The world’s largest coffee company, Starbucks, opened its first store in South Africa on Thursday.
Scores of Jo’burg’s caffeine crowd lined up in the shopping hub of Rosebank to buy a first cup of Starbucks coffee in sub-Saharan Africa.
The throng of fans had been lining up from the night before in desperate need of their coffee fix.
We've been queuing for 12 hours, since 7:30 last night and we wanted to be the first customers at Starbucks, and we were!
“We’ve been queuing for 12 hours, since 7:30 last night and we wanted to be the first customers at Starbucks, and we were! It was really amazing, the vibe was amazing, the atmosphere was good,” Mohamed Mala told AFP.
Starbucks, brought in under license by South Africa’s Taste Holdings, is the latest U.S. chain to court brand-conscious consumers in South Africa, which is Africa’s most advanced economy.
“During this calendar year, we’ll have three stores that we’ll open during this calendar year, we are looking at the next two years… between 12 and 15, but the truth of it is that we are very focused on making sure that we bring this experience in its full form to our customers,” said Carlo Gonzaga, the Director General of South Africa Tastes Holdings.
Starbucks has iconic status among customers, largely due to its free Wi-Fi and customized drinks, with buyers’ names written on cups.
Starbucks sources coffee from nine countries in Africa and two of the first Reserve coffees on offer will be Burundi Murambi and Kenya Kaganda.