New Starbucks Opens Next to Urban Beans in Phoenix; State Senator Katie Hobbs Calls for a Flash Mob Today to Protest

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Urban Beans is located at Seventh Street and Osborn Road.
When Starbucks, the Earth's largest chain of coffee houses, decided a good place to plop its newest store (one of 20,891 locations in 62 countries) was right next to Urban Beans, the Midtown java shop owned by Virginia Senior (who also owns its wine bar, Tertio), state Senator Katie Hobbs and Get Your PHX founder and realtor Ken Clark said hell no.

Today, the two are calling for a flash mob to support the four-year-old local business.

Here's how you can help.

See also: Detroit Coney Grill in Tempe to Open Friday

A Facebook event regarding today's flash mob reads as follows:

"Senator Katie Hobbs and Get Your PHX founder Ken Clark are calling for a FLASH MOB TO SUPPORT URBAN BEANS.

When you are a locally owned business and you have a good thing going, some national chains see that and use their power to take a slice out of your business.

This is happening on the corner of Seventh Street and Osborn Road, where Virginia Senior's Urban Beans Coffee shop has been a source for good coffee, food and community meeting space.

But those national chains don't care that taking even 10 percent of a local business' customers could be disastrous to the business, their employees, and the community.

In fact, it often is part of their business model to take those customers.

Please support Virginia and Urban Beans. Drop by Urban Beans tomorrow, the day the chain-who-shall-not-be-named opens its doors. Have a cup of coffee, lunch, a beer, some wine or even dinner.

This is a crucial time for the local business. As Local First AZ's Kimber Lanning tells us, when you spend your money at a local business, more money goes to schools, police, and fire."

So far, the event has attracted over 200 who say they'll be attending.

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Location Info

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Urban Beans

3508 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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84 comments
gary.gilbert
gary.gilbert

I support local businesses as much as possible, but if I can get faster, friendlier service and a product that I enjoy from Starbucks, then I am going to go there. I have tried Urban Beans 3-4 times and have not enjoyed the service. I am not going to support a business that I don't enjoy just because they're locally owned.

If a Starbucks opened up across the street from Copper Star, I would still choose Copper Star. They are always friendly and make helpful suggestions. They are really into their business and their product, and it shows. Plus, they have really good cupcakes.

Cici Cipriano
Cici Cipriano

Jo have you attended any neighborhood meetings? Maybe we've met? Has this fine senator? We're a very active hood with huge issues... I know the fine developer came to us and the fine developer came to the grant money hearings fighting for our neighborhood to keep our street light funding that was taken away. When we list he donated $ to us so our street lights aren't turned off!

Phil Razzi
Phil Razzi

Jo if you did you would have been at the neighborhood meeting where the developer talked about what he was thinking over a year ago. I think it is great for the hood. I am not a great starbucks fan, but I am a fan of infill development. This corner improves the neighborhood regardless if it is SB or some other chain.

Phil Razzi
Phil Razzi

The developer had met with Virginia and she was fine with it because you have two completely different consumers. She knows whats up. She is an intelligent business owner. Starschmucks will hit morning traffic headed into downtown. Urban Beans will still have it's regular customers I am sure. As well as other customers brought to the area by the entire development.

coronadohatersclub
coronadohatersclub

Urban Beans food tastes like cardboard and the owner was mean last time I came in. You shouldn't charge for simple syrup. Jobot doesn't and starbucks doesn't either. If she really cared about her business she wouldn't be crying about starbucks and would be working to KEEP customers. I've gone 4 times last month, but this was the first time I've seen her and the last time I'm ever going there. If someone buys $40 worth of stuff, you shouldn't be stingy.  

Diane L Sawczyn
Diane L Sawczyn

Are they going to do this for every local business threatened by competition? The best way to support local business is to buy from them instead of the big chains. I don't think a flash mob will prevent Starbucks from building.

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

This is what taxpayers pay for? And people bitch about arpaio? Pfft.

Judy Adams
Judy Adams

Our legislature should focus on education, that's what really matters in a neighborhood.

ladmo81
ladmo81

I have never been here. I am going on Saturday. Thanks Starbucks for waking me up!

Jo Hafford
Jo Hafford

The legislature has been sine die since April.

Jo Hafford
Jo Hafford

This fine senator who won on a 30-point margin in the general election and 20 points in the primary, and knows those of us that live in this area care about what kind of development does or doesn't go into our neighborhoods.

Barry Ellington
Barry Ellington

Drink one, both or neither. As to the possible business Senator Hobbs may have here ... follow the money.

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

No offense, but this "flash mob" event is completely ridiculous.  Who cares that they're a small business.  They've been around for four years -- if you're a coffeehouse and you've made it two, you've made it and as long as you're consistent, your clientele will remain loyal.  If they're truly scared about Starbucks, do something different, offer better products, ignite better marketing to your clientele.  I don't understand why you'd want a flash mob crashing your business, especially most in the morning -- the quality of your drinks would go down, people would have to wait much longer and you might run out of pastries.  From what I know, UB doesn't compare to Starbucks.  They don't offer the "sugar drinks" or smoothies that Starbucks does, so it's truly apples & oranges here -- just a marketing ploy to get people into UB while Starbucks opens on it's first day.  If they go out of business, it's not because of Starbucks, it's because a) their baristas aren't trained properly b) customer service is bad c) lack of consistency d) lack of seating e) lack of design/decor f) products are lacking g) whatever else you can think of.  I hope they remain a successful joint to 7th St & Coronado, but this is merely just a marketing plug to get more attention and a small attempt to sway those away from Starbucks -- like people have never heard of Starbucks before? 

