The Los Angeles-based mail-order coffee company has initiated a David and Goliath-esque battle with the coffee conglomerate with its Better Coffee Exchange program. Tonx announced on Thursday that it is offering subscriptions to its coffee-shipping service in exchange for Starbucks gift cards. The startup, founded in 2011, touts on its website that the program will provide coffee drinkers with "more and better coffee."
"At first it just seemed like something that would make for a good gimmick or publicity stunt--and no doubt it is," Tonx founder Tony Konecny told Inc. "But as we started to ask around we found that most everyone we know was sitting on a card or three. They're everywhere. It seemed like it was worth finding a way to make it work."
To join the exchange program, you log onto tonx.org/better and enter the number on the back of your Starbucks gift card along with a pin number. The dollar amount on the card will then be put toward a purchase of Tonx coffee.
A typical subscription to Tonx includes a shipment of one 12-ounce bag of beans every two weeks, at a cost of $38 per month. The startup's website breaks down the math: At Starbucks, $38 will buy you 17 cups of drip coffee; through Tonx, the same amount of money will cover 48 cups.