LETTER: Starbucks means losing local businesses

LETTER: Starbucks means losing local businesses

Now that enough time has passed and the coffee grounds have settled, let us reflect upon what UVic administration said about kicking out a much–loved campus coffee shop and installing a Starbucks in its place with no consultation.

Bye Finnerty Express, Salt Spring Coffee and Esquimalt’s Lone Tree baked goods. Bye local business and two local products.

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UVic claims that visitors regularly come to campus and then take time to formally express their desire to have nationally branded coffee on UVic’s campus.

To paraphrase Jim Forbes, Director of UVic Campus Services, guests on campus regularly request a nationally–branded coffee.

UVic administration asks us to imagine this scene: Visitors come to UVic, and even though there are a number of great places to have coffee on campus, these visitors contact administration and ask for nationally–branded coffee.

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In an official statement, Forbes shines a glowing light the action: “The new licensed store has the brand power to support and contribute to a more vibrant campus environment.”

Really? So, Finnerty Express is apparently not vibrant enough; nor does it contribute enough.

Clearly something else is going on.

Can Forbes produce these regular, numerous requests for nationally–branded coffee?

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Is there reason enough to sense something a little dubious about the claims and reasoning. The rhetoric is painful.

What does the President of UVic say? The silence, as they say, is deafening, given that one of the Jamie Cassel’s publicly expressed mantras is to engage locally.

Except when it comes to coffee, it seems.

R. A. Henderson

Victoria