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Starbucks, corner of Gerrard and Jones - wow

Just read a post on The Leslieviller, our local on line community, that it's confirmed, Starbucks is taking over the northwest corner as a 2-story coffee shop. Wow - this area is going to change fast.

http://www.leslievillepost.com/2010/1...

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  1. Yeah I noticed the sign when I drove by yesterday. Usually they say that when Starbucks moves into a neighborhood it shows it becoming more affluent. But in this case, that corner?? I really don't see it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sbug206

      Semi's are often selling for $500k ish in the neighbourhood. I think once you hit that pricepoint people can afford $5 coffees.

      1. re: sbug206

        How do you explain their location at Morningside and Kingston Rd? Far from affluent, BUT a lot of traffic. I don't think it's a sign that a neighborhood is becoming affluent, more like locating in a high traffic area where you are exposed to your usual clientele and new ones. A tall coffee at Starbucks isn't $5, more like $2 so it is affordable for many people. When this location opened the manager was asked why Morningside and Kingston Rd. and not Port Union (Rouge Hill Go Station is just across the street and the affluent Rouge Beach area is close by). She replied that they can serve more people at their location since it is a major intersection. Makes sense. Everyone thought it wouldn't last due to Timmies across the street, but a few years later it's still usually crowded with U of T Scarborough Campus and high school students.

        1. re: scarberian

          We stop at that Starbucks on our way to the 401 on our way to Montreal. It's always busy and has a friendly neighborhood vibe. Go figure.

          1. re: Apple

            Quite true it has become the neighbourhood coffee joint more so than the Timmies, which, in Toronto, always feels like a fast food joint (McDonalds, Wendys, etc.). I always see the couch and tables being used and lots of conversations going on.

      2. I read the story also but the article does not donfrim anything. It says that the opening is a rumour and asks if anyone can confirm it. It's a rather odd thing to ask, when the sign in the window clearly says a STARBUCK's is coming to that location. It's similar to a Toronto bicycle rider asking if that stop sign they just rode through was a rumour. A Starbuck's in that location makes sense, the rent is probably quite low in that area.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodyDudey

          That article is an update of an earlier article, when the Starbucks was just a rumour.

        2. It's right across the street from the high school, if my teenage nieces are any indication there's your clientele right there, my sister in law was a little baffled (and worried) about where they were spending their allowance until she figured out they were dropping the whole thing in $5 chunks at Starbucks and Second Cup. The younger one even applied for a part time job at Second Cup because she thought she would get an employee discount.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bytepusher

            I really like this area. We rented a house on leslie just north of Gerrard in the mid 80's. The school was great to have across the street. Close to the beaches, little India, and the Danforth, hope it continues to improve.

          2. I graduated relatively recently from that high school, spent lunches in Raymond's Kitchen..was handed their paper bookmarks at the beginning of the year advertising $2.99 1 item + rice...I'm not sure, but I think it was some of my classmates' relatives who owned the place.

            In any case, imagining an Starbucks there is just so so absurd for me...I have no doubt students will use it, but ...I don't know, it's so different. Kind of in line with Great Burger Kitchen moving in. (Best: Mexican Poutine - more like fries with guac and sour cream)

            Long live Yummy House though! Best and cheapest bubble tea there. You don't have to pay extra for bubbles - I haven't been able to find a deal like it. Riverdale's halls are littered with Yummy House bubble tea cups and popcorn chicken cartons. Yum.

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            Yummy House
            234 Jones Ave, Toronto, ON M4M3A6, CA

            Great Burger Kitchen
            1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: foundcity

              We love the Yummy House's fruit smoothies - totally delicious. Much better than what Starbucks produces. They use whole frozen fruit and just blend it with ice/water in their crazy industrial blenders. My daughter loves there fun, colourful sealed cups and big straws.

              Over the summer, the owner of YH told us that his business dips by 50% because of the high school kids are out.

              I hope the Yummy House doesn't lose out too much , even though SB and YH are two very different experiences.

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              Yummy House
              234 Jones Ave, Toronto, ON M4M3A6, CA

            2. Starbucks customer service is getting more pathetic and inconsistent, of course depending on the outlet and particular staff. I order only flavoured lattes such as white chocolate mocha, caramel macchiato, etc. The coffee makers (many do not perform like professional “baristas”) make coffees that are inconsistent from one coffee maker to another. Even worse, they often do no not bother to stir the ingredients, so the beverage is diluted at top but sweet and gooey at bottom. And they often get the orders wrong, e.g., caffe mocha instead of white chocolate mocha (even when I emphasize “white”). I’ve not had such problems at Second Cup, Timothy’s, Williams, Tim Hortons or even new Starbucks outlets where the staff are still enthusiastic. At least they seem more focused on doing their job. The Starbucks coffee makers, however, often seem disinterested in their paying customers (unless they know you personally or feel like flirting) than in their chit-chatting and social interactions with other Starbucks staff (some of whom are off duty but sticking around to chat). At times it seems we’re paying for overpriced, mediocre coffee to help the social lives of Starbuck’s coffee makers. Starbucks might as well automate the process and do away with human “baristas” altogether.

