Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Soon

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Coming Soon

Article excerpt

The company that made upscale coffee bistros yuppie gathering spots is bringing its legendary products to Oklahoma City.

Seattle legend Starbucks Coffee is expected to open its first of two Oklahoma City locations Nov. 16 in Nichols Hills Plaza (above). This shop, managed by Amy LeMay (shown at right with a French coffee press), will cover 2,756 square feet.

A week later, the 1,485-square-foot location at Memorial and Pennsylvania is scheduled to open under manager Jennifer Morris.

Both locations are expected to have between 15 and 20 employees.

Starbucks woke up the city of Seattle when it opened in 1971 and in the ensuring 30 years has expanded into 2,999 locations nationwide. The company also has 301 overseas locations.

With this many locations, it is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in North America.

The company came to Oklahoma City, according to Gus Dracopoulos, Starbucks district manager, because it is "a great fit for Starbucks Coffee."

"Consumer research and consumer feedback indicates that Oklahoma City is an area that knows and appreciates great coffee," he said. "Residents of Oklahoma have experienced Starbucks in other cities and were anxious to have one in their hometown.

"It comes down to what our customers in Oklahoma City tell us that they want, and that is a Starbucks coffee in their neighborhood."

Although he wouldn't give forecast, or even estimated, sales figures -- calling them proprietary -- Dracopoulos said the company's employees -- he called them partners -- "look forward to making a difference in the community with volunteer and sponsorship opportunities."

"We are excited and optimistic about offering Starbucks Coffee retail stores to the Oklahoma City community," he said. "Feedback from this community and market research indicates that there are many opportunities for us and our customers here."

Traditionally, Starbucks works with local charitable institutions to return something to the community, he said. For example, the planned Oklahoma City Starbucks already has planned to work with Oklahoma City Beautiful, the Food Bank and the Arts Council, he said. …

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