Blue Door owner worries for lost community, not profit
The announcement that a Starbucks coffee shop is coming to Greencastle was news to Sue Furr, owner of The Blue Door Cafe.
Furr read the story on the front page of the Greencastle Banner Graphic Monday morning - it told readers that the State of Indiana's Stellar Communities initiative will bring a new bookstore and Putnam County's first full-service Starbucks to the southeast corner of East Washington and Jackson Streets.
"I'm very happy they're doing something with the building - it's going to do so much for Greencastle. That's first and foremost," Furr said. "But it's disappointing to know that's what DePauw thinks of us... like 'we want to make it better, but you're not good enough to do that,' kind of."
Furr had heard from the Greencastle Stellar Grants committee that her business was considered for the spot. She expected to be asked for a proposal, but didn't hear anything more from the committee.
The internationally-successful franchise was chosen to act as an "anchor," attracting more foot traffic and business to Greencastle's town square.
Vice President of Finance and Administration Brad Kelsheimer said that each "great college town" he has visited this past year to learn more about town-gown business relationships is launched by an anchor.
"We have some really good businesses on the square, but we need pedestrian density," Kelsheimer said. "This will kick it off. We need this."
So The Blue Door Cafe, which will be celebrating five years in Greencastle this August, will live two blocks away from a similar business that will be looking to attract the same customer base.
But Furr says she's looking forward to the competition.
"It will make us better, try harder to get the customer," Furr said. "We'll have to make sure we have the better product. The Blue Door goes one step further, and we're going to care for the community a lot more than Starbucks will."
She's proud that her cafÃ© brings in local art monthly, acts a host to local musicians, music students and Girl Scouts and does their best to cater to the community. Furr also pointed out The Blue Door Cafe stays open late during DePauw's finals season, even if it's at a monetary loss.
On top of that, Furr said that her coffee beans are higher grade than Starbucks', and she uses a local importing company from Noblesville, Ind.
Current schematics for the incoming Starbucks show that it will work to create a similar atmosphere. It will utilize a "heritage" design, using decorations and pictures inspired by the surrounding community - which is unusual for the chain, Kelsheimer said. He hopes local entertainment, local bands and tie-ins with the School of Music will define its atmosphere and bring both DePauw and Greencastle in.
"I'll still go to the Blue Door when I want a sandwich," said President Brian Casey, confident the incoming Starbucks offers something unique. "I think it's a different place."
Kelsheimer agreed, affirming the over-arching goal is to help Greencastle businesses. "We don't want to do anything to harm them."
That includes maintaining a "level playing field" by allowing the Starbucks to accept Tiger Express money, but not meal plan bucks.
Furr was firm in expressing she isn't worried about losing business, but rather wished the plan was to keep the "old and rustic" Greencastle.
"I was hoping the Stellar Community was going more that way - I think we're trying to get too modern in my eye," Furr said. "It feels like we're losing our roots."
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More Depauw News Articles
Recent Depauw News Articles
From Around the Web
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR THEDEPAUW
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST THEDEPAUW NEWS
- VIDEO: Behind the Scenes of Blend
- Volume 163, Issue 47
- Editorial Cartoon
- The idea of kegs returning to DePauw is improbable
- Shakespeare hits DePauw University, local schools with three plays
- DePauw Student Government begins transition for 2015-16 school year
- EDITORIAL: Bud Light perpetuates rape culture with latest slogan on bottles
RECENT THEDEPAUW CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- 6 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Photos Like a Pro
- High OCTANe Event Comes to Calif., Brings Businesses,...
- A Novel Innovation Hub for Africa
- Want a Cleaner Home? Easy-to-Clean Carpeting Is Key
- Bee Safe While Gardening to Protect Pollinators
- Military Seeks Better Alternatives for Treating Pain...
- Insuring the Health of America's Emerging...
- New FDA-Cleared Device Significantly Advances IV Therapy...
- Take a Bite Out of Gum Disease By Seeing a Periodontist
- Natural Health Care From Down Under Poised to Make U.S....
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Deadline Approaching for Scholarship Program Benefitting First-Year Law Students
- HEROES OF THE DORM™: THE UC BERKELEY GOLDEN BEARS ARE HEROES OF THE STORM™ COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONS
- GREAT GRADUATION GIFT: WHAT THEY DIDN'T TEACH YOU IN SCHOOL!
- National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Calls on College Campuses to Be Prepared for Meningococcal Disease
- Safety App BlueLight Launches at 10 New Campuses for Sexual Assault Awareness Month