From the entire Diedrich Coffee family...
Wed Sep 20th 2006, 10:14pm
Today while buying a cup of coffee and a blended mocha at my local Trabuco Hills Diedrich
Coffee House I noticed a strange flyer next to the cash register. "Yes, you can still get
Diedrich Coffee" it was entitled. Huh?
Q: Why are you closing your Diedrich Coffee coffeehouses?
A: We have decided as a company to focus on our core strength, the premium roasting of
specialty coffee and fulfilling our promise to sell great coffee to the widest possible
market through our wholesale channel. ...
Q: What will happen to my local Diedrich coffeehouse? Is it closing? When?
A: We've reached an agreement to sell most of our retail locations... This means that most
Diedrich coffeehouses will close for a brief period of time and re-open as Starbucks.
What the heck? And then it all came crashing down on me. My favorite coffee
establishment, one I'd frequented and considered myself a fan of for 18 years--in fact,
the place I'd started drinking coffee--had fallen victim to the great Starbucks juggernaut
and was closing its doors. And then... a brief moment of guilt set in. So many times
recently, while suffering agonizingly long wait times for my drinks, I'd wished to myself
that the high school kids and freshly pierced barista trainees of the week at Diedrich's
could crank out the blended mochas as fast as the expedient, no-nonsense, and even
downright unfriendly Starbucks' worker bees could. And then a voice in my head chimed in
with the old adage: careful what you wish for
The flyer went on to say, "From the entire Diedrich Coffee family, we have enjoyed serving
you over the years and look forward to seeing you online." Great.
A little more information is available in this SEC filing
My wife informs me that Starbucks
--is the correct way to refer to the dominating coffee chain, by their
insistence. I've updated the above article. Argh, how annoying. Another reason to
On Thu Sep 21st 2006, 12:22pm, srehorn posted:
Mr Kehlet, I feel your pain. I too have always loved Diedrich's and I was
really saddened to hear they were selling the retail locations to
Starbucks. The press release I saw about the transaction really minimized
this aspect-- the prominent feature of the story was how they were going to
focus on the wholesale part of the business, and then about 6 paragraphs
into it, there was an aside like "and oh yeah, we'll sell our
locations to starbucks".
But starbucks must win again (alas!): boycotting is rough because I don't
much like Coffee Bean for brewed coffee (although their version Chai is the
best), and I don't like Daily Grind either. People in the restaurant biz
have observed that Starbucks has already won the location race; certainly
for me location counts more than half the time.
I have long been complaining about Diedrich's service including several
emails to their management as well as frequent comments to local managers.
It's clear why they are selling that part of the business-- they are no
good at it! Starbucks is like McDonalds in so many ways: it may not be the
best in town, but you have a very high probability of getting a predictable
product. The ability to apply the right practices in a Big Corporate system
to create that predictability/repeatability is what makes it possible for
them to have so many stores that actually make money. DDRX hasn't been able
to make money on their standalone stores, maybe ever.
There is a Peet's in Aliso Viejo somewhere, so that may be the better
option. I'll see you there...
On Fri Sep 22nd 2006, 9:11am, Visitor posted:
I think this is the place I visited with you 2 different times. Once was a
trip I made in high-school. The other was sometime during college.
Sorry to hear they're going out of business. It's been so long I honestly
don't remember how good the drinks were, but it's always a bummer to lose a
The only other coffee place I remember from my trip out there was Cafe Auto
Spa. That place always made me laugh. I remember coming back home and
thinking how 'California' that place was. ;)
On Fri Sep 22nd 2006, 9:12am, Clay posted:
Drat, above comment was mine.
On Wed Oct 4th 2006, 12:27pm, Visitor posted:
There is a great site to discuss this train wreck with Diedrich Coffee
Diedrich cannot open anymore branded stores for a period of three years
under the terms of the sale. They plan to franchise the concept after that
time has expired, but right now the focus will be on Gloria Jean's.
I understand your issues about service, and it really disturbs me. Gloria
Jean's was one of their big distractions, and it was losing money. Maybe
if they can get that house in order they can someday run a profitable
Bring your comments! All views are welcome!
On Thu Oct 5th 2006, 3:35pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
Scott: I agree, it'll be impossible to boycott Starbucks, there are just
too many, and in fact there's one all-too-conveniently located near where I
work. I agree, I am on the lookout for alternatives. The Kean I found in
Newport is great but too far for frequent visits, I'll see you at Peet's!
Clay: yeah, that's the place! It is an end to an era for sure. I always
feel very comfortable at any Diedrich's I visit, and I've never felt that
way at any Starbucks--I'd feel too awkward to even sit down. Not sure why,
it's just a whole different culture or something. And speaking of culture,
haha, yes, the Cafe Auto Spa is definitely a California trademark.
Visitor: thanks for the pointer to the yahoo group. I would definitely
urge all now-disenfranchised Diedrich's fans to visit the Kean's in Newport
Beach. Uhh, if they're in the area, that is.