The Day I Couldn’t Find Starbucks
It’s true that all of us have a few brands that we are completely addicted to in our lives. I’m not quite addicted to any one particular brand, but there are certainly a bunch of brands that I’ve grown a fond affinity for over the years. For example, the last 15 years I’ve only run in Nike sneakers because I like the feel of the shoe as well as the style. Arizona Iced Tea is one of my favorites, especially since they came out with the Arnold Palmer half and half lemonade and iced tea which is a definite A lister for me. When it comes to coffee drinking, I’ve tried many of the different brands including the major ones like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. With the new Keurig machines today, you can try all different types of coffee like Green Mountain, Wolfgang Puck, and even a Kahula flavored coffee drink. When I really need a cup of coffee, I have become mildly addicted to Starbucks. I don’t know if it is really the best coffee, but I enjoy the whole experience from the scene inside the coffee shop to the music playing while I wait for my coffee libation.
For those who know me well, I’m usually making lots of observations about people and life. One of the statements I make in the car all the time is, “Man, you can’t drive more than a mile or two without passing a Starbuck’s somewhere! They are taking over the world.” It’s odd to think that you’d be upset with the growth of one of your favorite brands. However, the bigger the brand gets the less special you feel about being a part of that brand because everyone is in on the game. For most of us, when we get attached to a food or drink brand it’s comforting to know that no matter how good or how bad our day is that our favorite brand is right around the corner waiting to pick us up. I never thought I would see the day when I couldn’t find a Starbucks when I really needed one.
I know . . . I know . . . there’s a Starbucks app so I could find one if I really had to no matter where I was in the United States. Last Monday, I had to drive from Tampa, Florida over to Stuart, Florida. After my trip to Stuart, I had to drive to Jensen Beach, Florida to Port St. Lucie Florida. I left early in the morning around 5 a.m., so needless to say by 6 p.m. I was jonesing for my first cup of coffee. I drove for miles and miles and passed gas stations and an occasional Dunkin’ Donuts with no sign at all of a Starbuck’s. Finally, I got to the Florida Turnpike where I drove another 50 miles with no sign of Starbuck’s and only Dunkin’ Donuts. I figured once I pulled into Stuart that I would find one, but no luck at all so I had to drink a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts and it didn’t do the trick at all. I was lost without my morning Starbuck’s.
After my morning appointment, I drove out to Jensen Beach and then on to Port St. Lucie still looking for my Starbuck’s. I passed more title, insurance, and real estate companies than you can possibly imagine, but no Starbuck’s in sight. I wondered if this particular part of Florida had put in some type of Starbuck’s restriction given the dearth of Starbuck’s on every twist and turn I took on my morning jaunt. No matter how hard I tried to drive out of my way to find one, I simply could not locate a Starbuck’s on any of the main drags throughout my trip this day.
It occurs to me that getting addicted to brands is probably not smart when it comes to your money moves. I probably spent an extra gallon of gas or two just to look for a cup of coffee that is overpriced and one that I don’t even think is the greatest– I just like the way the experience makes me feel. This is why brands get so far inside of our heads when it comes to purchasing decisions because they make us move rational decisions into irrational decisions. It’s like the craving for McDonald’s French Fries, getting that Amazon package at your doorstep, or dessert from your favorite local bakery. I never thought I’d see the day when I didn’t see a Starbucks, but Florida route 60 proved me wrong!
CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Editor in Chief of Your Smart Money Moves
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc - The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice and Services
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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