20080723-sos-starbucks.jpgYou might not expect grassroots organizers to get behind the bastion of corporate coffeehouses, but "Save our Starbucks" is an emerging effort mobilized by nostalgic consumers, not ready to lose their neighborhood store. As much as people loved carping about the massive, un-indie global chain, now they're devastated to see certain Starbucks go. Even if another one sits a mile away, it's not the same; it's not your Starbucks.

Online petitions have formed on the "Save our Starbucks" website, where people are urging each other to "stop the insanity." A loss of Starbucks symbolizes a loss of community. As the Dallas Morning News points out, it's more than a logo, it's a hang-out for young and old, and very much a middle-class status symbol. If your neighborhood can afford a four-buck coffee, you get a Starbucks, and that's validating for many Americans. Affected areas thus represent a "downwardly mobile" part of town.

As reader Adrian Riojas commented on the Dallas Morning News Opinion blog, "it's more than just a food chain or brand. It's part of who we are." When he and his wife met in college, they frequented the Green Oaks and Cooper location, where they "laughed and studied" almost nightly. "Our relationship grew into what it is today thanks to the great conversations we had over our coffee there."

Is your store vulnerable? Are you holding back tears?

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