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Starbucks and Taste Holdings open the first Starbucks store in South Africa in Johannesburg

  • Taste Holdings and Starbucks open the doors of the first store in Johannesburg
  • The store brings the full Starbucks Experience, plus Starbucks Reserve coffees
  • Store design underlines commitment to support local artists, artisans and craftsmen

Johannesburg, South Africa, 2016-Apr-25 — /EPR Retail News/ —Starbucks has arrived in South Africa, with its first store opening in Johannesburg today. Opened by Starbucks and Taste Holdings, it is located at the corner of Cradock Heights and Tyrwhitt Avenue in Rosebank. The store has a unique design and offers a wide range of Starbucks beverages and food, including Starbucks ethically sourced 100 percent arabica coffee.

“This is a milestone for Starbucks and we are delighted to have arrived in South Africa,” said Rhys Iley, Starbucks vice president, licensed operations, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and UK retail, who was present at the official opening. “With Taste Holdings, we will deliver the special Starbucks Experience for our new South African customers, a place for the community to gather and connect over a great cup of coffee.”

The Rosebank store combines inspiration from the neighborhood and the very first Starbucks store, located in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Here’s a short video of the South Africa store’s opening moment:

“This store will not only offer amazing coffee and world-class customer service, it is a representation of our commitment to South Africa through its localized design,” said Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings. “We have taken inspiration from rich local color palettes and designs, with materials and artworks produced by local artisans. It signifies the start of our coffee journey in South Africa.”

Artwork in the store includes woven leather ceiling panels that pay homage to the South African tradition of basket weaving and a 3D recreation of the famous Starbucks Siren in wood. There is also a copper mural that captures the atmosphere of the neighborhood around the Pike Place Market. The copper is also reminiscent of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.

“We also carefully considered South African customer tastes when we developed our menu and customers can expect local products like Rooibos tea,” added Gonzaga.

Starbucks sources coffee from nine countries in Africa. For the coffee connoisseur, the store hosts an intimate and immersive coffee environment where single-origin, small-batch Reserve coffees sourced from around the world can be experienced with a variety of brewing methods, including Siphon, Pour-Over, and the Clover™ brewing system. In addition, all espresso beverages will be prepared using Reserve coffees on a Black Eagle espresso machine.

Some of the store partners (employees) are from Taste Holdings’ Changing Lanes program. This is a training and development program that recruits from local communities and provides retail opportunities to currently unemployed youth.

“We are very proud to partner with Taste Holdings to bring Starbucks to South Africa, celebrating our rich coffee history, whilst also celebrating the vibrant community we will be serving,” said Iley. “We are creating jobs and opportunities in our stores, as well as supporting the local supply chain and we look forward to the future of Starbucks in South Africa.”

About Taste Holdings
Taste Holdings is a South African-based management group and a leading licensor of global brands in the Southern Africa region. It owns and licenses a portfolio of franchised and owned category specialists, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and retail brands currently represented in five countries in Southern Africa. Its food division has a 30-year master license agreement for Domino’s Pizza in Southern Africa. It also owns, operates and franchises Zebro’s Chicken, The Fish & Chip Co., Maxi’s Restaurants, Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s Woodfired Pizza. Its luxury goods division is underpinned by three owned retail brands – NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches. NWJ is the third largest national jewelry chain by store numbers in the region. Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches are, together, the leading retailers of luxury Swiss watch brands in the region. Taste is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) under the symbol “TAS.”

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 23,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at and

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Starbucks and Taste Holdings open the first Starbucks store in South Africa in Johannesburg
Starbucks and Taste Holdings open the first Starbucks store in South Africa in Johannesburg
EPR Retail News