Starbucks confirms Jamaica 

(May 4, 2017) –  Starbucks Coffee Company today announced it entered a geographic licensing agreement with Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited, a consortium led by Margaritaville Caribbean Group, a leading restaurant management and franchise operator in the Caribbean. The agreement grants Caribbean Coffee Traders the exclusive rights to own and operate Starbucks® stores in the country. Jamaica will be Starbucks 17th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region, with the first store slated to open in Montego Bay.

“Jamaica is a country blessed with a rich culture and heritage, particularly with its locally-grown and world renowned Blue Mountain coffee, which Starbucks has sourced as a specialty offering for over 40 years,” said Ricardo Rico, Starbucks general manager and vice president for Latin America operations. “We are delighted to build on this legacy and continue our expansion into the Caribbean by introducing the Starbucks Experience in Jamaica for the first time. As we position the brand for continued growth, we are proud to add Caribbean Coffee Traders to our strong network of licensing partners and leverage their proven market capabilities to reach new customers.”

Starbucks® stores in Jamaica will be operated by Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited, a joint venture between Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer of Margaritaville Caribbean Group and Adam Stewart, who is also Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International. Margaritaville Caribbean Group currently operates restaurant, entertainment and tour concepts throughout the Caribbean, and provides complete, multi-branded food and beverage experiences for major Caribbean tourism hubs. Margaritaville Caribbean Group’s brand portfolio includes a diverse collection of proprietary brands, international franchises, casual dining concepts, themed bars and popular quick service restaurants, including Wendy’s, Dominos, Dairy Queen, Quiznos, Auntie Annie’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Nathan’s. The group employs over 1,000 people throughout the region.

“We are thrilled to welcome Starbucks, a globally recognized brand, to Jamaica. Leveraging our knowledge of the local market, we will deliver upon the Starbucks Experience and create a global platform for Jamaica’s locally-grown and Blue Mountain© coffee.” said Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer of Margaritaville Caribbean Group. “Our organizations share similar values, including our dedication to the customer experience, commitment to our crew members, and responsible corporate citizenship.”

For more than 45 years, Starbucks has built its brand by delivering a consistent, authentic in-store experience to customers around the globe that is rooted in high-quality arabica coffee and engaged, knowledgeable baristas. Since launching the brand in Latin America, Starbucks has grown to over 1,000 stores across 16 markets, 15 of which are operated by trusted licensing partners. In the Caribbean, Starbucks licensees currently operate 43 stores across Aruba, the Bahamas, Curacao, Puerto Rico, and most recently, Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica will become the company’s sixth market in the Caribbean region. 


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Airport for Starbucks in Jamaica

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A private entity is now actively engaged in raising capital to carry the coffee chain Starbucks to Jamaica, it is understood.

 

The entity secured the services of an investment house to consider viable methods of raising funds, it is understood.

The players want to put the first location in Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. There are over 4 million passengers that commute through the airport annually. Visitors to the airport can buy an array of coffees from the airport including from Cafe Blue, Jablum, Coffee Roasters Jamaica.

Earlier this year local media reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.

Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
media says.

Of course local players are concerned about the implications of a coffee giant entering the land of luxury coffee. Brands that sell to Starbucks including Amber Estate and Wallenford.

Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.

Starbucks in Jamaica will target travelers

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Starbucks would drop two cafes in Jamaica which will target tourists primarily at least initially, according to Coffee dealers who spoke to Jamaicamocha .

The talk is that the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay
could see a location followed quickly by another, at a new business
hotel under construction in Kingston. (Let’s avoid names for the moment.)

Of course, last month the Gleaner reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.

It just so happens that the busy Montego Bay airport which currently
doesn’t have any store slots available will see 25 per cent of the
stores come up for contract renewal this year, according to media reports.

Sources say that’s where the Starbucks franchisee will snatch up a vacancy and outbid an
existing operator. But it might not even have to come to a bidding
war, as the franchisee already supplies the airport with food
and beverage. (I have already said too much.)
Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
media says.

Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.