If you travel around the UK a lot and find the homogenisation of High Streets into identical rows of bland coffeeshop multinationals a deeply depressing experience, you may find delocator.org.uk the perfect site for your needs.
Bearing a passing resemblance to the ‘store locator’ seen on the Starbuck’s site, the delocator lets you type in a UK post code and find the nearest ‘non corporate cafe’ near you, with a drop-down menu for selecting the distance range to search, from 1km to 15km.
The site’s still in early days and because it relies on users to input recommended cafes, the coverage isn’t as complete as it might be, but the author told Digital Lifestyles that he intends to add more functionality ‘in the Spring’ (he’s also asked for help in running this site – contact him here.)
Despite this, we still managed to find two non-corporate cafes within a 1km of us, with the results displayed in a text box containing a description of the cafe and address details, accompanied by a zoomable Google map.
Delocating the world
The first Delocator website started up in America, tasked with “assisting the public in finding and supporting independently owned cafes” and proved a great success, with over 5000 independent cafes across the States being inputted by users.
The site encouraged other activists to create their own delocator site using a downloadable toolkit, with a second site being set up for Canadian users, delocator.ca, with the UK site now being the third of what may turn out to be a multinational anti corporate franchise (now there’s a concept!).
With Starbucks promising to open a new branch every fortnight for the next decade in the UK, we reckon local, independent coffee shops need al the help they can get.
Free Rosey Lee in the East End
Elsewhere, Starbuck’s shiny new store in Whitechapel in the East End of London found itself the subject of an unusual protest last week by those cheeky scamps, the Space Hijackers.
Setting up a stall and dishing out free fair trade teas, tasty home made sandwiches and delicious cakes to passers by, the protesters hoped to illustrate “what the area will be missing if Starbucks and their ilk are allowed to settle in.”
Naturally, the urban75 website went along to lend their support (and scoff some tasty banana cakes) – see their photo report here