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Closings make mocha taste bittersweet

By Jim Stafford Published: July 9, 2008
I walk into the office on most workday mornings clutching a cup of Starbucks coffee in my hand. When I round the corner that leads to the Business News desk, my friend Ed will look up and say, "oh, you've been to FOURbucks today.”

Yuk it up all you want, Ed.

But I enjoy every cup of 40-weight that the folks at the Starbucks store on Britton Road pour up for me first thing in the morning. And a "grande” — that's a medium for folks like Ed — only costs me two bucks, thank you very much.

It was almost like the Britton Road Starbucks store was built for my convenience. Or maybe it's more like a toll booth where I'm forced to drop $2 every day on the way into the office.

Anyway, I stopped by the Starbucks on Tuesday afternoon and ordered up a little pick-me-up for the long grind until quitting time. As I was waiting for the barista to top off my mocha with some whipped cream, I heard some disturbing news among the chatter between employees.

The Britton Road Starbucks, open less than a year, is closing in August. It's one of 600 Starbucks coffee shops nationwide that the coffee giant is closing in a purge of unprofitable stores. The young people working behind the coffee bar at the Britton Road store told me that a dozen Oklahoma Starbucks have been marked for closing.

It was evident that the employees would mourn the demise of their store, even if they were offered employment at one of the remaining Oklahoma City area Starbucks shops.

"It's sad; I'm going to cry,” said a young woman as she operated the espresso machine.

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The Starbucks store at 125 W Britton Road, shown here just before sunrise, opened Oct. 19. by paul b. southerland, THE OKLAHOMAN


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