 42 occasionally. My favorite is Dunkin' Donuts. Thank God one finally opened up in Johnston County...wish it was closer. I stop by there most often, since it is convenient if I am heading towards Raleigh AND they beat the crap out of Krispy Kreme's donuts and coffee ANY DAY. I also visit The Coffee Mill in Clayton, though less frequently than I used to since Dunkin' Donuts opened. The problem is that most of these shops are out of the way and out of town.
When I choose to get some coffee, I want quality. I brew only quality coffee here at home with half and half for a creamer. I really dislike the powdered stuff, so I am going to have it the way I want it. I love a good latte or cappucino once in a while. I am not likely to go to the local convenience store, McDonald's (for the world's largest restaurant, they have the world's worst coffee IMHO), or greasy spoon for a cup of coffee. I am willing to pay more for better quality.
If we had a good coffee shop in Selma, perhaps right off the interstate, I would frequent that shop. I would actually alter my daily routine to stop there regularly, and even go during odd hours. I don't know how many times I have had the desire for a mocha latte at 7 or 8 PM.
This weekend, I stopped by a Starbucks in Raleigh. I like "mom and pop" shops, but also like that corporate giant. It is the Wal-Mart of gourmet coffee. I saw a business card holder in the shop with cards for the district manager. I grabbed one and figured that I would email to see if they had any plans on locating a shop nearby.
Here is what I wrote and the reply I got just a few minutes ago:
From: Troy LaPlante
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 8:17 PM
To: Arlene DeCotis
Subject: Location in Johnston County
From time to time, my travels take me by one of your stores in the Raleigh area. Just today, I took the wife by North Hills for two caramel macchiatos, which we both love. Unfortunately, we live in Selma (used to live at North Hills in Raleigh years ago) and don't get to a Starbucks often. There are a few good, small coffee shops in Smithfield and Clayton. They are usually out of the way and I only get to stop when I am headed in those general directions.
I live near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Highway 70, which is a major crossroads in North Carolina and a high traffic portion of I-95. I have often thought that exit 97 off I-95 would be a great area for a coffee shop, donut shop, etc. There are none others for miles. The nearest Starbucks up I-95 is at exit 173 in Roanoke Rapids (75 miles).
If I had a local coffee shop to visit, I would be there regularly. There is nothing local to this area, nor near the interstate...period. Are there any plans to expand in this direction at all? I would love to have a regular coffee shop hangout!
From: Arlene DeCotis
To: Troy LaPlante
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 10:20 AM
Subject: RE: Location in Johnston County
Thank you for your interest in Starbucks Coffee Company. I will pass on your concerns to our real estate department but I can assure you that we are working diligently to find locations in eastern NC. Unfortunately, some of this information is considered very confidential but you shouldn’t have to travel to Raleigh or Roanoke Rapids for much longer. Have a great day and we thank you for your loyal patronage.
Arlene C. DeCotis
Greater Raleigh Area
Time will tell if this means that we are getting a Starbucks nearby. By nearby, I DO NOT MEAN the other side of the county or significantly out of the way. I have that already. It is hard to give "loyal patronage" if a shop is not local to patronize.