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Old 07-26-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Eugenified View Post
I looked at Austin TX myself at one point, but eventually gave it the thumbs down (admittedly, I only visited once). For me, it was too hot, and there was too much traffic. It felt way too big city-ish to me, although I know it is not a big city. It also has that "suburban sprawl" vibe (very LA, by the way, so you will be accustomed to this) which I am not interested in anymore.

FYI, there really are no real suburbs in places like Eugene or Medford. You basically have the city, then outside of that is very spread out country houses/farms. So the idea to drive 30 minutes away in order to get cheaper housing doesn't really fit the situation up here.

Re Medford and Grants Pass: I don't know much about them other than driving through on my trips down to California. But they are both small cities...maybe too small for your business. Plus they really don't seem to have any central "reason to be", i.e. the towns don't have any central economic or cultural theme (people who are more familiar with those areas are welcome to correct me if I am wrong). On the other hand, Eugene is clearly a college town plus it is a key medical center for the surrounding area (really great hospital care is available in Eugene).

Your business idea in terms of Eugene: I would definitely focus on the area just west of UO's campus. There is an interesting coffee house on 13th just a few doors over from UO's extremely busy Starbucks. I can't remember the name of it now, but it is always quite filled with students and the like. They have a really large amount of square footage for a coffee house, yet they continue to pack 'em in each day. It might be worth checking out if you visit Eugene. Of course, you don't want to do the same thing as they do, but it is always useful to compare. (Personally, I think that area badly needs some college-y food such as a Woodstocks Pizza or a decent Chinese restaurant...there is NO good Chinese food in Eugene. Check out my website for some reviews of various restaurants in Eugene. You might get some ideas there too.)

Houses less than $200K? I doubt it in south Eugene. Of course, it depends on size (no matter what they say, size apparently does matter ) and location. The low end of the price range in south Eugene would be around $250K. Cheaper in the northerm end of town and definitely cheaper in neighboring Springfield (although it's a little grungy by Orange County CA standards).

Good luck!
I'm a Texas native. Austin, 20 years ago, was cool despite the weather. Now it's just like any other city that grew too fast. It has SXSW and Amy's ice cream - and that's about all it has going for it anymore!

Eugene is similar to what Austin was 20 years ago, only smaller, with better weather, and a LOT more liberal. Austin thinks it's liberal, and it is (or was) by Texas standards yet - it has nothing on Oregon. Austin became too trendy, and the yuppies and their kids have ruined the once cool town.

That coffee shop you mentioned - Espresso Roma? Is that the one? There's also Full City in that area I think... The Beanery over by Down to Earth is my favorite. I really like their drip. Keystone is great, but always so cramped and crowded. (And it's not really a coffee house - just a good place for breakfast!) And Wandering Goat is really good, but I haven't been there in a long time! Are they even still there? Places come and go so quickly in this town. I buy their beans for home, either WG or Sister's or Cafe Mam... OK... I'm not really loyal to anyone one roaster... and I've been more into tea lately... and now I'm rambling...

And I agree... there's no really good Chinese food in Eugene. It's really sad. We have some good Thai Food. We have some good noodle houses. We have some decent Pho. But Chinese Food. Ugh.... the closest thing to somewhat decent Chinese Food that we've found is a place on W. 6th st... hmmm... I don't know the name... I just googled for it - I think it's called the Fortune Inn.

But we found good Thai food in this hole-in-the-wall place over by Gateway Mall. Aiyara Cafe on the corner of Harlow and... something. Harlow and Gateway maybe? Kind of near the Ben Franklin. It's not much to look at but the Thai food is good and the people that run the place are very nice and low-key. My husband is Thai, his mother was raised in Bangkok in the family's Thai restaraunt... and he likes Aiyara! Kuraya's in Springfield on Mohawk is also pretty good, that's his second choice. Kuraya's feels like it tries to cater more towards American's, while Aiyara seems to "keep it real".
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:39 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,870,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
Grants Pass has the most coffee houses and stands per capita of any city in the world, largely due to it being the home of the Dutch Bros coffee chain. ...
I thought it went...
  1. Anchorage, Alaska: 2.8 coffee shops per 10,000 people
  2. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: 2.5 shops
  3. San Francisco, Calif.: 2.2 shops
(From http://www.marketwatch.com/story/western-states-offer-the-most-coffee-shops-survey )


