Monday, October 18, 2004
ITC: No Starbucks
INDIANAPOLIS - Sam Harwell is an energetic young man with a vision for entrepreneurial opportunities. After completing his EQUIP training at the Indianapolis Training Center, Sam decided to stay on at the training center. "I had no complaints," he said in a private interview from his 6th floor room, "except the coffee they serve here is terrible."
Technically, students are banned from having coffee makers, hot plates, or other dangerous electrical appliances in their rooms. Additionally, the kitchen staff, well familiar with Mr. G's disapproval of coffee, avoids serving the brew.
Sam, however, identified a chance for a unique ministry, and engaged in private negotiations with Starbucks to open a franchise on the 13th floor of the ITC.
Sam decided not to tell the ITC authorities of his plan, figuring his franchise would stand a better chance of success if the leadership didn't meddle. "They say it's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. I don't know if its easier, but it was better for my purposes."
He intended to run the franchise for weary staff, students and LIT residents, while picking up the occasional outside business from patrons of the cosmetology salon.
Ultimately, however, a slip of the tongue doomed Sam's new business. He happened to mention the idea to a friend, who told someone else, and soon, in true training center fashion, the whole staff knew.
"I had a candid talk with the training center director," said Sam. "I pointed out studies that prove a business's productivity rises about 15 percent when a Starbucks opens nearby. But he just said 'Let's not be doing that.'"