A Missouri brewpub owner has found out the hard way that when you mess with the word “Frappuccino,” you get the Starbucks horns.
The coffee giant went after Exit 6 Pub in Cottleville, Mo., after it named one of its beers “Frappicino.” The word “Frappuccino” is a Starbucks trademark.
But it was owner Jeff Britton’s brilliant, David-and-Goliath response to the cease-and-desist that turned the whole thing into a great marketing opportunity for the pub.
In a letter to Starbucks attorney Anessa Owen Kramer, he writes:
I would like for both [attorney Anessa] Owen Kramer and Mr. Bucks to rest assured we meant no deception, confusion, or mistaking in the naming of the beer F Word. We never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks away. I guess that with there being a Starbucks on every corner of every block in every city that some people may think they could get a Starbucks at a local bar. So that was our mistake.
As an extra kick in the pants, Britton included a $6 check made out to Starbucks to go “towards the legal fees Ms. Owen Kramer received for her efforts in nabbing Exit 6 in our dastardly F Word naming practices."
He continues: "We realize Mr. Bucks probably paid her more than Exit 6 made last year," Britton added. "We just want to help a business like Starbucks. Us small business owners need to stick together."
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He includes some pretty fantastic PS’s as well:
PS – Can we name the beer “Phrappaccino”?
PPS – Is the name “Honigman Hefeweissen” ok?
PPPS – Ms. Owen Kramer, do you know Mark A? You guys fixed a ticket for him around 2005. He was doing 103 in a 70.
PPPPS – Go Blues!
But the most impressive bit of news to come out of this story, however, is clearly that Exit 6 is selling $2 pints! That’s far cheaper than any Frappuccino I’ve ordered.