Starbucks Unveils Iconic First Store in Colombia Honoring Country’s Rich Coffee Heritage

2014-07-17
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  • Starbucks Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) yesterday debuted its first store in Colombia honoring the country’s rich coffee heritage and the company’s 43-year history purchasing premium arabica coffee from Colombian farmers.

    Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) yesterday debuted its first store in Colombia honoring the country’s rich coffee heritage and the company’s 43-year history purchasing premium arabica coffee from Colombian farmers. Located in the stylish Parque de la 93 in Bogota, the iconic three-level store is serving 100 percent Colombian coffee while offering customers the opportunity to experience Starbucks Reserve® Coffee and the Clover® Brewing System for the first time anywhere in Latin America.

    At the Bogota store opening ceremony, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer Howard Schultz said, “Our admiration and respect for Colombian coffee farmers dates back to our humble beginnings in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971 when we first began purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee. Over the past 43 years, we have proudly shared Colombia’s finest coffee with billions of people around the world and today we are honored to bring the Starbucks Experience to Colombia for the first time.”

    Starbucks® stores in Colombia will be operated by a joint venture with two of the company’s longest-term business partners in Latin America – Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. Alsea has partnered with Starbucks for nearly a dozen years in the region and currently operates more than 520 Starbucks® stores in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, through an alliance that employs more than 8,000 partners (employees). Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s leading food company, worked with Starbucks to create Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew soluble coffee and continues to be an innovative, strategic partner in manufacturing and now retail. Starbucks entry into Colombia marks an expansion of Starbucks relationship with Grupo Nutresa and Colcafe as the companies partner to offer Colombian customers locally sourced and roasted espresso, drip and packaged coffee at Starbucks® stores in Colombia.

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    Serving 100 Percent Colombian Coffee

    Starbucks® stores in Colombia will be the first anywhere in the world to serve exclusively locally sourced Starbucks® coffee. The Parque de la 93 store offers customers five different varieties of Colombian coffee, including Starbucks Reserve® Colombia El Peñol, the single-origin Colombia Nariño, Colombia Espresso, Colombia Espresso Decaf and Colombia Blend. The store also offers a selection of whole bean packaged coffee from other markets around the world.

    “We are very proud to be roasting 100 percent Colombian coffee for Starbucks and to be the first market in the world to serve exclusively locally sourced Starbucks coffee,” said Carlos Gallego, chief executive officer of Grupo Nutresa, joining Schultz at the Parque de la 93 store. “Our coffee roasting capabilities and local market knowledge combined with Alsea’s proven track record operating Starbucks stores across Latin America will allow Starbucks to offer an exceptional experience to Colombian customers in a way that honors our country’s distinct coffee tradition.”

    Alsea chairman Alberto Torrado, who also attended the debut of the Parque de la 93 store, added, “We are proud to be one of Starbucks strategic partners in the Latin America region and for this important and historic coffee market. Over the next five years we plan to add 50 stores and more than 1,000 partners (employees) in Bogota and other major cities across Colombia. The joint venture with Starbucks and Grupo Nutresa will further strengthen our expansion strategy for Starbucks across Latin America as we pursue disciplined and profitable growth in a way that celebrates local cultures and coffee traditions.”

    Today Starbucks operates more than 700 stores and employs more than 10,000 partners (employees) across 13 markets in Latin America.

    First Starbucks Reserve® and Clover® Store in Latin America

    The Parque de la 93 store offers customers an inviting destination to relax, recharge, and connect in one of Bogota’s most thriving and cosmopolitan neighborhoods while exploring five different varieties of Colombian coffee through several different brewing methods. It is Starbucks first store in Latin America to offer Starbucks Reserve® Coffee and the Clover® Brewing System.

    The Starbucks Reserve® line is a special collection of unique, small-batch arabica coffees available only in select stores for limited periods of time. The first Reserve® coffee to be featured in Colombia is Starbucks Reserve® Colombia El Peñol, which is sourced from 160 small farms near the town of El Peñol in the Antioquia department in association with Cooperativa de Caficultores de Antioquia. Starbucks Reserve® Colombia El Peñol, which was created exclusively for the Colombia market, is elegant and balanced with flavors that highlight black currant and bittersweet chocolate mousse. Customers will be able to enjoy Starbucks Reserve® Colombia El Peñol by the cup on the Clover® Brewing System in the Parque de la 93 store or at home by purchasing whole bean packages by the half pound.

    The Clover® Brewing System is one of the most significant innovations in coffee brewing since the introduction of the espresso machine, and is only available in select Starbucks stores globally. It allows customers to discover new layers and dimensions within a coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity, brewed fresh by the cup. Customers who visit the Parque de la 93 store will have the opportunity to try any of the five Colombia coffees available on the Clover®.

    On the second-level of the Parque de la 93 store during certain hours, customers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in an interactive coffee bar experience and discover different types of brewing methods such as the manual, pour-over style Chemex® Coffeemaker or the classic coffee press. In this interactive environment customers will have the opportunity to spend more time with Starbucks baristas, explore Starbucks® coffees, ask questions, and purchase their favorite brewing equipment and packaged coffee for home use.

    Inspired by the Pre-Colombian gold era as well as Starbucks longstanding relationship with Colombian coffee farmers, the Parque de la 93 store contains several iconic features designed through a collaboration between Starbucks and local designers like interior designer Mariana Vieira, artist Luis Carlos Cifuentes, and industrial and furniture designer Ana Reza-Hadden. Learn more about the design of the store here.

    Long-Term Commitment to Colombian Coffee Farmers

    As the largest purchaser in the world of premium arabica coffee from Colombia, Starbucks is committed to the livelihoods of Colombian coffee farmers. In 2012, Starbucks opened a Farmer Support Center in Manizales, Colombia to deliver training and agronomy support to Colombian coffee farmers. Last summer, Starbucks announced a public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that is investing $3 million to increase Colombian coffee yields and to enhance economic opportunities for Colombian farmers. The public-private partnership will enable the Manizales Farmer Support Center to positively impact 25,000 coffee farmers throughout the country. In addition to its work with USAID, Starbucks is also working with the Grameen Foundation and Coocafisa Cooperative de Salgar to promote adoption of better agronomy practices among smallholder coffee producers in Antioquia, Colombia using tablets and mobile technology.

    Investing in Youth Leadership in Bogota Public Schools

    In addition to supporting coffee farmer livelihoods, Starbucks is also committed to helping communities thrive where it operates. Recognizing the critical role that youth leaders play in positively transforming communities, Starbucks, Alsea and Nutresa announced a financial donation to support a non-profit Youth Leadership Training Program that is helping 350 underserved Bogota public high school students to improve their leadership skills and become role models in their communities. As part of the initiative, networks of young people will be empowered to assess the issues in their community and create projects to address these issues. In addition to the financial investment, the three companies will also provide volunteers to coach and mentor students as they implement their projects in the community.

    Doris Stella Vergara, director of the Colegio Técnico Comercial Manuela Beltrán, in Bogota, one of the first beneficiaries of the program said, “We are extremely pleased with this investment and the recognition of the hard work we do bringing new opportunities to our students. This initiative will help us improve their capacity to get a job and to generate alternatives though entrepreneurship. With this support, our hope is to help our students live a satisfying life with greater clarity on their personal, academic and professional goals.”


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