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article imageStarbucks to open franchise inside South Carolina funeral home

By Brett Wilkins     Jul 12, 2012 in Business
Easley - Corporations are always looking for new markets into which to expand, which is no easy task in our over-saturated McWorld. But the world's most prolific coffee retailer has managed to find a macabre niche in which to peddle its wares.
The owner of a South Carolina funeral home has announced that customers grieving their dearly departed will soon be able to ease their pain with a cup of Starbucks Espresso Macchiato or, in this oppressive heatwave, perhaps an Iced Caramel.
That's right, as CBS 7 reports, the Robinson Funeral Home in Easley will soon open a Starbucks "Coffee Corner" beside the coffin in the corner, and while that double shot espresso may not be quite strong enough to raise the dead, it may revive an old tradition.
Owner Chris Robinson told CBS 7 that coffee has always been part of his family business. His great-grandfather started the funeral home inside a general store in the heart of Easley, where folks used to gather and drink coffee.
"We've been serving coffee for literally generations," Robinson explained.
Sensing that people might not understand his decision to welcome Starbucks into such a sacred space, menu and all, Robinson says that "it's off to the side."
"It's not like it's right up front," he explained.
"If this provides [grieving customers] a little escape, and gives them a break from the stress they're going through, then that's what it's all about. To make them feel better," he told CBS 7.
Robinson has hired staff to run the franchise, which will be open to the general public as well as those attending funerals. The outlet is expected to open next month.
For those customers concerned that they'll no longer be offered free cups of coffee as per tradition, Robinson says fear not.
"We'll still have the homemade Robinson coffee too," he assured CBS 7.
The Robinson Starbucks will be the first in Easley.
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