Coffee Wars: How Does The Battle Between McDonald's, Starbucks Affect Independent Shops?

McDonald's is going up against Starbucks with coffee and smoothie bars in all U.S. restaurants next year.

But FOX19's Regina Russo spoke with independent coffee shop owners, who say they have nothing to fear.

Move over McDonald's, and step aside Starbucks. Independent coffeehouses like Sitwell's in Clifton aren't worried about the big giants in the coffee game.

Lisa Storie has been serving up lattes and cappuccinos for 13 years and plans to continue concentrating on one ground up cup of coffee at a time.

One reason Lisa says she's been able to survive all these years, is location, it's in the heart of Clifton, and here clientele is much different from Starbucks and McDonald's coffee drinkers.

Especially the goliath of coffeehouses, Starbucks.

"They're sort of the McDonald's fast food version of coffee, anyway you're not really getting a quality experience when you're going to Starbucks, you're just getting an in and out fast food drink," said Lisa.

At Pleasant Perk Coffeehouse, you'll find art, poetry readings, and something else you can't find in the rush of corporate coffee shops.

David Ames, the manager of Pleasant Perk Coffeehouse in Pleasant Ridge says they've been able to survive because patrons want a place where they can slow down, enjoy the atmosphere, and Lisa Storie says that need isn't going away anytime soon.

"We've had Starbucks try to come here twice and we've fought them off. They know when they're not wanted," she said.

Because Lisa's customers don't want a coffeehouse for convenience, they want one for conversation and community.