Wednesday, March 24, 2010

End of An Era

The worst thing to happen to Kansas City since Mayor Funkhouser was announced today. The 102 year old Folger's Coffee plant in downtown is being phased out as of 2012.

Fucking shame.

Not only for the jobs, the empty building and further loss of tax revenue, we will also lose something that made downtown Kansas City so unique; it will no longer smell like fresh roasted coffee. One could tell when the big old roasters were in full bore as the rich aroma wrapped around the old buildings on the north edge of downtown. Crossing the river from the north on Broadway brought you right by the plant. Many who were not aware of the existence of the place were undoubtedly perplexed by the strong aroma of coffee, thinking a coffee festival was in town or Mrs. Olsen had just passed by. It was easy to miss the place; the plant did not have a huge sign, just elegant bronze letters reading "The Folger Coffee Company" above the door and was not an obvious industrial site. It looked just like the old office buildings and lofts that surrounded it.

So another institution has been lost to efficiency, stakeholders and greed. At least the plant's operations are staying in the US, they and another plant are going to New Orleans.

As for me, just as a token protest to our loss, I am no longer buying any Folger's coffee. We have Roasterie and Parsi locally made to satisfy our need. I guess I'll have to go by their plants to get my coffee aroma fix.

But it was fun having a downtown that smelled like a fresh brewed cup. Few places could best that.

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