By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Friday, June 10th, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Every day for the past few months, you’ve been asking us about our new neighbor near the baseball park. What do we think about the new Starbucks? Are we worried? Upset? Planning massive discounts or some other competitive gambit? We’ve mostly brushed off these questions, but not because we haven’t thought through them. The truth is, it’s complicated.
On one hand, the recent surge of interest indowntown Bowling Green is definitely a good thing. We’ve been here for 15 years now, and have seen a massive change in foot traffic and overall vitality. (In fact, we’d like to think we’ve played some small part in that.) More businesses should, in theory, bring more potential customers for everyone; a “big name” business showing up downtown gives an air of importance, an indication that Bowling Green has arrived.
But, of course, that’s the thing: At Spencer’s, we haven’t “arrived,” because we’ve already been here. Building our business slowly and surely, without the benefit of tax incentives or wealthy investors who live in other locales. Forging relationships with the faculty, staff and students of WKU — which, in partnership with Aramark, is the actual owner-operator of the new Starbucks. Pressing forward as our city and county officials (with the best of intentions) were turning their eyes from Fountain Square, working to shift the cultural hub of downtown Bowling Green a couple blocks east.
Again: It’s complicated. But at the end of the day, what we *will* say is this: We love Bowling Green, and we love serving the people of this community. We’re confident in the quality of our products, the graciousness of our service, the unique atmosphere of our 200-year-old space — and we’re constantly working to improve on all of the above. Competition will only help us in that regard, driving us to better evaluate our service and our standards. And despite the fact that Spencer’s and Starbucks are both centered on coffee and offer free wi-fi, our business models and driving visions are actually quite distinct from one another.
We’re friends with some of the people involved at Stadium Park Plaza; we’re privileged to count many of them as customers. And we honestly, genuinely hope the whole project succeeds — for the good of downtown Bowling Green, and for the good of our community. But no matter what happens, with this project or any other down the road, know that we’ll still be here — right where we were, right where we want to be, welcoming the lovely people of the lovely city we call home.