Starbucks closes on square

Starbucks has closed its Jackson Hole branch on Town Square for undisclosed reasons.

According to a media spokesperson, “we continually evaluate our business to ensure a healthy store portfolio. After careful consideration, we’ve determined it is best to close the store at 10 East Broadway in Jackson.”

The branch’s employees, not authorized to talk to the media, said staff received a month’s notice of the closure, which came at the end of August. Starbucks, they said, did not provide an explanation for its decision.

From the staff’s perspective the branch had been doing well. Like nearly every coffee shop in town, business had been steady throughout the summer. It’s unclear if Starbucks experienced the same staffing shortage as other local businesses as a result of the housing shortage.

Some staff theorized the closure was part of a national trend whereby Starbucks closed its brick and mortar locations in favor of drive-thru models. Starbucks still operates two Jackson stores, inside Albertsons and Smith’s Food and Drug.

With the closure, many Starbucks employees bounced to Cowboy Coffee, according to cafe owner Pete Macllwaine. The former Starbucks downtown manager told the News&Guide he’s headed out on the road in a converted school bus to pursue wildlife photography.

Pitch Day is Sept. 14

From androgynous clothing to performance bike shirts that any woman can feel comfortable in to protein powder made of crickets, this year’s Pitch Day competitors are a diverse lot.

Six entrepreneurs will present their businesses to a panel of judges and a live audience at the 10th iteration of the Silicon Couloir competition, which is scheduled to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Center for the Arts in Jackson and virtually.

“Based on the recent COVID resurgence in our region, Pitch Day will be a hybrid event with a limited live audience and a live stream,” Silicon Couloir said. “We ask all to register in advance by visiting SiliconCouloir.com/pitch-day and clicking on the link. We’ll notify registrants about the possibility of attending in-person and will send the virtual link out to all registrants prior to the big day. “

The top prize in the competition is the $10,000 Panelist Choice Award, determined by the judges. It is given to the presenter who judges think has the most compelling idea, best chance for success and funding, and the strongest presentation.

Members of the audience can vote for their favorite too. The Audience Choice Award is $5,000 plus one year of free use of The Cowork Space in Jackson.

There’s also the Bob Arndt Community Caretaker Award of $2,000, an invitation to join the TEAMS mentoring program plus six months of free Cowork Space.

This year’s Pitch Day competitors include Josh Haghan, founder of Mia Share, creator of “custom tuition solutions for high-quality trade and technical schools”; Kate Stoddard, founder of Orchestra Provisions, which makes food products with cricket powder; and Taylor-Ann Smith, founder of Ride Force, which offer performance bike wear designed to suit women of all shapes and sizes. Rounding out the competition will be Bentley Wederski, founder of Utilitarian, specializing in clothing and accessories that “embrace the intersection of gender inclusion and equity”; Alex Yoder, founder of Overview Coffee, which uses regenerative organic farming principles; and Carter Higley, founder of Widdy-UP, which lets students “take the lead in school fundraisers by using creative video clips to showcase an interest, talent, or something they love.”

Womentum plans summit

Womentum will hold its 2021 Women in Leadership Summit, “Leading with Integrity,“ on Oct. 29, live and via virtual streaming.

The event will feature a conversation with U.S. Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit M. Margaret McKeown. Teton County Commission Chair Natalia Duncan Macker will interview her and discuss the importance of “trusting your judgment.”

McKeown was born and raised in Casper, graduated from the University of Wyoming, according to Womentum’s press release. She is immediate past chair of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and a current special advisor. She has lectured throughout the world on international law, human rights law, intellectual property, litigation, ethics, judicial administration, and constitutional law and has participated in numerous rule of law initiatives with judges and lawyers. McKeown was also a friend to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who served as her mentor for many years.

Last year’s Womentum summit was “Women Who Lead: Equality, Compassion and Courage.” Though the program had to change to an online format, there were 300 participants, the organization said.

“We are especially excited to return to an in-person event this year but are so grateful for the success of last year’s online program and the expanded statewide participation that developed and look forward to more and more connection with other female and leadership organizations throughout Wyoming,” the press release said.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor for the News&Guide and one of the editors for local articles printed in the Jackson Hole Daily.

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