Nubo and Moo Moo in Elk Grove, California, is a small mom and pop shop known for its Vietnamese fare and delicious boba drinks; what it is not known for, however, is getting those drinks to go — and Starbucks is to blame.
Andy Ha, owner of Nubo and Moo Moo, said that business was booming when they first moved into the mall. Customers flocked from far and wide to order their delicious boba drinks, taking them to go so they might enjoy them while going about the rest of their day.
It was their success that would be their undoing; the neighboring Starbucks took notice, perhaps of their own declining drink sales, and sent their lawyers after Ha.
“[Starbucks’] lawyer called us and said that any tea or tea-based drink you can’t take to-go,” Ha told ABC10. The lawyer explained that Starbucks had a clause in its rental agreement stating that no other establishments could serve to-go coffees or teas.
Despite the massive difference between the two eateries, Ha felt powerless to fight back. “We’re the little mom and pop shop, we don’t have the big lawyer to represent us.”
Gone are the days where one could waltz in and order a boba to-go; now, customers are asked to stay inside the restaurant and finish their beverage. Ha says its hurting his bottom line to the tune of a 40% loss in revenue.
“People often come in here and then when we tell them you can’t take a tea based drink to go, they get angry and just walk out,” he said.
Patrons of Nubo and Moo Moo are outraged over what they feel is bullying, threatening to boycott Starbucks over the ordeal.
“Nubo’s tea drinks have nothing in common with Starbucks offerings other than they’re served in a cup,” Aaron C wrote on Yelp.
“Next you’ll say that you can’t have chairs because we have chairs or a door because we have a door […] Peet’s has better coffee anyway.”
A spokesperson for Starbucks emailed ABC10 a statement, saying, “Starbucks has been a proud member of Calvine Crossing at our 8240 Calvine Road location for more than fifteen years. As with all of our locations, we continually work with our landlords to determine what makes the most sense for our stores, as is the case here.”
Ha is baffled by the entire situation, maintaining that the two establishments are incredibly different from one another. “If people want Starbucks, they go to Starbucks,” he said. “If they want Moo Moo, they go to Moo Moo.”
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Featured Image via FaceBook / mOO mOo