Starbucks has a long history going back more than forty years of investing in the communities it serves worldwide by creating opportunities for young people, particularly those in underserved communities. The company plans to similarly partner with Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd. in Jamaica to support initiatives aimed at connecting young men and women in the community with the resources and support they need to succeed. Starbucks partners recently volunteered at the Garland Hall Memorial Children’s Home, painting and refurbishing the orphanage. The company is also looking at ways to support food donation and book and clothing drives.
Photography courtesy of Starbucks
In line with its global efforts to connect youth to economic opportunities, Starbucks plans to work with the MultiCare Youth Foundation to develop a Life and Work Skills training program for local youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a focus on 16- to 29-year-olds who are not in school or employed. With funding from The Starbucks Foundation, the program is intended to support youth in both Montego Bay and Kingston and will include customer service skills training to ensure youth are ready to access employment in the retail, service, or hospitality industries. By working with the MultiCare Youth Foundation, Starbucks also plans to include volunteer opportunities for partners to serve as mentors to participating youth.
Starbucks has operated stores in the Caribbean since 2002 when it opened its first store in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan. It now operates in six Caribbean markets, including the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, and now Jamaica. For Starbucks, which first opened in 1971 in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, the opening in Jamaica marks its 17th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region and 76th global market.
Starbucks opened its first store in Jamaica in late November and entered its 76th market globally, marking a historic milestone for the global coffee company’s Caribbean operations and its storied history of sourcing the highest quality coffee from the region going back more than four decades.
The new café, located at Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, offers customers an inviting destination to relax, unwind and connect in one of the area’s most iconic neighbourhoods. Featuring custom artwork by local artist Fiona Godfrey, the store’s unique design pays tribute to Jamaica’s history and rich coffee heritage. Customers can enjoy a wide range of Starbucks beverages and food, including its signature handcrafted hot and cold espresso beverages made with 100 percent Arabica coffee. To mark this historic opening, the company is also featuring Starbucks Reserve® Jamaica Blue Mountain whole bean coffee, a long-time favourite with Starbucks customers in the U.S. and Canada.
“As a company that has worked for many decades with Jamaica’s coffee-growing communities, we are honored 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,” said Ricardo Rico, Starbucks general manager and vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, who attended the opening celebrations in Montego Bay. “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.”
Starbucks® stores in Jamaica are operated by Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd., 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 a shared commitment towards creating opportunities for Starbucks employees, delivering a unique and unmatched customer experience, and supporting the region’s coffee producers. Following Montego Bay, the company expects to open in Kingston in 2018.
“As a leading Caribbean hospitality group, our achievements have always been guided by listening, responding and delivering on our customers’ expectations,” said Dear. “Bringing Starbucks, a globally recognized and respected brand, to our Jamaican shores, is a natural progression for us. 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.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Starbucks to Jamaica and bring the Starbucks Experience to customers on the island,” said Stewart. “Through our shared values, including our dedication to delivering the best customer experience, commitment to being an employer of choice, and operating responsibly in the communities we serve, we aim to create a truly unique coffeehouse experience here in Jamaica.”
“In addition, I believe that Starbucks, with its long-standing love of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, represents one of the greatest opportunities for the incremental growth in the export of our locally-grown coffee,” said Stewart.
Honoring Jamaica’s Rich Heritage through Coffee and Design
In celebration of Starbucks launch in the market, customers can now enjoy Starbucks Reserve® Jamaica Blue Mountain whole bean coffee – a rare and exceptional coffee grown by Amber, Clifton Mount and Wallenford Estate farms in the Blue Mountain region, and roasted exclusively at the state-of-the-art Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery in the company’s hometown of Seattle. The company 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. |P