Nobody knows Colombian coffee quite like Colombians. But hey, why should that stop Starbucks from opening locations in Colombia and selling locally grown coffee?
The Seattle-based chain plans to open its first store in the capital city of Bogota next year, the Wall Street Journal reports. From there, the coffee behemoth plans to expand to at least 50 other locations across Bogota and in other cities over the next five years. The company has been exporting coffee beans from Colombia for more than 40 years, and in these new locations, will serve Colombian coffee exclusively.
“This is long overdue,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz told Bloomberg. “There is tremendous enthusiasm as we talk to people and walk the streets — most of these Colombian people we talked to have consumed Starbucks coffee somewhere else.”
Starbucks already operates more than 650 stores across Latin America. The locations in Colombia will be run by a joint venture between a Colombian food company called Grupo Nutresa and a Mexican restaurant company called Alsea, the Wall Street Journal notes. Major competitors will include local chains like Oma and Juan Valdez, along with street vendors who specialize in coffee drinks. But Schultz told the Wall Street Journal that Starbucks doesn’t plan to undercut the other companies and won’t price its products below those of their competitors.
What’s next, though? Taco Bell in Tijuana? Panda Express in Shanghai? There’s gotta be a line.