Just about the best cup of coffee you will ever have? Well meet Carlo Gonzaga, the genius who brought Starbucks to South Africa!
What makes Starbucks so different to its competitors?
Our coffeehouses have become a beacon for coffee lovers everywhere. Why do they insist on Starbucks? Because they know they can count on genuine service, an inviting atmosphere and a superb cup of expertly roasted and richly brewed coffee every time.
We are passionate purveyors of coffee and everything else that goes with a rewarding coffeehouse experience. We also offer a selection of premium Teavana® teas, fine pastries and other delectable treats to please the taste buds. And the music you hear in store is chosen for its artistry and appeal. Our business is built on a culture of empowerment – we are a peoples company serving coffee and not the converse.
What’s next for the international brand locally?
Taste Holdings opened the first Starbucks store in Johannesburg in April 2016, featuring bespoke South African store design and serving rare Starbucks Reserve coffees, with a variety of unique brewing methods. There are currently six Starbucks stores in South Africa, including two in Pretoria, and in November, we will open for the first time in Durban with two new Starbucks stores.
Tell us something we might not have known about Starbucks Coffee Phenomenon?
We have the fastest free fast Wi-Fi in a public restaurant space in SA –150GB/day/store!
Our Starbucks Rewards program is fast becoming a preferred method of payment in our stores and offer our customers personalised offers and exclusive offers. Each store is designed to have its own identity and features unique pieces made by South African artisans.
Some of our stores have dedicated Reserve coffees – exclusive small-lot coffees procured from around the world and brewed through speciality brewing methods including Siphon, Pour-Over and Black Eagle. Less than 2% of Starbucks stores around the world offer Reserve coffees.
We have carefully considered the local palette for our expansive food menu and more than 95% of the food program is sourced from South African producers. We recruit approximately 1/3 from currently unemployed youth in the communities around the stores through our Changing Lanes programme that seeks to employ youth from underserved communities.
When will we receive the next big international Luxury Brand from Taste Holdings?
We are focused on our current offering and ensuring that we deliver the best customer experience. We need to make sure that each of our brands deliver on their brand promise before we make the next big move.