PEETS COFFEE SHOP ENDS ITS RUN
Following the success of Starbucks Coffee Shop, located over on the corner of Main and Center Streets in downtown Lake Geneva, Caribou Coffee opened in order to offer an alternative (and some said higher) brand of coffee, located a good distance away. Last year, while still on Main Street, Peet’s took over the space occupied by Caribou Coffee Shop. Peet’s came into town with a rush. Caribou was old fashioned with rugs, fire place, and a lot of sound deadening material on the ceiling and walls. Peet’s went the hyper-modern route of industrial interior design with bare wood walls, hard wood floors, steel furniture and open ceiling. Peet’s staffed up. Sales did not go through the roof simply because ‘sound’ went right up to the roof. The place was comfortable to inhabit except for the harsh beating of coffee preparation and conversation sounds, reverberating everywhere all the time.
Why did Peet’s fail?
Possibly because of having to pay more than eight thousand dollars a month in rent. Possibly because the shop was too loud for comfort. Possibly because it was overstaffed for what it served. Possibly because it didn’t get built in until the end of last summer so it didn’t have a pot of tourist dollars to draw from during cold winter months. Peet’s is a national chain of some great prominence. The big corporation that runs it will not go down with the failure of one coffee shop. The fifteen Peet’s located in and around downtown Chicago are rumored to be doing just fine. But Lake Geneva, and the surrounding area are nothing like downtown Chicago, anymore than the Green Bay Packers are anything like the Chicago Bears.
Two coffee shops still survive in downtown Lake Geneva. Starbucks and, right across Center Street, The Geneva Java Coffee Shop. One is the dropped in from a huge outside corporation, and the other is entirely local. Everyone knows Starbucks, and almost nobody knows about Geneva Java. Even thought the Java serves Kona coffee from Hawaii, food cooked fresh the day you order it (usually prepared right in front of you) and has the huge city parking lot located right behind it, the survivor of a competition between the two operations isn’t likely to be the little local shop. That is, unless Lake Geneva is big enough for two successful coffee serving operations, and presuming that a third shop doesn’t open in the same space Peet’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build in. It might seem that a coffee shop’s closing should not merit front page news, but if history repeats itselfwith another ice cold Wisconsin winter, then warm places to hide away, or rest and warm, up might be seen as very important indeed.