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With Starbucks looming, Roasterie starts a ‘Keep Brookside Local’ campaign

Oct. 25–First the Roasterie made plans to open one-tenth of a mile away from Starbucks at 43rd and Main Street. Then Starbucks took out a work permit for a spot just one-tenth of a mile away from Brookside’s Roasterie Cafe.

Now the battle of the coffee shops is officially on.

Roasterie founder Danny O’Neill previously said this isn’t about the Roasterie vs. Starbucks but rather an issue of local companies vs. national chains.

So the Roasterie is starting a “Keep Brookside Local” campaign. It plans to sell at cost “#Keep Brookside local” shirts ( $9, or $11 for size 2XL) and distribute yard signs (no price was available) and stickers (free) at the Brookside location. They will be in a shade of blue to match the awnings in Brookside and will come with white print.

A Roasterie spokesman said the items probably will be available next week. O’Neill couldn’t be reached for comment.

Brookside has long been known for its mom-and-pop shops surrounded by loyal residents. But those residents have increasingly supported national chains — CVS, Jimmy John’s, Panera Bread and more.

Joe Zwillenberg had his first job at Baskin-Robbins, which has operated in Brookside for more than four decades. He also is landlord for Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs, a De Soto-based chain occupying the same spot where Starbucks has taken out a work permit.

“If this is not a coffee thing where was Mr. O’Neill’s outcry when he opened a coffee shop next to a coffee bar ( Bella Napoli)? Why wasn’t he upset when Orangetheory (Fitness) replaced a local tenant? When Vitamin Shoppe opened? When Panera opened?” Zwillenberg said. “I understand he is upset to have competition. I had the same worries when Sonic opened up across the street from my Westport Flea Market. But it only made me a better operator and my sales only went up.”

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC

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