☕Starbucks in Trenton is scheduled to close on March 30

☕Some NJ political heavy hitters have joined discussions to save the store

☕Starbucks would not comment on the progress of talks

Discussion between Starbucks, Mayor Reed Gusciora and leading New Jersey politicians continued Friday to keep the Trenton store open.

The coffee chain, which opened the location on Warren Street in downtown Trenton in 2017 as one of its "community stores," told employees Monday it will close on March 30.

A company spokeswoman told New Jersey 101.5 that the closure is the result of a regular evaluation given to all stores on how it meets the needs of customers and the community.

Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. 12th District, have joined Gusciora’s fight to convince Starbucks to reconsider. The mayor told NJ 101.5 that Murphy was on a Zoom call with Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan Thursday.

"This was a decision that they felt they needed to make. They didn't rule out going to another location in Trenton or being or even staying there for that matter. We made a pitch that this was the central business district and this is where Starbucks should remain," Gusciora said.

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Trenton Starbucks
Trenton Starbucks (NJ Spotlight News)

Six more months?

Community stores were opened in "disadvantaged communities" where Starbucks would share its business expertise and provide jobs. The company has contributed to several Mercer County charities including the Arm in Arm food pantry and Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

The Democrat said he understand the store is having staffing issues and post-pandemic there's been a drop in downtown workers.

"Our pitch was basically, 'could you give us six more months as the business climate improves?'" Gusciora said.

As of Friday afternoon, Gusciora had not yet heard from Starbucks which he took as a good sign.

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Starbucks at a "Trenton Coffee with a Cop" event in 2021
Starbucks at a "Trenton Coffee with a Cop" event in 2021 (Brian McCarthy)

What is the commitment to the community store program?

Coleman sent a letter to Narasimhan saying that the store has become an important part of Trenton’s downtown and questioned the chain's commitment to the community store concept. Last year, Starbucks said they wanted to expand to 1,000 stores by 2030.

"Given the clear and obvious alignment of the Trenton location’s performance with the goals of the community store program, is this closure a signal from Starbucks that you are moving away from your stated commitment to supporting and uplifting underserved communities," Coleman's letter says.

The Democrat said that if the Trenton store closes it would leave New Jersey as one of three states whose capital city with no Starbucks. South Dakota and Vermont are the others.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks declined to comment about the discussions.

Representatives for Murphy and Booker on Friday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.

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