MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Add Maplewood recording star SZA to the anti-Starbucks folks who outwardly oppose the recently opened mega-chain outlet in the new Clarus building in Maplewood Village.
Like a lot of Maplewood Village java fans here, SZA is pro-Village Coffee, and made that clear in several Twitter posts this weekend.
“They built a Starbucks next to my dad’s favorite coffee shop,” she tweeted on Saturday to her 1.4 million Twitter followers. “A family owned business that specializes in Indian cuisine & EVERY kinda tea u could imagine. Been around over 20 yrs. they put condos and a Starbucks next to it if ur in maplewood stop at #VILLAGECOFFESHOP!”
She later retweeted @_santigold_ “That Starbucks is nothing compared to the exquisite digs at the Village Coffee.”
SZA, known as Solana Imani Rowe when she graduated from Columbia High School (CHS) back in 2008, was referring to the controversial apartment/retail complex built at the site of the former Maplewood Village Post Office. The project includes 20 apartment units with several shops, Starbuck’s among them.
She also appeared to take pride in Maplewood’s small town appeal and blasted out-of-towners who she claims are ruining it.
“So I’m from this small ass town maplewood that ppl keep moving to from big cities and ruining,” She added in another tweet. “IF YOUR GONNA MOVE TO A SMALL TOWN LEARN HOW TO BE A PART OF A COMMUNITY. Small towns are not an aesthetic. Say hello when u see neighbors +don’t build Starbucks. SHOP LOCAL & BE POLITE.”
Her tweet appeared to resonated with others on Twitter, with 20,000 people re-tweeting it and 160,000 "liking" it.
SZA is not the first local music star to rail against Starbucks and for Village Coffee. Bea Miller, herself a College Hill native and now a successful singer, took shots even before Starbucks opened, Tweeting in 2016: “if any of y'all ever visit maplewood new jersey please go to village coffee instead of the starbucks that will be opening soon!!!!”
For those not in the know, SZA is among the biggest stars of 2017. She has a hit debut album, a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, and now five Grammy nominations, the most of any woman performer this year, including Best New Artist.
And her hometown allegiance is not just limited to Village Coffee. She has been offering to do a concert at CHS and last year filmed a video in College Hill.
SZA is also not the only anti-Starbucks/pro-Village Coffee voice. We reported weeks ago about the resident who created a “Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Starbucks” sign for the café, which you can see just to the left of the front door.