Starbucks opens first store in South Africa

Starbucks has kicked off a planned two-year roll out of stores in sub-Saharan Africa with the opening of its first location in the South African capital, Johannesburg. The new store was opened in partnership with Taste Holdings, and is the first of a planned 12-15 stores to be opened in South Africa over the next two years, with the company having longer term plans to eventually have 150 stores in sub-Saharan Africa. “This is a milestone for Starbucks and we are delighted to have arrived in South Africa,” said Rhys Iley, Starbucks vice president, licensed operations, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and UK retail, who was present at the official opening. Artwork in the store includes woven leather ceiling panels that pay homage to the South African tradition of basket weaving. There is also a copper mural that captures the atmosphere of the neighbourhood around the Pike Place Market in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle. The copper is also reminiscent of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. “This store will not only offer amazing coffee and world-class customer service, it is a representation of our commitment to South Africa through its localized design,” said Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings. “We have taken inspiration from rich local color palettes and designs, with materials and artworks produced by local artisans. It signifies the start of our coffee journey in South Africa.” Starbucks sources coffee from nine countries in Africa. For the coffee connoisseur, the store hosts an intimate and immersive coffee environment where single-origin, small-batch Reserve coffees sourced from around the world can be experienced with a variety of brewing methods, including Siphon, Pour-Over, and the Clover brewing system. In addition, all espresso beverages will be prepared using Reserve coffees on a Black Eagle espresso machine.

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