Starbucks Goes Homegrown: Setting Up Shop in Colombia
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is ready to give back to the country that has supplied its famous coffee beans for more than 40 years. And considering Starbucks has been sourcing its goods from Colombia for that time, you’d think the company would get around to setting up shop there, right?
Wrong — at least until now.
According to Reuters, Starbucks officially announced last week that it would finally be opening its first cafe in the country in 2014, and it expects 50 other coffee shops to follow suit within the next five years, starting in the capital Bogota and spreading outward. The cafes will be facilitated through a joint venture between Alsea, a Mexican restaurant firm that already operates more than 500 Starbucks stores in Latin America, and Colcafe, a subsidiary of the fourth-largest Colombia food company.
Starbucks’s Colombian venture will therefore have a strong backing, and one of its partners, Colcafe, already knows a little something about Starbucks coffee. The Grupo Netresa subsidiary helped the Seattle-based chain develop its own instant coffee product, Via, in 2008 — the product’s roasting facility is on Colombian grounds, as well.