Starbucks bought Evolution Juice! Is this good news or bad news?   »

As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Starbucks has bought San Bernadino-based juice company Evolution Juices for an estimated $30 million! Starbucks plans to carry Evolution in their cafes, and also to open juice bars* in the next year. Starbucks has already dropped the “Starbucks Coffee” from their logo, much like Apple dropped “computers” from theirs when they started carrying iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Now, because I am honestly interested in your opinion, tell me: Is this good news or bad news?

I feel torn about this move by Starbucks. On one hand, I shop at Whole Foods and Safeway, and have bought the Just Greens Evolution juice at both. I obviously patronize corporations, so I don’t see the big deal about Starbucks buying Evolution to spread juice to the masses. How is that a bad thing? Plus, I like Starbucks because their internet is not spotty, and I need that in order to write outside of my home. I will always choose to buy coffee from a mom-and-pop operation, but if I need to use the internet to work, Starbucks is the only place I can go that doesn’t let me down.

Starbucks is taking on selling more vegan food options, and now juice (plus beer and wine, right?), and I don’t see this a bad thing. So many people frequent Starbucks; isn’t it a perfect outlet to spread veganism to the masses? Isn’t that what we want? Or are we trying to keep veganism like our favorite indie band—all to ourselves?

The interior of an Evolution store—someone needs to use their spell check! I can’t hate too hard, many of you point out my spelling flaws and it’s super embarrassing! (Though I appreciate it!)

On the other hand, I don’t want to lose the sense of community we gain with small, local business. I don’t want corporations to take over the world, and the hippie in me hates shopping at chains, as I truly believe in supporting local cafes and juice shops. Especially because I live in a city, and I can do just that! I also appreciate that both my college town (Arcata) and my neighborhood (Upper Haight) refuse to let Starbucks in. However, what does one do when they don’t live in a city, but the suburbs, where chains are prevalent? What if you can only get raw juice, or soy in coffee, or vegan food at Starbucks, Safeway, or Jamba Juice? Can we have both? Can we shop at both local and corporate and be OK with ourselves?

I will buy juice and vegan food where it is available, and if it’s available to a larger demographic of people, then I see that as a win for the animals and therefore the environment (except all the plastic packaging). On that note, I will hardly go to Evolution, or buy beer at Starbucks, because I prefer cold-pressed raw vegetable juice and dive bars.

As long as Starbucks is going to try to take over the world, I would like to see an emphasis placed on using compost-friendly packaging! Biodegradable cups would be a fantastic start, Starbucks! Pave the way for corporations to start taking responsibility for the planet by using little to no plastic!

*The first Evolution juice bar opened on March 19 in Bellevue, Wash.

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