Starbucks celebrates its 1,500th store milestone in Latin America unveiling its first café in Antigua, Guatemala

Courtyard shot of Starbucks Guatemala Antigua at dusk

  • Store opening underscores Starbucks ongoing commitment to long-term growth in the region.
  • Company’s first store in the iconic city of Antigua, builds on Starbucks 50-year history of honoring Guatemala’s rich coffee heritage and supporting local coffee farmers.

Antigua, Guatemala – Starbucks today announced it is celebrating a milestone in its commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): opening its 1,500th store in the region and its first café in the iconic city of Antigua, Guatemala, to be operated by its business partner Premium Restaurants of America (PRA). Coinciding with Starbucks 20th anniversary of retail presence in the region, the store is designed to honor Antigua’s rich coffee heritage.

We are pleased to open our 1,500th store in Latin America & the Caribbean,” said Michael Conway, group president, International and Channel Development for Starbucks. “Antigua has long been a pillar of Starbucks coffee community, and this latest store opening represents our continued investment in the region in partnership with our ten trusted licensed operators, through store expansion and by innovating and elevating the coffee experience for the thousands of customers we serve daily.”

Having shared the finest Guatemalan arabica coffee with millions of customers around the world since the company’s founding in 1971, Starbucks has worked for decades with the coffee-growing communities of Guatemala. The opening of the first Starbucks store in Antigua reflects the company’s deep respect and admiration for Guatemala’s coffee, its farmers, and its communities. Building on the company’s 50-year history with the city, Antigua became a natural destination for Starbucks to celebrate its 1,500th store.

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Starbucks retail operations started in Guatemala in 2011 in partnership with PRA, which currently operates Starbucks stores in Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Since then, it has grown to 12 stores in the market, employing more than 200 partners (employees) in Guatemala – including the 25 newest partners located in the city of Antigua.

We are honored to introduce the Starbucks Experience to the historic and vibrant city of Antigua,” shared Francisco Rovira, President of Premium Restaurant of America. “We look forward to continuing to drive meaningful growth in the market as we aim to deliver the Starbucks Experience to Antigua’s people, while honoring the country’s distinct coffee culture and traditions.

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Creating a unique Starbucks Experience

As Starbucks opens its first store in the iconic city of Antigua, the company is committed to bringing the Starbucks Experience to more customers in locally relevant ways by celebrating local coffee culture and traditions.

This new store will provide customers with high-quality arabica coffee from Guatemala, featuring Guatemala Antigua year-round, as well as a selection of coffees from around the world through Starbucks handcrafted beverages prepared by passionate Starbucks barista partners, using different brewing methods like Pour Over and Chemex, as well as the traditional French Press, among others.

Antigua, a store with an iconic design

Located at the heart of the city and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the new store was developed as a one-of-a-kind adaptive reuse project. The LAC Starbucks design team, in partnership with PRA, was committed to protecting and preserving the original beauty and history of the building – a private residence dating back to the 1930s – by restoring its architectural features as well as honoring Guatemala’s coffee culture through the unique design of the store and elevated coffee experience for its customers. 

Starbucks worked with a range of local artists and designers to capture the artistic, warm and colorful spirit of Antigua. The store also features two murals created by Alvaro Tzaj Yotz, a local painter and muralist from San Juan La Laguna, Sololá. The feature mural displayed next to the bar depicts three women, portrayed as hummingbirds, nurturing a coffee tree and sharing its cherries, representing the natural beauty and past generations of Guatemalan women in the coffee industry. The second mural located in the courtyard showcases a woman in a hand-carved canoe floating in coffee botanicals and local flora. She holds a ceramic pot out of which local birds fly around the courtyard walls, including a Quetzal – the national bird of Guatemala. 

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Customers can also find the work of Daniela Rivas – an artist who creates distinctive pieces using natural and local materials such as cotton, clay and wood.  One of Rivas’ pieces at the store’s main lobby highlights the Volcano Agua – a 3,500m stratovolcano that towers over the city of Antigua.  Her second piece hangs in the Lounge Room and features coffee growing at elevation, with the colors representing the coffee plant, blossoms and cherries. 

Over 170 customers can enjoy handcrafted Starbucks beverages at the new Antigua café, which boasts three conference rooms and a beautiful inner courtyard with a large green wall, an abundance of local plants, and thoughtful lighting.

Starbucks Commitment to Local Coffee Farmers

Guatemala has always been a special coffee region for Starbucks and the company has long-standing relationships with coffee growers across the country. Coffee from Guatemala and the Antigua region have been a part of the Starbucks portfolio from the company’s beginning, with many customers able to experience these coffees around the world.  

Starbucks farmer support in this region, as it is globally, is comprehensive and holistic. In addition to paying premiums for coffee for high-quality standards and participation in its ethical and sustainable sourcing program named Coffee Farmer and Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, Starbucks also provides coffee farmers with a range of resources. In 2006, the company opened its satellite Farmer Support Center in Guatemala, allowing agronomists and quality experts to work alongside farmers, sharing tools and information to help them increase the productivity and quality of coffee on their farms.

Positive impact in Guatemalan communities

Building on Starbucks commitment to the betterment of all who interact with the brand, the company remains focused on creating a positive impact in Guatemalan communities. Over the past two decades, The Starbucks Foundation has awarded grants to nonprofit organizations to support thriving coffee communities and disaster response initiatives, including the 2018 Fuego Volcano eruption.

As part of Starbucks goal to positively impact one million women and girls in coffee-, tea-, and cocoa-growing communities by 2030, The Starbucks Foundation is currently supporting grants to  Mercy Corps, Wakami Foundation, and World Central Kitchen. These grants are promoting sustainable income generation, gender equity and empowerment, improved health and well-being and safe spaces for personal growth. In addition, the Foundation recently collaborated with PRA to invest in Global Community Impact Grants for local non-profit organization Educo Guatemala, which will empower youth and strengthen food security and nutrition in Guatemala’s indigenous communities.

The Starbucks Foundation’s Origin Grants portfolio complements additional programs and initiatives to support the farming community. Starbucks is currently piloting several programs focused on creating income diversification and building childcare centers to support coffee families during harvest.

Regional and local growth

Since opening its first stores in the region in Puerto Rico and Mexico in 2002, Starbucks has seen remarkable growth across LAC and created employment opportunities for over 18,000 partners regionally. For 20 years, the company has worked to innovate, expand and elevate the coffee industry in the region. Starbucks is committed to continuing to make a positive impact in the communities it serves and, together with PRA, plans to open four additional stores in Guatemala by the end of 2022.

Starbucks Antigua store is located at 5ta Avenida, Casa #15, Antigua and opens from Sunday to Thursday from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm; Friday and Saturday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

About Starbucks 

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 34,000 stores worldwide, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at historias.starbucks.com or www.starbucks.com

About Premium Restaurants of America 

With headquarters in El Salvador, Premium Restaurants of America (PRA) (previously Corporación de Franquicias Americanas – CFA) operates more than 200 restaurants in Central America, employing more than 8,000 people. International companies such as Pizza Hut, KFC, Wendy’s and China Wok have relied on PRA for the operation of their brands. With Starbucks, PRA operates 17 stores in El Salvador, 19 stores in Costa Rica and 12 stores in Guatemala, employing more than 700.