Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced it has entered a geographic licensing agreement with Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited, a consortium led by Margaritaville Caribbean Group, a leading restaurant management and franchise operator in the Caribbean. The agreement grants Caribbean Coffee Traders the exclusive rights to own and operate Starbucks® stores in the country. Jamaica will be Starbucks 17th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region, with the first store slated to open in Montego Bay.
“Jamaica is a country blessed with a rich culture and heritage, particularly with its locally-grown and world renowned Blue Mountain coffee, which Starbucks has sourced as a specialty offering for over 40 years,” said Ricardo Rico, Starbucks general manager and vice president for Latin America operations.
“We are delighted to build on this legacy and continue our expansion into the Caribbean by introducing the Starbucks Experience in Jamaica for the first time. As we position the brand for continued growth, we are proud to add Caribbean Coffee Traders to our strong network of licensing partners and leverage their proven market capabilities to reach new customers.”
Starbucks® stores in Jamaica will be operated by Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited, a joint venture between Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer of Margaritaville Caribbean Group and Adam Stewart, who is also Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International. Margaritaville Caribbean Group currently operates restaurant, entertainment and tour concepts throughout the Caribbean, and provides complete, multi-branded food and beverage experiences for major Caribbean tourism hubs.
Margaritaville Caribbean Group’s brand portfolio includes a diverse collection of proprietary brands, international franchises, casual dining concepts, themed bars and popular quick service restaurants, including Wendy’s, Dominos, Dairy Queen, Quiznos, Auntie Annie’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Nathan’s. The group employs over 1,000 people throughout the region.
“We are thrilled to welcome Starbucks, a globally recognized brand, to Jamaica. Leveraging our knowledge of the local market, we will deliver upon the Starbucks Experience and create a global platform for Jamaica’s locally-grown and Blue Mountain© coffee.” said Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer of Margaritaville Caribbean Group. “Our organizations share similar values, including our dedication to the customer experience, commitment to our crew members, and responsible corporate citizenship.”
For more than 45 years, Starbucks has built its brand by delivering a consistent, authentic in-store experience to customers around the globe that is rooted in high-quality arabica coffee and engaged, knowledgeable baristas. Since launching the brand in Latin America, Starbucks has grown to over 1,000 stores across 16 markets, 15 of which are operated by trusted licensing partners.
In the Caribbean, Starbucks licensees currently operate 43 stores across Aruba, the Bahamas, Curacao, Puerto Rico, and most recently, Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica will become the company’s sixth market in the Caribbean region.