Starbucks, Do We Have A Spot For You


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There's space on the eastern side of town ...

Lack of caffeine makes people do strange things. Like be grumpy. And drive badly. And start Facebook groups.

To weather the recession, Starbucks has closed some 900 stores in the past two years,  like the one next to the Whole Foods store in Montclair, its closest location to Verona. That may be good for its bottom line–the company told shareholders at its annual meeting last week that it has cut costs by $600 million–but it stirred up a Grande-sized tempest among in local devotees, like Audra Elliott.

At first, she posted a Help message to her Facebook page to find alternative locations. “There’s one on Church Street [in Montclair], but there’s never any parking unless you go to the garage, which I am not going to do for a latte,” she says. Elliott also nixed the one on Valley Road in Montclair, because it was “not convenient to anything.” The Starbucks app on her iPhone turned up nothing that was closer or more convenient. Frustrated and seemingly out of options, she turned to Facebook and started a group called “I would trade my left arm to get a Starbucks in Verona“.

... and to the west.

The group now has 75 members, and Elliott says she is waiting for it to get to 100 before she calls Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. She might find a willing ear there: Its cost-cutting over, Starbucks said last week that it is once again looking to expand, “through partnerships with other retailers, franchising and brand extensions through consumer packaged goods channels.”

So if you are reading this Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz, know that there is a band of loyal customers who want you to take a look at zip code 07044. There are several spots looking for new tenants in town, including a brand-new strip mall, an old auto dealership and a former iHOP pancake house, all with ample parking. The blue pitched roof of the latter has been painted brown, but it’s easy to imagine it restyled Starbucks green.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. It will fall on death ears. What will make Star Bucks think that opening up a Starbucks a few miles away from it’s previous location will make them a profit? Especially with all the failed businesses constantly popping in and out of sight accross Verona (sad to say)? What we need is a Trader Joes or the like – these are far and few in between – and people from neighboring towns will be lining up to get in!

    Also, isn’t there another star bucks in Montclair around Church Street?

  2. I’d give my left arm for a Starbucks and the right one for a Trader Joe’s. Maybe they can partner….I’d even walk to each location and therefore avoid our town’s parking issues. Bring it on!

  3. I would like a Caribou or Bigby Coffee to set up in Verona. Both midwestern chains that have superior coffee in my opinion. I usually find a spot near the Krauzer’s in Montclair to go to the Church Street Starbucks. Usually, I am not just down there for the coffee, so I park on Myrtle off of Orange for free.

  4. I would trade my left arm for a starbucks in Verona, but I just spent it on a coffee, from starbucks. There’s one in West caldwell as well on Passaic ave. next to shoprite, unless that one closed too.

  5. The Starbucks at Whole Foods did not close because of profitability. As I understand it, it simply closed because Whole Foods would not renew the lease. WF wanted to take back the space for its own store expansion and its own coffee bar. For several years before WF actually ended the lease, it was always touch and go for Starbucks whether it would actually get a lease extension. I believe this is actually the reason that Starbucks opened the Church Street location a couple of years ago. Whether it was the economy or not being ready to develop space, WF was doing a series of one year extensions. Anyway, this may help your effort to get one in Verona.

  6. Can’t believe there’s no SBUX in Verona. Seems like we have one on every corner here in the Houston ‘burbs. Many of the supermarkets also a have little SBUX areas with seating. Those may be the most profitable. If you HAVE to grocery shop, at least it can be more enjoyable with a latte’!


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