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Homaro Cantu and Berrista Sets Up Outside Nearby Starbucks, Offers Freebies

Berrista owner sets up table outside with coffee & donuts, says the stunt will bring pub to free lunch program.

Berrista setting up shop outside the nearby Starbucks
Berrista setting up shop outside the nearby Starbucks
Homaro Cantu
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

It's usually the other way around with Starbucks threatening the little guys, but Homaru Cantu is trying to flip the script.

The eccentric behind Moto and Berrista Coffee (which opened last month) posted a photo taken outside the Starbucks at Kostner and Irving Park. It's less than two blocks away from Berrista:

Cantu says this goes beyond trolling and declared he'll be out at Starbucks "however long it takes to make food better in the U.S." He's a supporter of reducing sugar in diets and also brought sugar-free doughnuts with him outside Starbucks. The stunt, Cantu says, is to promote competition and bring publicity to a free lunch program that starts at 7 a.m. Friday when the first 250 kids will receive a healthy boxed lunch.

It's been 40 years since the Pepsi Challenge marketing campaign debuted, pitting Coke versus Pepsi in a taste test. So is Cantu arming himself to wage his own beverage war? He says they're not asking Starbucks customers to compare coffees. Meanwhile, there are 50 Starbucks in Chicago compared to only one Berrista—will Starbucks retaliate? Is this truly the start of something fun? Only time will tell.


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