Katie Hobbs
Katie Hobbs

I really wish the New Times had talked to me before posting this. This is not a protest at all and if you read the event description that would be perfectly clear. We are simply raising awareness about the need to support local businesses if we want to continue to enjoy the benefits they bring to our community. I like Starbucks, I think they are a socially responsible corporation. THIS IS NOT A PROTEST.

Claire Voyant
Claire Voyant

Okay, I feel like this is a wal-mart being built in a neighborhood of local businesses... Same concept. I understand the anger.

Sindi Stack
Sindi Stack

More important things to think about rather than a Starbuck store.

Sue White
Sue White

It was to support Urban Beans, not to protest Starbucks. How about a little "glass half full" optimistic view versus the negative angle? Jeesh....

Deanna Elliott
Deanna Elliott

I DO support local business....as I have my own business.

Kerry Wheeler
Kerry Wheeler

our country is in danger of losing everything it was built on and this ____ is worried about a starbucks?? ..

IdontWanna
IdontWanna

I stopped going to Urban Beans because their prices were becoming absurd. I like the shop and the girls who work there are sweet, but 10 bucks for a coffee, pastry and tip is something I can and WILL do without! Maybe Starbucks will offer competition and fine tune UB back to what it once was.

Mary Hargenrader
Mary Hargenrader

I would LOVE to be in a flashmob!! They look like sooooo much fun!!! I can't worth a you know what though. Wouldn't matter!!!

elvgamiz
elvgamiz

What does everyone think of the OLD SCHOOL sign right in front of the Starbucks -_- 

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

From reading the article it seems to me that the comparison is somewhat apples vs. oranges. Urban Beans offers alchohol beverages and Starbucks doesn't. UB offers dinner, apparently, and I don't know that Starbucks does. I think if UB has a strong enough customer base and offers a consistently good product and service they will probably survive.

globalparadox
globalparadox

I believe, in the context of this story, it is a cashmob that is being organized, not a flashmod.

Benjamin Massoglia
Benjamin Massoglia

OK let me get this straight, you're judging an entire country based on a single article from a local newspaper? Sounds like confirmation bias to me.

scgeant
scgeant

Flash mob or no, supporting local first is always good for everyone in the community. Urban has been a true helper of the community for over 4 years. Starbucks will never care for the community the way UB will. It is hard for small business to compete with the capital that an entire corporation holds not to mention branding. Please support local business first.

Brandi King
Brandi King

Hope she is not on the clock. zero f*cks are given about this article.

John Pershinsky
John Pershinsky

urban bean takes a bit longer and charges a bit more but the quality surpasses starbucks by far (coffee and food) plus they have booze...should be interesting to see how they fare

Kyle Hague
Kyle Hague

yeah... Benjamin is right-- they don't really seem to understand what a flash mob is. It sounds more like they are wanting a protest but don't want to make the effort to organize it. Urban Beans rules, by the way. I hope they destroy Starbucks.

Matty Steinkamp
Matty Steinkamp

So we are supposed to go there and start dancing in protest of Starbucks ... Ok I'm in what time and what song are we dancing too?

Jerry Young
Jerry Young

Be proactive to take advantage of the additional traffic the Starbucks will draw...marketing!

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

If I liked Urban Bean I would certainly want to be a bit more certain than "they will probably survive."  "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong."

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@globalparadox Agreed.  It's simply publicity for a small business coffeehouse (if they'd only been around for say 4-6 months, I would totally understand).   However, the fact of the matter is, they haven't.  They've been around for FOUR YEARS.  Get over it that Starbucks is a half block away.  Do better, be better, be consistent and the customers will follow.

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@scgeant That's not what I've heard, read or been told.  In fact, I've heard the opposite.  I've heard they had a charity event and gave ZERO percent to charity. 

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@Kyle Hague They're not going to "destroy" Starbucks.  As long as their clientele stay loyal, they'll be perfectly fine.  If they become inconsistent, people will go elsewhere and possibly go to Starbucks.  There are plenty of solid 3 to 5 star coffee joints around the PHX Metro Valley -- customers who get shanked won't stick around, they'll find another coffeehouse and stick to it, especially if there's consistency in product.

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@Chuck Klee I hope this isn't the case as I'm a believer in small business.  The only way UB will go under is if their products become inconsistent and they don't make their drinks at 250/300 degrees. Customers love consistency in product, if they don't get it, they go elsewhere.  Customers of UB will leave because of this and this alone -- it won't be because of Starbucks.  They're after two separate markets.

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@Matty Steinkamp Go because you like UB not because this is a pathetic attempt at luring people into UB because Starbucks opened today.  Starbucks is an orange, UB is an apple.  They're after two different markets, so I find it dissapointing this is getting so much publicity.  I could understand if UB was a new shop and had only been around for 4-6 months, but they've made it -- they've eclipsed four years.  Give me a break.  This is about money and publicity more than a protest or a "flash mob".  Flash Mob is code for Protest.  If you're going to protest do it, but don't call it a "Flash Mob" organizers...

qualityoverstarbucks
qualityoverstarbucks

@Jerry Young Completely agree!  Stop whining and crying about it.  THey've been around for four years.  Starbucks isn't the coffee joint that will take them out, it's their own lack of consistency that will pull them under.

IdontWanna
IdontWanna

@Thane.Eichenauer Yes, Thane you probably are wrong, since you hang out at Fair Trade  :-)

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