CHS community needs a coffee shop alternative

Starbucks is often crowded, creating a stressful environment.

Starbucks is often crowded, creating a stressful environment.

By Ilana Berger, Staff Writer

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The CHS second semester senior is a fascinating specimen. Indigenous to Potomac, Maryland, the animal spends the majority of its day sleeping, and upon waking can most often be observed at the local watering hole: Starbucks. Here it can socialize and scavenge for coffee, a vital component of its diet.

Sadly, as the popularity of Starbucks rises, getting decent coffee is becoming a stressful experience rather than a calm ritual for CHS students—especially the second semester seniors who live off of it.

Often, the Starbucks lines are so long that students either have to get up ridiculously early to beat the morning rush or forgo their daily energy boost. The store is even packed during lunchtime, and students often feel rushed to get back to class instead of sitting down to enjoy their drinks.

What students could really use is an alternative coffee venue close to school to balance out the crowd at Starbucks as opposed to replacing it. Not another chain store like Dunkin Donuts or Caribou Coffee, but a locally-owned shop with comfy chairs, good music, and most importantly, quality coffee.

But would a new coffee shop stay in business when it is forced to compete with popular chains like Starbucks?

Businesses like Quartermaine Coffee Roasters are proof that it would. The small thriving company has two store locations: one in downtown Bethesda and one in Georgetown Square. Both locations are within a mile radius of a Starbucks.

According its website, Quartermaine competes with bigger chains by making coffee with beans that have been roasted only 24 hours before they are sold. Its roasting plant in nearby Rockville allows it to do so, while other stores’ beans must be shipped all the way across the country.  In addition to its store locations, Quartermaine also has a wholesale business and sells its beans to food stores and restaurants.

The reality is that in Montgomery County, many people can afford to buy coffee frequently. It would not be hard to gain business, and CHS students would be a big help in sustaining a new coffee shop.

Not only would a new coffee shop be a refreshing place to relax, but it would also provide students with job opportunities. As a local store, it might also be more willing to host CHS fundraisers.

Starbucks will always be a CHS favorite because of its familiar flavors, but students who are looking for a change of scenery and a comfortable place to hang out would benefit from the opening of an alternative coffee shop. However, most importantly, a wide variety of coffee venues would help make the home stretch just that much more bearable for second semester seniors.