This week the New York Post reported that Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz has been scoping out top New York juice bars and just hired expert Yohana Bencosme, manager of Lower East Side's Liquiteria, to train Starbucks staff in Seattle. Though this may be a reason to squeal with delight for Starbucks patrons who can't wait to sip a nutrient-packed fresh-pressed juice along with their morning scone, not everyone is jumping for joy.
Liquiteria owner Doug Green is less than pleased at Schulz luring Bencosme, who is an 11 year veteran in the juice bar realm. According to the NYP, Green said "[Bencosme] was like my daughter. [Schulz] befriended us, asked about our concept; then took [Bencosme]. It is a huge slap in the face."
Even though the Huffington Post got a confirmation from a Starbucks rep that Bencosme has joined the mega coffee chain, Starbucks is still staying mum on their juice bar future. But MSN Money reports that despite Starbucks' stock prices remaining relatively unchanged, Jamba Juice stocks fell following the Starbucks juice rumor. After Starbucks experienced a drastic tumble in stocks in 2008 that resulted in a mass closing of stores around the country, the coffee chain went into recovery mode, offering free WiFi and new food and coffee items, which sent their stocks climbing. It remains to be seen if juicing will be a successful addition to their line-up.
Juice bars aren't a new concept, but fresh-pressed juice has become a go-to drink among the health conscious, dieters and raw foodists as well as the celebrity crowd -- which gives any food or drink instant appeal. In addition to juice bars popping up around the country, you can also find a growing selection of juice-centric books and juice machines so you can make your own fresh juice drinks at home. Of course, just as many of us prefer our coffee, we can't wait to order a drink from a tasty selection of expertly made cold-pressed juices.
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