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« TDBS throws hat in different ring | Main | Oligarchy »

Jul 26, 2011


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Guilford Coutny Taxpayer

Any thoughts concerning tax payer waste taking place at GCS?


Billy Jones

Coffee shops come and go even in good times. Most have no real business model. Every restaurant in State Street serves coffee... and food. Like drunks who spend every night in a bar wishing they had back all that money they spent on drink-- so they open a bar so they can loose the rest of their money. Coffee shops are dreams and like most dreams they don't come true.

Same goes for restaurants. Scarphone's buddies open a dozen of more new restaurants each year knowing full well they will all fail but it's not a problem for them because they've always got a buyer lined-up and stroked, chomping at the bit to buy and fail. How do I know this? I worked for his buddies.


Greensborough Coffee, previously Carolina Coffee and Roasting has been in business over 25 years and predates Starbucks, at that location. The roasting portion was split off over 15 years ago.

Kathy Lubbers, Newt Gingrich's daughter owned it for a while. It was a great hangout for many in that area. Just too many vacancies on State St. and people watching their change. It is a tough business when the volume dries up...........

Luke Whitten and Tobi Willoughby deserve a great thanks from their customers for hanging in there as long as they did.

I am a better person by knowing them.

David Craft

Billy Jones

Finally, even Irving Park fills the pain.

Ed Cone

The failure rate for restaurants may be even higher than the high rate for other small businesses, because, as Billy points out, people often are following a dream more than a business plan, and of course all the other dangers facing small startups (undercapitalization and bad location seem foremost) are in play as well.

But you can't paint with too broad a brush. Obviously some places thrive for years, and some that do end up failing don't do it because they were not well thought-out. Greensborough Coffee seems to fall into the latter camp.

Also, Billy's schadenfreude aside, Irving Park has been feeling the pain for a while -- how long has the Eckerd building on Elm been empty?

Billy Jones

Ed, you accuse me of seeking pleasure from others' pain but it is only when the rich and powerful suffer that they look for solutions to the problems they create. The problems we suffer long before their fall and long after their rise. When politicians and government workers; and the residents of Irving Park can be found on corners holding signs that read, "Will Tax For Food" we will get a solutions to this nation's economic nightmare.

Call it schadenfreude if you like, I call it the truth.


Our plus-size stores continue to thrive on State Street, as do other businesses. There's lots of free parking and several great restaurants nearby.

I was in the Food Lion on Cornwallis yesterday and the aisles are so short, I couldn't find half the things I needed. I ended up finishing my shopping at my regular haunt on Lawndale.

Nothing has changed, save for the metrics of the economy. Great shops and restaurants continue to do good business.

Could Greensborough Coffee have been saved? Maybe. But perhaps now is the time to knock down some walls, make the bathrooms bigger and expand the product line.

The Secret Tea Room, just down the street, is a perfect example of a recent success, combining inexpensive rent, good location, great food, good management and effective advertising.


My best to those that continue on State St. I hate to see an area that could be so vibrant, suffering.......

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