Joe Ward is again on firm footing at Bellevue’s Kelsey Creek Center.

The owner-operator of Java Joe’s espresso cart was informed of his demise recently, after coffee czar Starbucks Inc. leased space in the mall and allegedly asked that no coffee-centric competition be allowed.

But when word got out that Joe coffee cart was cut out, customers emailed, snail mailed and phoned in their disgust to Kelsey Creek Center, known to locals as the K-Mart Plaza. The landlord pointed at Starbucks as the reason for the clause, and Starbucks pointed at the landlord.

Finally, Ward wrote a letter to Howard Schultz, head of Starbucks. A vice president in charge of real estate responded. Within 24 hours, Java Joe was given an exclusion, though he must relocate to the northwest corner of the parking lot – much easier than finding a location where a Starbucks isn’t these days.

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