              Has anyone dined in at the Brulerie Des Monts coffee house at Saint Sauveur (near Montreal). That might be one coffee concept worth introducing here.

              Anyone know of any place for great coffee in the Mississauga area?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Tony8952

                I have found that Starbucks is in fact focusing more on production rather than customer interaction lately. I too have had a few orders screwed up at different Starbucks outlets. And yes, even the outlet in this discussion. This mostly happens when the places are slammed and the baristas have precious little time to interact. The coffee is superior to the other chains in my opinion so I am willing to tolerate the odd mistake during peak times. I let them know of the error, I get my coffee remade (I know, it is an irritant) and usually I get a free cup voucher the next time. All of the real good baristas seem to have moved on to the independent coffee houses.

                1. re: Poorboy

                  Too bad that Starbucks not tried harder to retain the good baristas, given the price they charge for their products. Most of the screw-ups I’ve experienced occurred when customer volume was off-peak (I rarely buy coffee in line ups). Producing the coffee does not seem to be that difficult, since the experienced coffee makers are often chatting with each other while making the coffees. It appears that Starbucks makes it too easy for them to remake coffees and give out free vouchers, without penalty to the staff who screwed up.

                  In one outlet, there were four staff behind the counter and only one person in the line up in front of me at the cashier (i.e, only two persons in the line up) and another waiting for his coffee to be made. When my turn came up, instead of taking my order the cashier inexplicably started counting his cash (he did not bother to say something like ‘could you please wait for a moment, have to count the cash’) and, worse, chatted with other staff as I waited while he counted the cash. None of the other staff took the initiative to take my order. This seemed to be acceptable in their business culture.

                  I wish there were more independent and interesting coffee houses in Mississauga. So far, I’ve found only a few independents (Marish’s Boulangerie, Sweets Pastry, maybe Irene's Celebrity Cakes) that are acceptable and better than Starbucks for brewed coffee, but I know there are better elsewhere.

                  1. re: Tony8952

                    Different locations - different staff and management. The Starbucks in Markham on HIghway 7 is fabulous. The staff are amazing..everyone of them. Never bad service or errors and they are always professional and happy to see every customer. They know everyone's order and have it started before you walk in the door and work as a team. Guess we are lucky!

                    1. re: JesseJensen

                      I agree - it depends on the location. My local at St. Clair and Christie is fabulous - it feels like an independent coffee shop because the staff are so outgoing and friendly - and I am not a big Starbucks fan either.

              2. Of course they're moving in. The Grinder is right across the street. Once a "local" coffee shop starts doing well, Starbucks tries to take over. Basically their mandate is to have the little guy do their market research for them. Anyways, it doesn't matter. If it's good for the area, its good for me.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Freakazoid Glazermabobber

                  Since Starbucks came to our block (Jones and Danforth), two great independent cafes have opened and seem to be flourishing. So we have 3 options where previously we had none.

                  1. re: julesrules

                    This is actually quite a common scenario. It often turns out that the overall coffee market is larger than people thought.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      julesrules, just wanted to check- are the One in the Only Cafe (at Donlands) and Tea Tree Cafe the two indie cafes near Danforth & Jones that you're talking about? Or is there another indie cafe that's opened in the area?

                      http://teatreecafe.com/

                      http://www.blogto.com/cafes/teatree-c...

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                      Teatree Cafe and Eatery
                      867 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L8, CA

                    2. re: Freakazoid Glazermabobber

                      I don't know if their mandate is that, letting others do the market research and then come in. Then again which business doesn't do that? That's what a free market and competition is all about right? For a company like Starbucks it's go where the coffee drinkers are. If the local is serving decent coffee then they shouldn't be worried about Starbucks. There are those coffee drinkers who just want a cup of "joe" and even Timmies is good enough for them. Then there are those who prefer a decent cup of coffee and if the local can serve that at a decent price then yeah the local will stay in business. However you also have the drinkers who prefer a Starbucks for whatever reason and they'll support the Starbucks. I used to like Starbucks coffee until I found out that LIT serves Stumptown coffee and it was so long Starbucks, for coffee that is, but I still go to Starbucks for their vivanos and green tea lattes. My area is way in the east end and only had a Timmies really as the main place to get your coffee fix. No indies within the area for some reason, but the Starbucks proved that we did have the numbers to support a decent coffee shop. Before you all get up in arms also remember that the Starbucks hires more locals than the local coffee shop.

                      1. re: scarberian

                        If anything, lots of the little guys let Starbucks do the market research. SBUX is quite methodical, so if they open in a location it is basically a stamp of approval for a neighbourhood. This goes for non-coffee shops for sure, but direct competitors as well.
                        Not far from the one above, the one at Queen and Logan is a great example. Mercury beat them to the location by a bit, but I know Starbucks had already leased the corner lot. Since then, other coffee places (Te Aro, Dark Horse) and related higher end food spots have opened.