Starbucks Coffee on Main Street has been a staple of Downtown Huntington Beach for 20 years. And with a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony last Saturday, they’ve re-opened their doors after a two-week remodeling period.
Legendary professional skateboarder and highly revered artist Ed Templeton was on hand to cut the ribbon, just days after returning from hosting an photo exhibit in San Jose, CA. Templeton, a pro skater of 24 years, created Toy Machine Skateboards in 1993 and has grown the company into a brand that is recognizable to skateboarders worldwide.
“When we were deciding who we wanted to cut the ribbon, we said ‘Forget the mayor. We want Ed Templeton'”, said Starbucks barista and Cypress College student Lore Jac-Rey.
A lifetime resident of Huntington Beach, Templeton has been a regular customer at the Main Street Starbucks location for quite a while. And even though he is considered a celebrity to hundreds of thousands people across the globe, he can be seen inside the store with his wife, Deanna, humbly enjoying his iced chai tea latte (with soy milk, of course, Ed and Deanna are vegan) several times per week.
With all the anti-big corporation vibes the skateboarding industry is known to emanate, what would make a huge player in the game like Ed Templeton want to associate with a company like Starbucks?
“It’s not a huge company to them,” Lore says. “It’s their hometown coffee shop. Deanna brings us food. She calls the baristas her kids.” she chuckles.
Templeton donated a signed Toy Machine deck to the store which will be displayed inside the remodeled location.
The other Huntington beach locals flock to the location for their daily treat. Dalora, possibly Main Street’s most die-hard customer, collects all her personalized cups and brings gifts to the baristas on holidays.
“Now I can say I was here on opening day.” Dalora laughed, while drinking her cappuccino.
Regardless off the mom-and-pop vibe the store gives off, there’s no denying the stature of Starbucks in the corporate world. It’s a knee-jerk reaction for some to immediately distance themselves from “the machine”. However, those who would dig a bit deeper and find out a bit more about the company wouldn’t find too much dirt.
There are no children slaving away in fields. The beans are purchased ethically, and a transparent economic system ensures the farmers doing the dirty work are paid fairly, as well as given humane working environments. For the baristas, the benefits are legitimate, even for part-time employees. There’s not a whole lot to complain about.
Many make the argument that Starbucks steals business from small coffee shops, which is often true. But many forget that Starbucks started with just one small shop in Seattle, founded by three guys who met in college. An innocent beginning to an amazing story. The rest is history.
None of that corporate stuff matters to the locals of Main Street, Huntington Beach. They show up to the place where everybody knows their name, where the baristas have their drinks memorized and ready within seconds of their entrance. And there’s no sign that Ed and Deanna Templeton will stop popping in to their hometown coffee shop for their iced chai tea lattes (with soy milk – but you already knew that) any time soon.