The First Starbucks to Open in South Africa


Starbucks stores will be opening across South Africa in 2016 as announced by Starbucks Coffee Company and Taste Holdings in a licensed partnership.

For the first time in Southern Africa, Starbucks will open full-format stores that include the entire range of food and beverages, with Johannesburg to be the first location.

Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) President Kris Engskov said they’re proud to be bringing the well-known chain to South Africa.

“Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast – we want to be part of that growth, bringing the passion and energy of this remarkable country into the design of our first store and our first barista team. We can’t wait to get started,” Engskov said.

Taste Holdings has exclusive rights to develop Starbucks retail outlets in South Africa according to the license agreement, and as Taste is a licensee, it will own and operate the stores directly.

Taste CEO Carlo Gonzaga said the partnership match is good as they share similar core values and commitments.

“Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes program wherein we have provided employment to previously unemployed people and expose them to global training initiatives and skills. Overall we’re a good partnership match,” Gonzaga says.

Starbucks and Taste are committed to continuing Taste’s Changing Lanes programme which sees the employment of unemployment youth directly from the communities in which they trade.

Direct job creation opportunities are also a major success to come from the partnership as each Starbucks store opens in addition to the Taste support office in Johannesburg.

“The majority of our workforce is aged between 17 and 25 so talented youth has always been a priority and we will equip our new partners with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy. We look forward to using our partnership to leverage Taste’s strong track record of creating jobs and developing great people,” Engskov said.

“Starbucks sources a considerable amount of its global, high‐quality coffee from farms in sub‐Saharan Africa, in partnership with our network of farmer support and agronomy centers in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. We are proud to be able to offer some of the best African coffees in the world to more customers in the region,” he said.

Taste is a South African based management group and leading licensor of global brands in the Southern African region including the licensee of Domino’s Pizza, and the ownership of Zebro’s Chicken, The Fish & Chip Co, Maxi’s Restaurants, Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s Woodfired Pizza. They also own three retail brands, NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches.

Image Credit: Erika Schultz/Seattle Times/MCT


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