Back in about 1989 I noticed a new business getting ready to open in what we then called The Lakewood Mall. The new business was named Starbucks.
When I was growing up it seemed my parents were chained to their personal coffee pot. It was big, shiny and called a percolator or something like that. They dumped the water in and then filled the MJB coffee up to the line marked on the side of the coffee maker. My parents never ventured too far away from the coffee pot.
I did not want to be chained to a coffee pot, so I never started drinking coffee. I will admit to telling my friends that my parents drank my brand, MJB coffee, which stands for “Mighty Joe Boyle Coffee”. Few people know that. I made it past college, military service and business without ever driinking coffee.
When I first saw Starbucks, I asked a friend, “What is that place?” I was informed that it was a new-fangled coffee shop patterned after those found in Europe with the price of a cup of coffee running about $3.00. In my day, coffee cost 5 cents with free refills.
I had a college degree in business, so it was easy to combine my degree with my life experience and common sense to instantly prognosticate that the new business selling coffee for $3.00 a cup would never make it. Starbucks was obviously doomed for failure.
That shows you how smart I am. After becoming a Lakewood Police Officer in 1990 I gave in and started to patronize Starbucks twice a day.
I admitted that I was wrong; swallowed my pride and became a serious long term stockholder. My confidence and enthusiasm for the company caused me to put a vanity license plate on one of my Harleys that reads SBUX which is the stock market designation for Starbucks. I am not certain how I beat Howard Schultz out of the license plate. It is probably because my ideas cost money and Howard’s make money. With my track record, I probably qualify for a tuition refund on my business degree.
Because of Starbucks’ continued success, the business moved 500′ from its original Lakewood Mall location to its current free standing location at 6040 Main St SW inside what is now called The Towne Center.
Yesterday, Monday, February 17, 2014, at noon, I had my last cup before they closed the store for a serious remodel.
Starbucks is trying to make more room for their growing customer base. The store was bursting at the seams, sometimes with standing room only. They are adding soundproofing to help cover the conversational din radiating from large numbers of customers having fun at Starbucks.
During the construction period, which is scheduled to run 24 – 7, they will be operating out of a Starbucks trailer with store hours running from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm. The drive-thru is operational. Additionally, you can walk up to the trailer and order a tasty beverarge. There will be no seating during the construction period.
Starbucks will reopen for normal operations on March 4, 2014.
Success is good for the business, the City of Lakewood and for us as citizens of Lakewood.
Back in 1990 I predicted failure for Starbucks. In 2014, Starbucks continues to show how wrong one business genius can be. With my track record clearly in mind, you might want to buy me a cup of Starbucks and uncover some of my other business predictions. Use the contrarian approach to make a ton of money doing the opposite of what ever Joe Boyle forecasts.