“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," CEO Howard Schultz said in a company press release.
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. Colcafe, a subsidiary of Grupo Nutresa, worked with Starbucks to create Starbucks VIA Ready Brew soluble 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. “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.”
Starbucks operates more than 700 stores and employs more than 10,000 partners (employees) across 13 markets in Latin America.
Clover Brewing System and Starbucks Reserve
The Parque de la 93 store 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 described by Starbucks as "elegant and balanced with flavors that highlight black currant and bittersweet chocolate mousse." Customers can purchase Starbucks Reserve Colombia El Peñol by the cup on the Clover Brewing System or in whole bean packages by the half pound.
An interactive coffee bar experience is also featured on the second-level of the Parque de la 93 store during certain hours.
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 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.
Investing in Youth Leadership in Bogota Public Schools
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. 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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