Dumb Starbucks: Entrepreneuring SpoofBy: David Powell - February 10, 2014
“I’d like a dumb venti mocha latte. And throw in one of those ‘Dumb Jazz Standards’ CDs. And some dumb mints, for my dumb coffee breath. ”
So go the orders at a new coffee shop in Los Feliz, Calif.: Dumb Starbucks. The store opened Friday to great excitement, including a dumb line that took customers over an hour get through before the dumb store ran out of dumb supplies and had to close up.
Here’s what you need to know: The store looks exactly like any other Starbucks you’ve ever seen, only all of the branding, including the corporate logo, has been modified to include the word “dumb” at the beginning (menu items such as “Dumb Iced Coffee,” etc.). Where did it come from? Why is it here? So far, nobody knows, but speculation as to whether it’s an artistic statement or a marketing ploy has run rampant.
“I hope it’s an art thing vs. a business thing,” Jeffrey Eyster, 43, said, adding that he’d like to see “dumb” versions of similar chains like McDonald’s and Cheesecake Factory. Eyester, who had been waiting in line over an hour and still hadn’t made it near the front door was loathed to add, “They’re definitely not serving at Starbucks pace.”
Inside, two baristas were doing their best to tend to curious customers, but inquiries went largely unanswered. Instead, they referred questions to an FAQ pamphlet that claimed that the store was a fully functioning business but had to pretend to be an artistic statement so as to use Starbucks’ trademarks legally under the fair use doctrine.
It’s a legally dubious position, to be sure, and Starbucks’ attorneys are on the case. Megan Adams, a spokesperson for the company, said that they were aware of the situation and were “looking into it.”
There’s certainly one thing that’s not dumb about the store: the prices. On opening day, all the coffee was free.
Image via YouTube