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Starbucks coming to 4th Street grocery

The popular coffee company will replace a Seattle's Best cafe at Albertsons.

By SHARON BOND

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 11, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Starbucks devotees now have another place to indulge: Albertsons on Fourth Street N. The store has replaced its Seattle's Best cafe with Starbucks Coffee Co.

"It had better name recognition," said Mike McWhorter, manager of the store at 3700 Fourth St. N. "I feel people are more familiar with Starbucks than Seattle's Best."

Michael Read, a spokesman from Albertsons headquarters in Boise, Idaho, said the grocery chain is putting Starbucks cafes in new stores it is building and refitting some existing stores for Starbucks. Other stores will keep Seattle's Best.

McWhorter said response has been excellent since the switch in mid-May. "We have a lot of Northeastern and Midwestern people that have moved down here. They recognize Starbucks. They did not recognize Seattle's Best."

The Seattle-based Starbucks chain is in 155 Albertsons nationwide, according to a Starbucks spokeswoman. For several years, the main place for St. Petersburg residents to get a jolt of the West Coast brew was the Barnes & Noble bookstore near Tyrone Mall. Late last year, a company store opened at Gateway Crossing at M.L. King (Ninth) Street N and Roosevelt Boulevard.

Seattle's Best, a top competitor of Starbucks, is carried in St. Petersburg coffee shops such as the Daily Grind on Second Avenue NE.

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