Starbucks announced as a part of its restructuring and sweeping return to its roots that the business would close for 3 hours worldwide to retrain its baristas, which is when the idea hit us and I wrote this press release for my client at Coffee Klatch:

San Dimas, California (Market Wire) February 19, 2008 – Coffee Klatch Roasting’s two retail coffee shops in San Dimas and Rancho Cucamonga will offer free coffee to customers on Tuesday, February 26th from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM PST in celebration of Starbucks’ planned 3-hour closure for espresso training.

Described by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a press statement as a “bold demonstration of our commitment,” the company announced earlier this month that it would close 7,100 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States for 3 hours to retrain more than 135,000 employees.

Coffee Klatch, home of reigning United States Barista Champion Heather Perry, has no need for similar employee remediation and consequently invites the public to visit for an opportunity to taste expertly crafted espresso beverages and exclusive coffees from exotic locales -for free- at its two Southern California locations during the closure.

“I’m not sure why it’s going to take them 3 hours to learn how to press a button,” says Coffee Klatch Roasting owner Mike Perry, referring to the automated espresso machines that are used by Starbucks employees to prepare beverages. “While they practice pushing buttons, their customers can come to Coffee Klatch and learn how coffee is really supposed to taste.”


We sent it out the same day. When the dust settled, more than 1,200 newspapers had picked up on the comment, from the New York Times to numerous others abroad. Everyone loves an underdog poking fun at the big guys.

Never hesitate to have a little fun with publicity.