I was on the Upper East Side the other day, and I dropped by the new Juan Valdez Cafe at Lexington and 57th. It could be first week jitters, but I doubt that Starbucks has anything to worry about. They don’t have the institutional handbook that makes the Starbucks run smoothly. And I doubt that Colombian Coffee Growers Association wants employees to respond that it’s like a Frappuccino when they’re asked what a Nevado is.
It is possible to compete with established corporate giants. But you need to bring passion and personal commitment to the table. I don’t see how the Colombian Coffee Grower’s Association is going to find the passion and commitment to become a serious threat to Starbucks.