CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Getting a steaming cup of joe with an antlered logo is going to be a little harder in the Charlotte area after next Sunday.
Employees and customers at several Caribou Coffee locations were greeted by a sign on the door Saturday, saying their favorite coffee shop was closing.
"Effective Sunday April 14th at noon," read one sign, "Caribou will be closed."
"Thank you for your loyalty over the years. We will miss you <3," the sign read.
One employee who asked not to be named said he got a call from his manager Saturday morning with the news that he and others will lose their jobs.
In all, said the employee, all but four locations in the Charlotte region will close. East Boulevard, Foxcroft on Fairview Road, and two locations in uptown Charlotte will stay open, according to the employee.
The company did not return calls or e-mails Saturday, and did not confirm if a popular store at Park Road Shopping Center would close or stay open.
A customer at the Mooresville store said the manager got the e-mail Friday night that that store would be closing. Their last day would also be April 14th.
Customers were disappointed to hear the news.
"Where do I go now?" asked Wesley Miles, 16. "I live down the street, what do I do?"
Miles estimates he spends 15 or 16 hours a week at the Caribou Coffee location near his house. He is studying at Cato Middle College High School -- getting credits for high school and college-level work at the same time.
He says he needs a quiet place to study -- and lots of coffee.
"It's hard to think of this place not being in my life anymore," he said.
The company's Facebook page blew up with complaints Saturday from customers in several midwestern states who had just learned their stores were closing and employees were losing their jobs.
Caribou responded to many of the complaints on Facebook, and told Twitter followers to call the company's customer service line for more information.
Posts from the company on social media said the decision to close stores was very difficult, but more than 400 locations would remain open.
Caribou Coffee was just bought by a German conglomerate who also purchased the coffee chain Pete's Coffee & Tea.
Miles said he can find another place to study, but it just won't be the same.
"You can't get black mango tea at the library," he smiled.