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Coffee influx in Texarkana becomes apparent

Richmond area experiences a flood of new coffee chains
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Truth Dukes
Coffee drinks from three shops located on Richmond Road sit next to each other. Several coffee shops have been built in Texarkana in the last year.

Within the past year alone, Texarkana’s Richmond Road has endured a noticeable boom in coffee establishments. Rewinding back to December 2022,  Richmond was home to only a few cafes: Taste and See, The Doughnut Cafe, Coffee House and Starbucks. While this may seem like enough already, upcoming franchises– Scooter’s Coffee and 7 Brew– had other plans in mind. 

Scooters scooted down to Texarkana on April 10, 2023 and not even a year later 7 Brew dropped their building in the middle of Richmond Square’s parking lot and opened their line on Sept. 18, 2023. Similar to Starbucks,7 Brew, despite having recently opened, has ambitions to open another location in the four-state area. 

With all these coffee shops in one area, one must wonder how the market competition is holding up. Major coffee chains such as Starbucks have seemingly zero issues keeping & maintaining customers, while Scooters along with Taste and See appear to only have the occasional line.  

Out of a 275-person poll on the best coffee shop between Starbucks, 7 Brew, Scooters, and Taste and See, Starbucks unsurprisingly amassed a whopping 129 votes, while 7 Brew came in second place with 117 votes, then Scooters with 17 votes, and Taste and See with 12 votes. Based on this information, it’s obviously clear that Starbucks is the primary competition for the surrounding coffee chains in Richmond. 

But why is it that businesses locate so close to their competition? One way of understanding this is by imagining an ecosystem, picturing predators staying close to a water source, as that’s where the prey is most likely going to be. In our community, predators are the coffee shops, the water source is Richmond Road, and the prey are consumers. In simpler terms, these upcoming franchises want the traction that Starbucks is receiving from Richmond Road, although some shops, such as 7 Brew, come closer than others in gaining said appeal. 

This phenomenon is known as clustering in the business industry. Clustering is essentially the strategic concentration of similar businesses (“predators”)  into one geographical location in order to attract customers. Knowing this, it’s blatant that these coffee chains are opening along this travel route to captivate their target audience, which happens to be people on their commute to work and school. 

As a result of this ongoing “cafe cluster”, the concerns regarding traffic have begun to surface, with most concerned that Richmond’s traffic issues have grown as a result of this cluster.

“Richmond Road is really busy a lot of the time,” sophomore Peyton Shaw said. “There’s always a whole bunch of cars, it’s really intimidating as a new driver.” 

Simultaneously, there’s a couple of residents who aren’t as bothered by the expansion of multiple coffee chains in the same area. 

“I wouldn’t say the traffic hasn’t gotten worse or better due to the coffee shops being added.” junior Kai-ly Gaylor said.

Opinions on Richmond’s traffic may vary depending on multiple circumstances, one of which being whether they’re regular travelers of Richmond Road or not. Regardless, there’s undeniable potential for poor traffic in the area given the location of these cafes, not to mention the stores and shopping centers surrounding those areas. 

“The traffic around Richmond is very busy and hectic,” junior Hannah White said. “It’s Texarkana’s busiest road.” 

Aside from the economical and traffic related effects, it’s important to understand that each coffee shop has unique characteristics which appeal to different audiences.

 “I prefer Starbucks only because I’ve gone there all my life.” White said. “It’s convenient that they’re all in one area because you can go around and try all of them, but the traffic gets really busy most of the time.”

Some enjoy the playful twist that 7 Brew has to offer.

“I prefer 7 Brew because it has lots of variety,” Gaylor said. “It’s similar to Starbucks but I felt like it’s just a nice and new change.”

Other people prefer the efficiency of Scooters.

“I prefer Scooters mainly just because they’re really fast and on the way to school in the mornings you’re in and out.” Shaw said. “I like 7 Brew, but I’ve only ever been there once and there’s always a really long line and I’m just really impatient.” 

Overall it’s nice to have the luxury of variety; however, it’s equally important to acknowledge the effects that it can have on locally owned businesses and our day-to-day commuting.

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About the Contributors
Kunan Anjum
Kunan Anjum, Staff writer
Kunan Anjum is a first-year staff writer for THS Publications. Apart from newspaper, he is involved in several other groups including Robotics Club and ASPIRE. Formerly a competitive tennis player for Texas High School, Anjum has moved on to other hobbies like hitting the gym, listening to music, and walking his dog. 
Truth Dukes
Truth Dukes, Social Media Manager
Truth Dukes is a third year returning year staff photographer and is the current Social Media Editor for photography. She enjoys creative multimedia work, and plans to study Media Marketing after high school at the University of North Texas. Truth is excited to help lead the photographers this year aside the other photo editors, but is sad to finish her last year of being a staff photographer.

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  • V

    Vera HinesOct 28, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for this wonderfully helpful and informative article. Though I’m not a regular coffee drinker, I enjoy treating myself to a coffee now and then. Been curious about all the new coffee shops that have sprung up on Richmond Rd and your article has satisfied most of my curiosity. Looking forward to stopping in at the new shops and giving their treats a try!

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