Starbucks has opened its first store in Jamaica, with plans in the pipeline to open another 14 over the next five years.
The new coffeeshop at Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay began trading earlier this week. It is the 76th global market for Starbucks.
To mark the occasion, the company is featuring Starbucks Reserve Jamaica Blue Mountain whole bean coffee – a long-time favourite with Starbucks customers in the US and Canada – in its wide range of beverages.
Starbucks also plans to source Jamaican coffee for single origin coffees and blends for its stores in other markets across Latin America, and connect agronomists and technical experts from the Starbucks Global Agronomy Center to coffee producers in Jamaica.
Ricardo Rico, Starbucks general manager and vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “As a company that has worked for many decades with Jamaica’s coffee growing communities, we are honoured to have the opportunity to work our local business partner Caribbean Coffee Baristas to open our first store in the beautiful island nation of Jamaica.
“For Starbucks, this is an opportunity to build on more than forty years of the best in-store experience to customers around the globe that is rooted in high-quality coffee and our engaged, knowledgeable baristas.
“Our new Starbucks Jamaica partners [employees] are ready to welcome customers, as we mark the beginning of this exciting chapter in the Caribbean market.”
The expansion of Starbucks into Jamaica has been led by the US firm and Caribbean Coffee Baristas Limited, a local consortium led by Margaritaville Caribbean Group.
Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd is itself a joint venture between Ian Dear, chief executive officer of leading restaurant management and franchise operator Margaritaville Caribbean Group, and Adam Stewart, who is also deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International.
Together, they plan to open up to 15 locations in Jamaica over the next five years, with the next outlet expected in Kingston in 2018.
“Bringing Starbucks, a globally recognised and respected brand, to our Jamaican shores, is a natural progression for us,” Dear said.
“We pledge to continue providing the high standards that we and Starbucks are known for.
“This is another occasion for us to create fantastic opportunities, for everyone involved, and to create another global platform for our locally-grown Blue Mountain Coffee.
“We know that this venture will be highly successful, and we look forward to an exciting future with Starbucks.”