Big things have been brewing in the Craig business world after the closure of certain businesses in the past year, and it may be heating up again in a different way.
Rumors of Starbucks Coffee Company coming to the local branch of City Market have been circulating. However, representatives of the franchise’s parent company, Kroger, have not confirmed the development.
Kelli McGannon, spokesperson for City Market and King Soopers stores in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah, said the deal is not yet certain.
Starbucks had a kiosk in the Craig Safeway, both of which shut down in October. In the three months since the closure, customers of both Safeway and Starbucks have gone elsewhere for their needs.
City Market recently employed new signage with a refurbished addition to their parking lot, albeit with red lettering instead of the dark blue that had been there for years. This is less a matter of a surge of additional customers than of keeping the Craig store identifiable with the City Market brand, McGannon said.
As for coffee, teas and other blended drinks, those in need of their morning cup of joe have tried different local providers, such as Mauka Bakery & Cafe, Downtown Books and Mudd Shack. These stores' owners have seen at least a slight spike in sales since Safeway’s Starbucks closed.
Dixie Maigatter has owned drive-thru business Mudd Shack for nine years and has seen many loyal customers in her time whipping up beverages with dozens of flavor combinations. Although she expects some people will return to Starbucks if and when it returns to Craig, she does not anticipate losing all her customers.
“We were doing just fine when Starbucks was here,” she said. “We can absorb (the difference in customers). It’s just coffee.”
Downtown Books owner Terry Carwile had a similar attitude. His shop first began serving hot drinks in summer 2011, and the feature has only grown.
The new clientele in the past three months, displaced from their usual trend of buying from Starbucks, has proved a boon to the bookstore, and though some people will inevitably go back to Starbucks, Carwile said he thinks he’ll be able to hold on to numerous coffee customers.
“There’s room for all of us,” he said.
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.