At least a half dozen articles in recent weeks have reinforced what we already know: well-run specialty coffee businesses are insulated from the economic recession. While Starbucks and its management problems are grabbing national headlines, small regional coffee businesses are grabbing customers.

Like any other food business, in coffee, it’s the taste that counts so in times of economic downturn, value is king… no, not those 36 oz mega-gulp beverages, but flavorful, well-prepared beverages that cannot be made with instant coffee at home or purchased at your local fast food outlet.

When times are tough, “average Joe” may be sacrificing his average Joe, but you can never keep a foodie from his or her Stumptown.

Read these recent examples:

Cup of competition: small cafes holding their own from the Associated Press
Changing times for coffee achievers featuring our friend Scott Conary of Open Eye Cafe, Caffe Driade and the Carrboro Coffee Company
Local coffee shops don’t feel economic grind in the Penn State Collegian

Coffee: it’s a great business to be in these days… if you make it great.