In the Shadow of Starbucks | Seattle Business
Building success in the coffee shop industry is about brewing a community environment. It's one of the qualities of Italian coffeehouses that inspired Howard Schulz to build Starbucks into a global brand, a brand that many analysts say has come to symbolize the chain store more than the corner store. Wes Herman, owner of The Woods Coffee Co. in Whatcom County, has carved out nine such community environments (i.e., retail stores) of his own and plans on expanding south in 2010. What started as a single stand-alone shop in February 2002 in Lynden (population 11,000) quickly turned into a blueprint for success-one that Starbucks is trying to replicate, says Herman.