No Fighting Over the Sports Page in Croatian Coffee Shop

News from the small nation of Croatia proves that the coffee world is not discriminatory. You don’t have to be a Starbucks to institute a new trend. Techmash in the UK posted a story this month about a coffee shop in Split, Croatia, stating that it has eliminated hard copy news dependent on paper in favor of iPads.

Indeed, the Box coffee shop in Split is going green when it comes to providing the latest in news to its customers. They tired of the paper litter and believed their clientele preferred screens as a medium rather than the paper.

As the shop’s spokesperson, Josko Palada, explains, “We have always been a modern coffee shop and we realized papers are on the way out and that our guests want to see more modern things coming in. The first reactions today have been great.” Lest the iPads be TOO popular with customers, they are fitted with a security device that sets off an alarm if they are moved more than a meter from a table.

Croatia, a small country on eastern side of Adriatic Sea, across from Italy and sharing a border with Hungary, is in process of becoming the next nation to join the EU. It’s developing its tourist industry and the city of Split, on the water, is building new hotels and other infrastructure to accommodate the expected visitors.

As an indication that Croatia is an up and coming tourist destination, Starbucks had planned to open a shop last October. The plan was postponed however, due to the economy, as a British coffee shop and a Subway had just closed. There was a Facebook petition that 10,000 members joined in hopes of convincing Starbucks to enter Croatia, but it’s been dormant for a year. The proponents claimed they should have a Starbucks because they “want to be like the other countries and have it”.

Maybe cooler heads have prevailed. It seems Croatian coffee lovers don’t need Starbucks when they have a trendsetter like the Box. None of the articles about the shop mentioned how the coffee is – so we don’t know if its brew is trend-setting or not – but focused on the fact that customers get to enjoy their coffees while reading their news online.

Just think, no more weeding though a stack of old papers only to find that the latest issues are being read by other customers. At the Box, every customer gets the latest news – no fighting over the classifieds OR the sports page. How cool is that?

Starbucks, are you listening?

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