Starbucks, Bee Creek both have place in Platte City's coffee scene

My first real foray into drinking coffee came early.

I can remember using extremely small mugs to sip the hot beverage, which was more likely lukewarm based on the large amount of milk in the tiny cup. In fact, I would guess the concoction was many more parts milk than actual coffee.

After all, coffee is bitter and displeasing to kids, right? Needs milk, flavored creamer and/or sweetener.

I’ve certainly graduated in my taste for coffee, but I’ve always remembered that early lesson. So when my son Cale, now almost 3, asked for some of daddy’s “cobbee” about 18 months ago, I complied by giving him the straight, dark stuff to ensure he wouldn’t like it and therefor stop asking.

“I like it,” he responded, much to my amazement.

And so started my toddler’s addiction to cobbee. Nothing could stop him, not even his request to eat a coffee bean when I was making some French-pressed brew. I allowed him to sample one, and sure enough, he ended up thinking that was quite the snack.

My wife and I definitely impose limits and cut the cobbee with milk at all costs, but he now recognizes Starbucks by sight and often shares beverages —  straight coffee, espresso drinks, frappucinos, etc. —  with us, and he seemingly likes them all.

Nothing can be too exotic for Mr. Cale’s taste in coffee.

And he ends up with plenty of opportunities between mom’s daily coffee from the Keurig, and my way too frequent stops at coffee shops from Starbucks to Bee Creek Café to Parkville Coffee. I don’t miss many opportunities to try a new drink or just grab a regular coffee.

Many of the baristas at my go-to St. Joseph location know me by name and my Starbucks app mobile ordering technique. I have an issue.

I’m not sure how many people share my type of habits, but those in Platte City suddenly went from no options to a couple of vastly different options. Bee Creek, a frequent breakfast, lunch and mid-day coffee stop for me, continues to do great business on Main Street and offers a tasty blend. You really should make it a destination.

However, a long-rumored Starbucks location will also be coming to Platte City.

Representatives with Cosentino’s Price Chopper confirmed a new in-store, full service kiosk should open by the end of October. The demolition process has begun, and the Starbucks will operate in the area where Planet Sub and fresh pizza were previously served.

Price Chopper brand sandwiches and pizza will continue to be available in the store’s deli.

This will mark the second or third Starbucks kiosk at a Cosentino store. The company opened the first one in a Price Chopper in Ottawa, Kan. back in May, and the Platte City location will be closely coincide with a Starbucks in the new Price Chopper currently under construction in St. Joseph, Mo.

This is bad news for my coffee habits, specifically.

However, the announcement —  teased for a few weeks on small signs in the store —  created a conundrum. I love spending time at Bee Creek, and I don’t want to see an ever-growing chain push the little guy in the market out of business.

I kept thinking about this potential conflict, and I’m convinced Platte City can support both a local coffee shop and a larger competitor.

A rep with Cosentino’s noted that the in-store location is meant to cater toward the shopping customer. It’s meant to offer a convenient coffee stop for a person coming into buy groceries, not necessarily to draw in outside business with a separate store front.

There won’t be drive-thru access, but the Starbucks name likely will draw in outside business not staying to shop.

And that’s OK. Platte City has previously dabbled in coffee shops that didn’t last, and generally, the only option ended up being gas station brew. 

There’s often been a clamoring to bring Starbucks to town with the Price Chopper often seen as the likely locale. Now, this will be a reality and likely will generate a bit of excitement for those who seek a little more than the basic coffee.

I know I will drink enough coffee products to support Bee Creek, Starbucks and probably the gas stations, too. No reason to play favorites when you can support everyone in town.

You can probably count on Cale helping me to sample all the different options, too. 
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.