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The eighteenth century is often called the Age of Reason or The Enlightenment. During this time, France, like many other European countries were caught up with conflicts between the people and the government. Intellectuals and philosophers like Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu begin forming social groups at their local salons. These salons were later known as "Coffeehouses." In popular coffeehouses of Paris people from all walks of life were meeting to discuss about the social issues, current events, and how they can improve the living conditions in France, and of course drinking coffee and eating fresh bakery. Today, however, coffeehouses have emerged into a multi million dollar franchise, which has become the black plague that has spread throughout Europe. Everywhere you go, you begin seeing the logo Starbucks on every corner, and small coffeehouses begin hanging signs of "For Sale." Let alone my small city, South Pasadena has approximately 3 Starbucks. Coffeehouses today has definitely changed from the eighteenth century, no longer is it a place for intellectuals but for everyone and every gender. For many college students, Starbucks has become a place for meeting new friends and finding new dates. For others, it has become a daily chore to go get a regular fresh brewed coffee before a long day of work. Starbucks is spreading across the world like a virus, infecting our culture and the rest of the world with their formula of what a coffeehouse should be.

Starbucks was first founded in Seattle Washington's Pike Place Market of 1971. It was named after Moby Dick's first shipmate. As the business grew, owner and chairman of Starbucks Howard Schultz began making his company public, forming a franchise. His main purpose for opening so many Starbucks is because he wanted to endure the company by championing business practices that produce social, environmental, and economic benefits for the people (Schultz). Though he has succeeded do some of his goals, he did however change the American values and perspectives on coffeehouses. For instance, Starbucks does not only sell coffee but they are beginning to sell music cd's, books, and other goods. Thus, offering Americans the convenience instead of wasting a gallon of gas to go to Barnes and Noble or Tower Records. Americans today are gearing towards a new age, and with multi million dollar corporations controlling people's money, many Americans begin seeing Starbucks as destroying their sense of identity. In addition, the identities they use are now incorporated into health issues, just like other franchises such as McDonalds.

Upon entering a Starbucks you immediately begin to smell the ground brewed coffee beans that are blended fresh and clean. As one walks into Starbucks you are greeted by a fellow kind employee who seems like another corporate robot. Looking around the place, you sense an Italian taste of the restaurant; dark, yet serene. As one looks around everything seems to be clean and tidy, with employees working at a steadfast rate. One can feel that Starbucks has become their second home, possibly a college dormitory with all the high living standards such as high speed internet, comfortable couches, all sorts of soothing music, and of course people with similar interest. As one waits in line for their turn to order coffee, he/she will notice the strange products that Starbucks is selling. Not only are they selling Coffee but music cd's, board games, candies, books, things that do not connect with a regular coffeehouse. Everywhere you go, you will see promotional products and of course these products are to attract your money, as you wait for your coffee.

There is one thing that Americans love the most, and it is surfing on the internet. The internet has everything you can dream of; playing online video games, chatting with another person in Germany, or even reading current events. For over ten years, there has always been discussion about connecting all American households online, with free high speed internet. However, with such ambitious hopes, the expenses that the government will have to pay were just too high. Instead, Starbucks, begins to offer high speed internet in all the local Starbucks' not only is the internet free, but it is also Wi-Fi, which means everything is wireless. So every Starbucks you go, whether if its in California or China, you will always be connected to the internet. Today's culture, Americans' love affair with new techs or new things has becoming a new trend. Americans are fascinated with such changes and new inventions. It has always been said that Americans are very adventurous. This is mainly because of the freedom we have in this country. With Starbucks offering more than just coffee and free high speed internet, this place has definitely become a space of social playground. No longer are people going to their local malls, but since so many Starbucks' are in a city, why not hang out at a place where it has air conditioning and free high speed internet.

Today, Starbucks are not only part of the food industry but also they are beginning to gear towards the entertainment industry. For example, most Starbucks' are beginning to sell music cd's, which not only publicizes the artist but Starbucks as well because artists are using Starbucks' property to publicize their albums. Sometimes the soothing music will play specific albums from Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. But people will wonder why would a coffeehouse sell music cd's, it has nothing to do with coffee. The answer is quite simple; it is because Starbucks' wants to maximize profit. Selling one thing will not make you as much profit as selling a variety of things, thus selling music cd's and candies will earn you more profit. Of course, all these involvement of selling is good for the economy; it keeps our economy at a steadfast pace. In addition, other Starbucks' today are located right next to a book store called Barnes and Noble. Starbucks' intention is to let these shoppers take a short 15 minute break with their Espresso and famous Frappucino. This not only benefits Starbucks but also Barnes and Noble because Starbucks' is renting a part of their land and their also publicizing Barnes and Noble. Starbucks is not just adding music to their stores; they are adding culture to the stores. They are enhancing the customer experience. Therefore, Starbucks is creating another way to recommend music to people and target a specific music buyer, separating the gap between digital to physical (Holmes). Another belief that has helped construct Starbucks love for convenience is that Starbucks offers everything, you can get all you need/want in a Starbuck: drinks, food, music, business discussion setting, etc. Starbucks offer so many cultural expenses.



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