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Got joe? Starbucks to open in South Boston / July 19, 2021

South Boston will soon be getting a Starbucks, which, depending on your point of view, either ushers the town into the modern age or undermines the buy-local vibe that sustains its independent cafés.

Or maybe it’s just a story of a chain-owned coffeehouse coming to South Boston.

At any rate, “Yes, there is a Starbucks coming,” said South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab, who added there are rumors that the Starbucks will be accompanied by a Cook Out restaurant going up next door, although Raab expressed hope that a Chick-Fil-A will be built instead.

The location is expected to be a vacant commercial tract on Old Halifax Road, on the same side of the street as Huddle House across the way from Walmart. Efforts to find out more from the developers — a limited liability corporation, Halifax Development, LLC — were not immediately successful.

Starbucks started out in 1971 as a Seattle-only operation that specialized in premium coffees and concoctions that, then and now, incorporate ingredients such as caramel, syrups and old standbys like espresso and steamed milk. (Pumpkin spice came years later.) The chain became synonymous with coffee culture, stereotypically populated by urbanites and others who don’t blanche at the idea of paying $5 for their morning fix.

Today, Starbucks operates more than 32,000 stores worldwide, and the company opened some 50 U.S. locations in June. It employs around 349,000 people, with about 20 hires at each location.

Starbucks been hailed alternately as a breakthrough brand — bringing a high-quality cup of joe to a corner near you — and as a multinational conglomerate that peddles what it originally eschewed, the common denominator cup of coffee.

News of Starbucks’ impending arrival has filtered down to the owners of local eateries and their fans, many of whom have gone on social media to vow their continued support for small local businesses over hyped-up chain coffeehouse rivals.

Requests for comment this weekend from downtown South Boston’s two coffee shop/cafés — The Busy Bean and Southern Plenty — brought forth one reply by press time, from Mary Bagwell, owner of Southern Plenty.

“I think the best things about local small businesses far outweigh the mighty corporate cup,” wrote Bagwell in a text message. “Locally, Southern Plenty sources a Virginia roaster, Red Rooster, who seeks out organic, fair trade beans, which adds to the coffee growers in their local economy. Then, we hire locals who learn the coffee business and create coffee drinks you can only get in our shop.”

At Starbucks, specialty coffee drinks cost more than $5, on average. A phone call placed to one of Danville’s two Starbucks locations revealed that the grande caramel macchiato costs $5.25 after tax. At Southern Plenty, specialty coffee drinks are under $4.

“Our pricing is way lower than Starbucks and our style and atmosphere can only be found within our four walls. Shopping locally, I think, keeps approximately 60 percent of your money spent in town, which helps everyone,” said Bagwell.

Southern Plenty just purchased a new 3-head, 2-steamer Italian espresso machine, and they are are up for the challenge.

“We have a lot more to bring folks in besides coffee, so I have no worries. Also, if folks come off (Route) 58 to get Starbucks, they can’t help but see our mural on the side of the building with a beautiful woman holding a fresh, steaming cup,” said Bagwell.

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Mary Bagwell, I agree. I'll be sticking with Southern Plenty and Busy Bean for sure.


No one should support that company!They are anti freedom and support leftist. I know I won't spend a dime there. Hope they go broke!


Really looking forward to both places coming to Sobo, just hope we dont have people in our community try to push against this like we usually do with any new and exciting coming to our town.


I would NEVER support Star Bucks! They do not support law enforcement!


Comments brought to you by the anti-starbucks pro-insurrection team. Letsgrowsobo - you cool, SoBo 4sure needs growth. Ellen its Starbucks - no space. Allpolitical you use the internet and a tech device to post comments - 2 very leftist supporting industries. You are financially supporting leftist orginizations do you see the irony ?


Ellen who says SBucks does not support lae enforcement? Mike Lindel?
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Cities Chiefs Association to expand the events. Since then, we’ve supported more than 1,500 Coffee with a Cop events


I'm with supporting the local coffee shops, but when I want a coffee after 4pm or on a Sunday, where am I supposed to go? I think Starbucks is going to be a good addition to the county. NEW and CHANGE is good! It's time for the county to grow.


The internet is not leftist.Google etc is, the news and record is. I am not paying tom anything. As for Starbucks, they don't support vets, cops or the military. If this is what you think south Boston needs to grow, then I don't want it to grow. I don't want people,Yankees, carpetbaggers etc who don't share my values. They can stay the hell out!


"allpolitical2" my Army Veteran police officer spouse has never had any trouble being served at Starbucks. Crazy, huh?


M I guess you never read what happens at Starbucks. If he is cop here, sounds like he is not in uniform. My son is military officer and he saw the clerk spit in his coffee. So if they would do that to an 04, in uniform, think they support him? Do you have any idea the causes they donate to?

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