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Editor-at-large, Western Bureau—-

 The new Starbucks location at Doctor’s Cave on Montego Bay’s Hip Strip —

Starbucks yesterday opened its first store in Jamaica 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 the famous Doctor’s Cave Beach on the ‘Hip Strip’ in the resort city of 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 hand-crafted hot and cold espresso beverages made with 100 per cent 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 US 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, at the opening celebrations of the facility in Montego Bay on Monday night.

“For Starbucks, this is an opportunity to build on more than 40 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.”


Adam Stewart

Starbucks stores in Jamaica are operated by Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd, a joint venture between Ian Dear, the chief executive officer of leading restaurant management and franchise operator Margaritaville Caribbean Group, and Adam Stewart, who is also the deputy chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International.

Dear told the gathering that they plan to open up to 15 locations across Jamaica over the next three years, starting with one in Kingston early 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.”

Stewart, for his part, welcomed Starbucks to the island and expressed confidence that the venture will be successful.

“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.

He added: “Through our shared values, including our dedication to delivering the best customer experience, commitment to be 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.”

He later told the Business Observer: “Starbucks is a lifestyle. It’s not just about the coffee experience… it’s also about how you feel, the staff that is well-trained… we are going to be brewing some of the best coffee, including the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.”

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who also spoke at the celebrations, noted that the opening of Starbucks in Montego Bay comes on the eve of the first UNTWO, Government of Jamaica, World Bank Global Conference.

“It is happening on the cusp of one of the most important events that will ever take place on Planet Earth, and it will take place right here in Montego Bay from November 27-29 – the first ever Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism,” said Bartlett.

He said at that time, the over 60 countries and roughly 1,200 registered delegates will get an opportunity to get a taste of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.

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