ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A Cottleville watering hole has written an open letter to Starbucks and mailed a check for $6 after receiving a cease and desist letter from the coffee chain over the use of the word "frappicino."
Exit 6 Pub and Brewery posted on its Facebook page Thursday night a copy of a letter they received earlier this month from Anessa Owen Kramer, an attorney representing Starbucks.
Kramer wrote to Exit 6 requesting they no longer call one of their beers "frappicino" because it "is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among customers, who may mistakenly believe that Exit 6 or this beer product is affiliated with or licensed by Starbucks Coffee Co., when they are not." The name was brought to the attention of the company through the beer website Untappd.
Jeff Britton, owner of Exit 6, fired back in a sarcastic letter to Kramer and "Mr. Bucks." He explains he will no longer use the words "frappucino" or "frappicino" and will refer to them in the letter as "The F Word."
"When I got that letter, I had to laugh. I don't blame Starbucks for doing what they did, I understand why they did it and they had every right to do it. But I'm a small brewery, small bar, in a small town, that makes small batches of beer," said Exit 6 owner Jeff Britton.
Britton wrote the brewpub has sold "at least 38 drinks" in Cottleville, and never meant to deceive customers. He noted only three customers "checked into" the beer on Untappd, and enclosed a $6 check for the "full amount of profit gained from the sale of those 3 beers."
"We just want to help a business like Starbucks. Us small business owners need to stick together," Britton wrote.
Read both letters in their entirety below.
Exit 6 Starbucks letter on Scribd:
NewsChannel 5 reached out to Starbucks for comment on the situation. Laurel Harper, manager of global communications for Starbucks, released the following statement:
"This was a respectful request asking Exit 6 Pub and Brewery to refrain from using the term 'Frappicino,' which differs by only one letter from our Frappuccino product. Like many businesses, trademark law requires companies to consistently protect their brand. We appreciate Exit 6 Pub and Brewery respecting our request to stop using the term 'frappicino' to avoid any confusion among customers."