The coffee chain's expansion to Cape Town was initially scheduled for June this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed these plans.
“When Covid-19 hit we had to place the initiative on hold, triggering several hard decisions that impacted all partners, and a mass round of lease renegotiations across the country," says Adrian Maizey, owner and CEO of Rand Capital Coffee, the custodian of Starbucks in Southern Africa.
"Fortunately, we have resilient partners and we are grateful to those landlords who share our vision and commitment to contribute to the South African economy, and who have worked closely with us to help ensure our expansion was only delayed and not cancelled. It is during such a time of crisis that the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders for the greater good, is most apparent," Maizey adds.
With several leases now in place in the Mother City, and investment initiated in the requisite supply chain, which the company has now brought inhouse, Starbucks Southern Africa is now embarking on building its Cape Town team. Rand Capital Coffee’s expansion journey will initially result in at least 50 permanent new jobs, with the further employment of local artists, construction contractors and artisans.
“We remain committed to our expansion strategy and vision, which is to provide all South Africans with an extraordinary experience and offering, from both a customer and partner perspective, despite the Covid-19 pandemic," says Maizey. He refers to Starbucks employees as ‘partners’ in line with the company’s global policy as the term fosters a sense of equality and shared vision.
Behind the strong Starbucks brand is its employees, says Maizey. “Our business is strong because of our store partners who have shown up in support of one another and our business in tough times. They will be the ones who take Starbucks South Africa to the next level, and who will be the drivers behind the South African public’s growing passion and enjoyment of this incredible brand.”
On the subject of store design and experience, Maizey says the Cape Town stores “will offer an experience consistent with the values and store atmosphere that Starbucks is known for globally, designed to reflect the most beautiful city of them all.”
He adds, “We are humbled and delighted to introduce the Starbucks experience to customers in Cape Town and hope our store will become not only a destination for an exceptional coffee, but also a gathering place for the local community. We look forward to sharing our deep pride and enthusiasm for coffee, brewed and served by a world-class team of passionate, knowledgeable partners with Capetonians and visitors to the city.”