Starbucks is on nearly every corner of the world, but now it appears the chain could be coming to a funeral home near you. Robinson Funeral Home in South Carolina is among one of the first to feature a Starbucks café within its building.
- (Reuters/Joel Boh)
"We've always served coffee to our families," general manager Chris Robinson told the Easley Patch. "So as part of this new addition, where we're adding a new lobby, new arrangement offices, new bathrooms, we decided to incorporate a separate area for people who want coffee."
Why did Robinson decide to switch to the global chain?
"They have a great product and great name recognition," he explained. "We decided to offer something special as an alternative for a family if they want it. Starbucks really believes in having their coffee served in a very consistent manner, they have high standards."
"We have high standards in our funeral services. We wanted to have something that was parallel to what we're trying to do," Robinson added. The Starbucks café will have its own separate entrance so that funerals will not be disrupted by those simply wanting a cup of coffee.
Of course, Robinson is hoping that the brand will lead people to visit and perhaps lead to overall interest in the funeral home, which is one of the oldest in Easley, South Carolina. This Starbucks will have all the bells and whistles as others, including Wi-Fi and a fireplace.
"I know it sounds strange to be talking about a fireplace in July, but there'll come a time when we need it," Robinson said. He is planning an Open House for August 26, which will allow everyone to see the combination of Starbucks and funeral home.
Robinson is hopeful that the Starbucks addition will provide respite for grieving families.
"If this provides them a little escape and gives them a break from the stress they are going through, that's what it's all about, to make them feel better," he told CNN.