Dutch Bros Coffee is hoping to open a second Turlock location after submitting plans to the City last month, but not everyone in town is excited.
Turlock’s first Dutch Bros location opened last September across the street from Stanislaus State and has been busy ever since. Now, the company is looking to add to its Turlock success with a double drive-through location in the Turlock Town Center. When Mundo’s Latin Grill eventually moves to another space within the shopping center, Dutch Bros hopes to take over the restaurant’s building and cater to even more coffee connoisseurs.
For the family-owned coffee shop Alison’s Cafe House, located just down the road at 219 W. Canal Dr., the news was like déjà vu. Last October, the small business spearheaded an online petition after they realized a Starbucks would be built across the street from them and worried about going out of business. Although the petition to stop the Starbucks’ construction received over 2,500 signatures, the effort came well after the City’s deadline to appeal the project.
Now, Emita Paris of Alison’s Cafe House is wondering if the coffee shop will be able to survive twice the competition. Since the first Dutch Bros location opened, she said her family’s business has lost half of its revenue despite the competition being located across town.
Paris is the daughter of Alison Mikhaeilian, who owns Alison’s Cafe House.
“My mom is saying that if they do come in, she doesn’t know if she can survive,” Paris said. “Business has been super slow, and with Starbucks and Dutch Bros coming in across the street from us, we’re probably going to be pushed out of business.”
A post on the Facebook page Turlock To Go, which promotes local eateries during the pandemic, called attention to the plans for a new Dutch Bros and received nearly 300 comments, with some sharing disdain for another chain coffee shop and others expressing excitement at not only the possibility of more Dutch Bros drinks, but new jobs during these tough times.
Others criticized the City for Turlock for allowing two big-name coffee chains to move in right next to Alison’s Cafe House. Assistant to the City Manager for Economic Development and Housing Maryn Pitt said the choice is not up to City staff.
“That’s why we have zoning ordinances. If someone can check all of those boxes, it’s not like (the City) can say, ‘I’m sorry, you’ve met all the criteria, but you can’t come here,’” Pitt said. “People have property rights, and we don’t put those kinds of restrictions on development.
“My goal — and our goal as a City — is that we provide opportunities for people who live here and shop here to frequent establishments of all kinds, whether it’s mom and pop unique experiences or it’s a Dutch Bros.”
As construction begins on the new Starbucks along Canal Drive, Paris said Alison’s Cafe House plans on appealing the plans for the Dutch Bros, which currently do not require Planning Commission approval. Should the plans be appealed, the project would go before the commission.
“It’s one of those things where Dutch Bros and Starbucks have a following based on their brand,” Pitt said. “People love what Alison’s has to offer, so now her challenge is to market.”
The proposed Dutch Bros project can be viewed at https://www.cityofturlock.org/buildinginturlock/planninglandusepermitting/planningprojects/activeprojects.asp