Loretta LaRoche: Starbucks shows us what not to do

Loretta LaRoche

About 15 years ago, I took my first trip to Seattle.

As I got off the plane, I was struck by the amazing aroma of coffee that seemed to permeate the entire airport. It was so seductive that I had to find the source and experience it.

It turned out to be Starbucks.

The setting was reminiscent of a European cafe, with soft jazz playing in the background.

The choices were simple because there were just several blends.

The hook was you could hang out and drink it with friends or solo while reading or simply watching other people.

As I ambled through the city, I discovered a few more Starbucks. I asked if they were anywhere else in the States, and they said not yet, but it was being considered.

Well, expand they did. They’re everywhere!

Doesn't it feel that Americans love to take something that starts out being a great idea to the place where the original premise gets lost by overkill?

I recently read that Starbucks is now downsizing and removing the extras they created to go with their coffees because they’re losing money. DUH!

The smell of food fights the smell of coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts just announced they’re adding more food.

Why can't we leave well enough alone? I really don't need to get a pizza in a coffee bar or a steak with fries at the dry cleaners. There are places that already do that.

Maybe Victoria's Secret should start selling oysters on the half-shell with their thongs. They are considered an aphrodisiac, so that might make sense.

Maybe the real way to make a profit is to stick to what you know best - but that takes common sense.

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360, send e-mail to, visit the Web site at, or call 800-99-TADAH (82324).