Two drive-through coffee shops have made an appearance in Duncan in the past year. Both offer similar products, but apart from products, the two couldn’t be more different.
The first to make its appearance was Curbside Coffee. Curbside moved into a defunct Dairy Queen located right next to a huge truck stop right at I-85. Everything about it seems low-budget, from the simple sign and logo to the re-use of an old building. It’s been open for well over a year now, and by all appearances it’s struggling. I never see any customers there. It could be that their clientele buy their goods at a different time than when I’m driving by. However, it could be the that the location is anything but inviting. There is a chain-link fence that separates the shop from the road, and access is confusing at best.
The second of these couldn’t be more different. Site preparation began for Bella Latte nearly nine months ago, and it just opened this past week. The building boasts unusual colors, bright logos, and is shaped something like a peanut. As one of my colleagues put it, "They spent a lot of time and money to make this thing look ugly."
I haven’t tried Curbside Coffee. Quite frankly, it seems like a hassle to get behind the fence then work my way back onto the highway. Bella offers easier access since it’s a bit further from the interchange. The caffe mocha I bought there cost nearly $4, so they are trying to re-coup some of the expense of building this thing. The mocha was good, but certainly not worth that amount.
Both coffee shops are less than a quarter of a mile apart. This is a HUGE truck stop exit, so it should be able to support both locations. However, based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think the clientele exits. I suspect that first Curbside Coffee will be driven out of business by the newer, flashier Bella Latte. Then Bella Latte will go out of business because folks won’t buy their expensive coffee and their overhead will be too high. I guess will have to see what happens over the next several months.