In response to your recent article (“Starbucks submits application for Main and First,” May 9), I cannot help but wonder why (or how) Starbucks opening up shop across the street from The Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company is even up for debate.
Although a bold move on Starbucks’ part, I wonder what kind of slippery slope we are venturing down if local government starts punishing businesses for their success, and stifling those who are nothing short of pioneers of their industry.
Who is to say that the next big company-owned car dealer cannot open up next to a locally-owned franchise dealer? We live in America, where capitalism reigns and the fundamentals of free markets and private enterprise have brought us greater innovation, quality, and success than any nation before us.
I am a firm believer that competition breeds quality. I have seen many instances first-hand of how a corporate giant's looming presence can threaten a small business' livelihood. However, competition also forces businesses to re-think their status quo, and strive for even higher benchmarks in service and product offerings.
As for downtown’s situation, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here by saying that until recently, downtown Napa as a whole has not exactly been the pinnacle of success. It takes entrepreneurial developers like those of the Napa Square or the Napa Riverfront building to know that a wide variety of local and commercial enterprises can only help the cause.
What is most disturbing to me is that there are people in our town of the mindset where they “just hate to see downtown Napa turn into Walnut Creek.” That is exactly what Napa needs to become! A thriving, high-end, bustling downtown, bringing millions in new business and tax revenues from both tourists and locals alike.
Please do not get me wrong — as much as I may enjoy the occasional Starbucks, I support the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company and have very fond memories there over the years. I spent many childhood mornings sitting in the sunny window sipping the foam off the top of my mother’s cappuccinos.
The image of corporate America imposing on such a serene visual will raise some eyebrows (and maybe a few picket signs), but if local businesses can truly offer superior products, quality, and service, then they will prevail.
I am a bit disappointed in the Napa Valley Register for providing such a one-sided look at the story. It seems highly irrelevant and almost inappropriate to quote somebody’s subjective opinion on how they dislike the taste of Starbucks coffee.
Based on Starbucks’ unprecedented success, I would venture to say that the rest of America disagrees. I wish both the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company and Starbucks the best of luck.
(Silva lives in Napa.)