Words: Shamim de Brún
Dublin Airport, the stage for this month’s caffeinated soap opera, spilled the tea on a whirlwind of new openings and closures last week. Amidst the chaos, one java joint, Vista, has stirred up confusion, looking suspiciously like Starbucks in a hipster disguise.
A snapshot of the café lounge went viral, showcasing a strategic rebranding – Starbucks out, Vista in. The move triggered outrage because many people are currently boycotting Starbucks, and the rebrand makes it look like it’s not Starbucks when it may still be.
The boycott buzz is due to Starbucks’ alleged pro-Israel stance. But hold your almond milk lattes, online sleuthing revealed that Starbucks officially bid adieu in December 2023 when their contract was up up and away.
Dublin Airport spilled the (coffee) beans, saying that Vista is a temporary fling until an Irish-owned caffeine crusader moves in permanently come March. It’s basically a generic branch using Starbucks supplies till the new business takes up residence in March. So, don’t let the coffee cup fool you; it’s a placeholder, but basically, Starbucks is still profiting because they are using Starbucks beans and bits. So technically, the outrage is half on the money.
Blue Bird café shall be soaring into the void left by Starbucks’ December departure in March. Blue Bird is a legit Irish café, coffee roaster and beacon of tasty treats in UCD Dublin and Cork Airport.
As for Starbucks, it has been embroiled in many controversies recently. They have been accused of suing their staff for being pro-Palestine. They also refuse to let their staff unionise.
They released a watermelon cup before the most recent outbreak of genocidal occupation. It has since gone viral this week, however, because the watermelon is a symbol of Palestine. It has been a symbol for Palestinians since 2007 however, so it is unclear if this is intentional co-opting of a symbol or inadvertent. The cup seems to have been removed from their website since. However, the page still exists where it was sold, it just no longer seems to work.
Starbucks stock has been taking a nosedive, down around 9 per cent since November. Whether it’s the boycotts or just a bad espresso shot in the market, only time will spill the beans on that billion-dollar dilemma.
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