Wake up, New York! You’re supposed to be the city that doesn’t take any bullshit, the city that chews up the phonies and spits ‘em out! Are you really going to be bamboozled by a bunch of pseudo-hipsters from Portland, Oregon? Are you really going to fall for Stumptown Coffee?
In the article he takes on several aspects of Stumptown’s mythology, including an insightful look at the company’s professed hatred of Starbucks:
Stumptown shouldn’t be mistaken for the bohemian paradise that its owner and his legions of promoters and sycophants would have you believe. Like Starbucks, the company it professes to abhor, Stumptown provides a ready-made, generic bohemianism, one where people know exactly what to expect. Stumptown’s current strategy is essentially a retread of Starbucks’ corporate model from more than a decade ago.
The article’s description of Portland’s geography and demographics is laughably wrong (or intentionally exaggerated?), and like the rest of the article it’s delivered rather flippantly.
Arguments, only partly convincing, are made about Free Trade. The piece also investigates whether Stumptown’s coffee is really as good as advertised.
In any case the article is entertaining and thought provoking, even if you don’t agree with half of what it says.
Update – a couple more perspectives:
New York Magazine weighs in on the article: Has the Stumptown Backlash Begun?
Portland Mercury Blogtown too: A Little Bitterness with Your Coffee?