Where did you get your info on Grants Pass? It probably has the most coffee shops per capita in Southern Oregon, for sure. I've always been curious about the number of coffee shops in the places we've lived. When we lived in the Seattle area... we used to play this game: How many coffee shops within a 5 mile radius? Sometimes, like in downtown Seattle, we'd do a 1 mile radius!! It was pretty crazy. 35+ coffee shops within a 1 mile radius or something. And all the shops are packed. Yes, road rage is a big problem there... everybody was hyped-up on caffeine.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:57 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,870,967 times
Reputation: 7112
[quote=kbell18001;9946313]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lane View Post

Our plan is start a coffee house business. Although Starbucks has been closing some 600 locations I feel our coffee house business can work. Making it more of a destination than a place for coffee on the way to work.
When I worked at Starbucks and went through the 3-week training course (I don't think they do that much training anymore? I've heard they changed that...) but they spent a lot of time training us how to make the customers feel at home and talking to us about how the company wanted it's Starbuck's stores to be a comfortable and familiar "third place"... They wanted all their stores to look about the same, with the same vibe, and have the same comfortable feel to them so that no matter where the customer was in the world, they could go into a Starbuck's and feel at home and comfortable there - and feel safe spending their money there. Yes... a lot of people just do the drive-thru thing, you see the cars lined up... but many more use Starbuck's as a place that's in-between home and work... that "third place". It already is a destination place, so that's unfortunately not really a new idea.

You might consider a tea shop over a coffee shop, if you're still open to new business ideas. There have been articles in magazines (such as Sunset magazine) talking about how many people have been switching to tea for it's health benefits, and how tea rooms are sprouting up in many places. Eugene I think has maybe one tea room? The market for that is brand new and wide open, really. I personally think that mate is going to be the next big thing... Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate, sustainable, fair trade, kosher, rainforest grown, shade grown, energy drinks There have been lots of discoveries in recent years of the health benefits, and many celebrities are now drinking it - so it's only a matter of time before the college kids start seeking it out. Viggo Mortensen from LOTR supposedly carries around a bombilla (mate straw) with him in his back pocket where ever he goes. He has a new movie coming out, too, that I think is going to be huge... "The Road"... based on the book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy (he did No Country for Old Men... All the Pretty Horses... among others...)

OK... I've rambled enough! Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Mint Hill, NC
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No offense, but Starbucks just isn't that "third place" for us at all. They've gotten way too "corporate" for us (plus I don't really like their coffee). We MUCH prefer the "smaller", independent shops, which we can't find here in Charlotte at all. If you open that shop in Eugene Tom Lane, I can guarantee you one patron as my daughter is moving to Eugene this fall to attend UofO, and she can't wait to find some shops just like what you are proposing!
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,223,267 times
Reputation: 1727
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I thought it went...
  1. Anchorage, Alaska: 2.8 coffee shops per 10,000 people
  2. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: 2.5 shops
  3. San Francisco, Calif.: 2.2 shops
(From http://www.marketwatch.com/story/western-states-offer-the-most-coffee-shops-survey )


Where did you get your info on Grants Pass? It probably has the most coffee shops per capita in Southern Oregon, for sure. I've always been curious about the number of coffee shops in the places we've lived. When we lived in the Seattle area... we used to play this game: How many coffee shops within a 5 mile radius? Sometimes, like in downtown Seattle, we'd do a 1 mile radius!! It was pretty crazy. 35+ coffee shops within a 1 mile radius or something. And all the shops are packed. Yes, road rage is a big problem there... everybody was hyped-up on caffeine.
There was a small article in a big magazine (like Newsweek possibly) a couple years ago that said that and they have a copy of the article posted in the 'Dutch House' (the original DB in downtown GP). If you go based on walk-in/sit-down places then it is definitely significantly lower, but including all the drive-thru stands it is the highest. According to my rough calculations, getting info from the Dutch Bros website, plus trying to remember all the other coffee houses and coffee stands... It's a total of 18 in the city limits that I can remember right now (I may have forgotten a coffee house in the Redwood area and probably two or three coffee stands--there are so many to keep track of). The 2007 Census population estimate is 34,237. So that is 5.26 coffee shops per 10,000 people. It's only about 1.75 per 10,000 people if you take away the coffee stands (6 total sit-down coffee houses that I can remember for sure). Starbucks was considering building a coffee shop here too... I think they would have been booed out of town though.

