Starbucks plans to move into the coffee kiosk space at the southwest entrance of the Cortez City Market in the fall, a corporate official said in a written statement.
The store will hire 12 to 15 employees to run the new 500-square-foot shop, the statement said.
The city of Cortez recently granted the corporation its building permit, which allows contractors to start construction any time within the next six months, said Kirsten Sackett, the city’s director of planning and building.
The local owners of San Juan Coffee Co., who currently operate the kiosk in City Market, did not comment about Starbucks replacing them.
Jamie Jones, the owners’ daughter, said a contract with City Market prevented them from commenting. But, the shop will be moving to 4 West Main, the building formerly occupied by a Bit of Heaven, she said.
The owner of Let It Grow in Cortez, Jude Schuenemeyer, said he expected Starbucks to come to town. His company is a nursery, market and coffee bean roaster.
“Our decision to become a roastery was based on two related factors: For us to have the best quality coffee possible, we realized that we had to roast our own beans. Second, if we had exceptional coffee, Starbucks would affect us less,” he said.
He expects Starbucks to have a big impact.
“I think that Starbucks will affect all of the small coffee shops in town. It will knock most of them out,” he said.
Several local consumers also expressed concern about Starbucks taking over the space occupied by a locally owned shop.
“Do we need another big-box Starbucks? I don’t think so,” Troy Osborn said.
A San Juan Coffee customer, Tilly Keyonnie, said she would go to the shop’s new location, rather than stop at Starbucks.
Noah Galyon, a junior at Montezuma-Cortez High School, said Starbucks is popular among his friends, and he expects the new location will do well.
“It’s one of those things that people want,” he said.
Erynn Apodaca called the prospect of the new store exciting and said she was a fan of the store’s java chip frappuccino.
“They have really great service,” she said.
Self-proclaimed coffee fiend Susan Drinkard said she was a longtime Starbucks customer but will avoid it when it opens. She said she worked hard to kick her Starbucks habit and now finds the coffee bitter and overpriced.
“It kills me to spend $3 for a medium cup of coffee,” she said.
City Market did not return phone calls for comment about the planned Starbucks outlet.
Starbucks closed 600 stores in 2008 and 2009, but it has been expanding since 2010. The company currently operates 4,506 locations across the United States and 20,519 worldwide.