Napa "Cash Mob" Forms on Facebook as Starbucks Prepares to Open Downtown

One member of Napa Local, acting on her own, has created a Facebook page urging Napans to patronize Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company on the opening day of downtown's first Starbucks across the street.

Updated: Sept. 29 from 8 to 9 a.m. is the appointed hour for the cash mob, according to Karen Garcia:


A well-publicized effort earlier this year to block Starbucks from opening an outlet in downtown Napa ended in defeat for Napa Local, the group formed in opposition to the coffee giant's plan to set up shop kitty-corner from long-established Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company.

Now one member of Napa Local, Karen Garcia, has taken a new tack on behalf of the locally-owned coffee shop, starting a Facebook page called "Cash Mob for Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, downtown Napa."

"We don't yet know when Starbucks will be opening their store on First Street. The minute we do know, we'll post it here and hope that lots of you will show up at 8:00 AM to make a purchase at our beloved Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company!" Garcia writes on the Facebook page, which she set up first thing Monday morning.

"I just woke up at 4:30 this morning thinking, 'cash mob,'" said Garcia, who said she'd seen a sign at the Starbucks location over the weekend indicating a Sept. 27 grand opening date.

But, Garcia continued, when she went downtown after sunrise Monday to take a picture of Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company for the Facebook page, "that notice was gone from the window" at Starbucks.

"The minute I know when they're opening, I'm going to post it" on the Facebook page, Garcia said.

The cash mob concept, in which customers are encouraged to flood a designated business with orders, is a way locals who opposed the downtown Starbucks can "do something positive," Garcia said.

"Starbucks may be opening across the street, but we still love our local businesses," she said.

Garcia emphasized that she is acting on her own and not on behalf of Napa Local.

But, speaking as a member of the group, she said that while Napa Local is "not sure what our next steps are going to be," members are pleased that their concerns about supporting local businesses have been heard and discussed by city government.

"We're really happy the conversation is now happening," she said.

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Louisa Hufstader September 26, 2012 at 06:21 PM
You're too kind, Karen. So what is your new coffee routine? Have you found a replacement? I wish I could figure out a way this site could dispense coffee ... I'm slurping up some Weaver's at Molinari right now.
Jan B September 27, 2012 at 05:34 AM
I welcome Starbucks and I am pleased to have a choice. I mainly shop out of town because there are so few places to shop here. I doubt Napa will have a Macy's or Old Navy anytime soon.
Alex Shantz September 27, 2012 at 08:11 AM
Because you didn't have a choice with 8 other Starbucks in Napa? How much of a choice will you have when Starbucks runs their competitors out of town? Proponents of corporate chains and free market economics are the real ones that are anti-choice. They support a system that allows giant corporations to destroy their competition and encourages monopolies.
Alex Shantz September 27, 2012 at 08:20 AM
You are incorrect when you claim the "City needs the revenues that these larger chains can bring in." Local businesses actually retain more revenue for local governments as cited in a studied published by Sonoma State. "For every $100 of local products bought and sold by Oliver’s, there’s an additional $63 of spending in Sonoma County for a total impact of $163. If Oliver's didn’t source locally, $27.5 million in its overall impact would flow out to another area. Oliver's buying behavior retains these gains for Sonoma County annually." http://www.northbaybiz.com/Monthly_Features/bizTips/The_Economics_of_Going_Local.php
Alex Shantz September 27, 2012 at 08:25 AM
And, once again......none of the proponents of corporate chains have even tried to dispute the multiplier effect. They haven't disputed the benefits of local businesses verses corporate chains. They don't dispute any of the facts. Instead, they make vague references to "anchor stores" and "mixed businesses". My question is, since the multiplier effect is a proven economic fact, why do they oppose policies which would maximize the multiplier effect?


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