Local Business uprooted by Starbucks


Isis Thiede, Social Media Editor

Recent news about the new Starbucks has left some people in the town of Gunnison angry, frustrated, and confused. Realtor Sid Squirrell, based in Grand Junction, confirmed to the Gunnison Times a few weeks ago that plans for a new Starbucks are now underway. This Starbucks would be located in the same place a family-owned fruit stand has had its home for many years, leaving the Mortensen family at a loss. Ousting a family business for a large corporation goes against the fundamentals of the community and people should stand against it. 

In Gunnison, there are currently six coffee shops, including an already running Starbucks in City Market. These coffee shops include many local businesses, something that Gunnison runs off of. This Starbucks would affect the entire town and not in a good way. Not only would it uproot a family-run business but it also creates the possibility of local coffee shops losing business. It could affect around 55 workers who are currently employed by the local shops.

Javier Mortensen, the oldest son in the family who owns and runs the fruit and vegetable stand, gave his thoughts on the issue saying, “The fruit stand has been a large part of my life, I started working there when I was ten years old. My grandpa was the one who used to get all the fruits and I’ve seen it evolve as I’ve grown up and it is sad to see it just go away one day for a Starbucks.” When asked how it affects his family he responded, “It was a big part of my parent’s revenue so it will affect them monetarily but it has also affected my family mentally, especially my dad since his father was the one who started the business.” 

The fruit stand has been there since 1989 and is a staple in the community. Kylee McDougal is worried about the fruit stand stating that she has gone there every year to get green chilies to make green chili, a tradition in her family. Many people are outraged, Vivian Haddaway said that “I am infuriated and feel that it is unfair.” As of right now the family has plans to relocate but is struggling to find a new location. Hopefully, the community will help them in this process.  The community should do as much as they can to fight this issue and fight for the family business as well as our local coffee shops.