A petition with nearly 250 signatures from residents calling on the coffee chain to reconsider the closure of the branch hit a wall after the location closed permanently on Sunday.
A notice earlier in the month announced the closure of the Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd., thanked the long-time customers and listed the three next closest Starbucks locations – Torquay Village, Shelbourne Plaza and the Fort/Foul Bay.
Residents were surprised and some began searching for answers. Robert Miller, a longtime resident and local physician, was disappointed about the impending closure and created a an online petition in an attempt to get Starbucks Canada to reconsider.
“By closing the Cadboro Bay store, Starbucks is letting down the neighbourhood and is being disloyal to the community at this time of crisis,” says the petition description.
By Oct. 24 – one day before the closure – nearly 200 people had signed the petition. At the time, Miller asked that the petition be shared to create “a permanent record of how much Cadboro Bay regrets the closure of this store.”
After many attempts to reach out to Starbucks, Miller received a response to the petition. He felt the reply was “canned” but said it was nice to hear the coffee corporation was “humbled by [residents’] passion.” The representative promised to pass the petition along to the appropriate department but the Cadboro Bay Starbucks closed on Oct. 25 and Miller hasn’t heard more.
A spokesperson for Starbucks told Black Press Media the closure was part of “store transformation work” that the company is undertaking amid the pandemic “to best meet our customers where they are now.
“We will close some stores and open new stores next year, nearly all of which will be drive-thru,” the spokesperson said.
Miller said the Cadboro Bay location was “ideally suited” to pandemic-friendly service as the heated outdoor seating area provided space for patrons to social distance while enjoying their coffee.
“It’s just a sad situation,” Miller said. “Cadboro Bay is a bit smaller now.”
As of Oct. 27, the petition had nearly 250 signatures but Miller doesn’t plan to continue to promote it. However, he’ll keep it active as a record of how residents feel about the loss of their Starbucks.