Black-Owned Sip And Savor Coffee Shops Use Starbucks Training Day To Grow Business

Mike Krauser
May 29, 2018 - 10:30 am

Sip and Savor Chicago/Facebook


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A black-owned Chicago coffee house company is using the Starbucks training day as an opportunity to drum up new business.  

The Sip and Savor coffee shops in the Hyde Park and Bronzeville neighborhoods gave away free coffee on Tuesday morning. 

Founder and CEO Trez Van Pugh III said he saw the opportunity to try to get more people into the shops. 

"They still need caffeine," he said, and added, people need to know there are other options out there for good coffee.  

"What happened to Starbucks was unfortunate. It was a teachable moment for my employees, but it was also an opportunity for my company to try to win some Starbucks customers over or to give them another option. It's just to get them in here so at least they will be able to see what we offer."

Van Pugh's coffee houses were offering discounts throughout the day and had live musicians performing.  

He said he believes Starbucks is being sincere in their effort to get beyond the Philadelphia incident, but questions whether two hours of training is adequate for such a serious topic. 

"It seems to me that the CEO was sincere when he shut down the stores. I mean, I can never really know what is in his head, but that is a start," Van Pugh said. "To be able to at least train the employees, but one hour, or two hours, does not make a training to me when it is something that is as critical as racial training. I mean it takes awhile to understand that, so the fact that he went out there and didn't send a spokesman, the fact that he didn't prepare a statement, he went out there and owned it himself. I would like to think he is doing the right thing and it's a start." 

He said he used the Starbucks incident to talk to his employees about how their actions can adversely affect the brand.