But basically it is ridiculous how much caffeine we are collectively pumping into our bodies out here in the West! It's a little much... And yes, the Starbucks on every corner of Seattle (and Portland for that matter) is really silly.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,223,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Eugenified View Post
Re Medford and Grants Pass: I don't know much about them other than driving through on my trips down to California. But they are both small cities...maybe too small for your business. Plus they really don't seem to have any central "reason to be", i.e. the towns don't have any central economic or cultural theme (people who are more familiar with those areas are welcome to correct me if I am wrong).
Their raison d'etre is simple. Four words.

Tiiiiimbeeeeer! Spotted owls.... Tourism?
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,223,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemaew View Post
No offense, but Starbucks just isn't that "third place" for us at all. They've gotten way too "corporate" for us (plus I don't really like their coffee). We MUCH prefer the "smaller", independent shops, which we can't find here in Charlotte at all. If you open that shop in Eugene Tom Lane, I can guarantee you one patron as my daughter is moving to Eugene this fall to attend UofO, and she can't wait to find some shops just like what you are proposing!
Agreed.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:35 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,870,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemaew View Post
No offense, but Starbucks just isn't that "third place" for us at all. They've gotten way too "corporate" for us (plus I don't really like their coffee). We MUCH prefer the "smaller", independent shops, which we can't find here in Charlotte at all. If you open that shop in Eugene Tom Lane, I can guarantee you one patron as my daughter is moving to Eugene this fall to attend UofO, and she can't wait to find some shops just like what you are proposing!
Oh none taken... I can't stand Starbuck's, either. Especially after having worked there. I was just saying that the concept isn't a new one.

In Texas, there was a great little coffee shop called "Legal Grounds". It was always packed. I believe it was run by retired lawyers? You could get a cup of coffee and legal advice. They had all these legal forms there, too, that you could buy. It was so fun! I loved the feel of that place... it was set up kinda like an old British grandmother's house, if you can picture it. Very cozy and with a lot of personality and charm.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:04 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,522,409 times
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Default Oregon's Smart Growth Policies

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemaew View Post
No offense, but Starbucks just isn't that "third place" for us at all. They've gotten way too "corporate" for us (plus I don't really like their coffee). We MUCH prefer the "smaller", independent shops, which we can't find here in Charlotte at all. If you open that shop in Eugene Tom Lane, I can guarantee you one patron as my daughter is moving to Eugene this fall to attend UofO, and she can't wait to find some shops just like what you are proposing!
Who? Looks like City-Data Member "kbell80001" would like to open a coffee shop and is considering Eugene, not me, but that's OK......

If I move back to the Pacific NW, what concerns me most is Oregon's double digit unemployment resulting in part from the state's smart growth policies, that destroyed the housing market......

Bend, Oregon appeals to me much more than Eugene (because of the sunnier weather), however, Bend has even higher unemployment than Eugene.....

Is anyone in Oregon talking about canceling the state's smart growth policies in an effort to decrease unemployment from lost construction and nursery/landscape jobs?
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:12 AM
 
1,313 posts, read 6,045,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lane View Post
Is anyone in Oregon talking about canceling the state's smart growth policies in an effort to decrease unemployment from lost construction and nursery/landscape jobs?
No. Nobody who truly understands Oregon's land-use policies would believe that that would be a likely result. There's no plausible cause and effect relationship between the two. Some of the more right-wing Libertarian types try to make that argument, but it's based on a string of unfounded assumptions.

Remember, government deregulation of private enterprise to answer cries for a "freer market" is what brought this recession on in the first place. The "lost construction" is simply the result of the real estate bubble bursting. The bubble was created in the first place by deregulation of the lending industry. There are now far more homes than there are people who are looking for homes to buy. Since current supply far outweighs demand, there is little motivation for new construction. That's entirely a consequence of free-market dynamics.
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