Starbucks Coffee Company, a long-time buyer of Colombian beans, will open its first cafe in the Andean nation next year.
"Our long and proud history of purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee dates back to Starbucks' 1971 founding. From our humble start in Seattle's Pike Place Market, Starbucks has always admired and respected Colombia's distinguished coffee tradition," the U.S. chain's CEO, Howard Schultz, told a press conference in Bogota.
Colombia's Grupo Nutresa and Mexico-based Alsea will run the Starbucks outlets in Colombia,
Alsea already operates more than 500 Starbucks cafes in Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
The plan calls for the opening of as many as six Starbucks stores in Bogota next year, Alsea executive Alberto Torrado said, adding that the partners hope to have 50 cafes in Colombia within five years.
"We have great pride in being the first Latin American market where Starbucks commits to serving only locally sourced and roasted Colombian coffee," Grupo Nutresa CEO Carlos Piedrahita said at the press conference.
There are currently more than 650 Starbucks cafes operating in a dozen Latin American countries. EFE