Starbucks Celebrates 20 Years of Coffee and Connections across Latin America and the Caribbean Region

  • Today, we celebrate our 19,000 green apron partners serving more than 3 million customers weekly in the 1,530 stores the company has across 22 markets
  • Honors the first two markets in Latin America – Mexico and Puerto Rico – by introducing four limited-edition partner-designed beverages in market
  • International markets drive 80% of Starbucks global development in FY’22 to-date and are expected to continue to fuel the company’s new store growth

Mexico City, Mexico – This month, Starbucks is celebrating its 20th anniversary of retail presence in Latin America and the Caribbean – a region equally important to Starbucks future as its coffee heritage is to its legacy. In 2002, the brand opened its first stores in the region, one at Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City, Mexico, and the other in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Today, with 10 trusted licensed operators, Starbucks has expanded its reach to over 1,530 stores across 22 markets, providing economic advancement and employment opportunity to 19,000 green apron partners (employees of the brand’s licensed retail operators).

In the twenty years Starbucks has operated in the region, it has expanded and elevated the coffee industry through unparalleled customer experience and beverage innovation, digital and loyalty, and serving high quality coffee. Underscoring operations is the company’s commitment to positively impacting the communities it serves – from volunteering in local neighborhoods to advancing diversity & inclusion initiatives to supporting coffee producers in critical sourcing regions.

"Since our beginning, Starbucks has sourced high-quality, premium coffees from Latin America and the Caribbean, and we’re proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first retail stores in the region,” said Michael Conway, group president, International and Channel Development. “The innovative leadership our green apron partners drive in coffee and connection will continue to pave the way for Starbucks future in the region and beyond.”

Starbucks has expanded its reach to over 34,000 stores around the world, with 400,000 green apron partners who proudly wear the Green Apron. International markets drove 80% of Starbucks global development in FY’22 thus far and are expected to continue to fuel the company’s new store growth. Market and channel expansion are therefore paramount to the company’s success, and its aggressive goals are only realized through the contributions and shared values of licensed partners.­

In Mexico – home to over 10,000 green apron partners operating nearly half of Starbucks stores in the region – the brand continues to enhance the Starbucks Experience for customers and partners. To celebrate two decades in the market, Starbucks Mexico released three limited-edition, partner-designed Frappuccino® Blended Beverages, available from September 5 to 18, with a portion of proceeds benefitting Mexican charities dedicated to environmental causes. It also announced the release of its first single-origin whole bean coffee from Veracruz – Starbucks® Las Montañas Veracruz, Méxicoand a 20th Mexico anniversary reusable cup designed by local artists.

Aligned with Starbucks efforts to be a resource-positive company, in its 20th anniversary year Starbucks Mexico launched the Donde Como Uno, Comen Dos program to reduce food waste in stores, expanded its plant-based menu options, and introduced a Greener Apron online certification program for baristas and customers aspiring to be sustainability champions. The market will also be opening its first Greener Store in Mexico later this year.

Furthermore, to support local coffee growers and ensure a sustainable future of coffee for all, Starbucks Mexico launched its 8th annual Todos Sembramos Café program, where Starbucks donates rust-resistant coffee plants to coffee growers in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, and, for the first time this year, Veracruz. This month, The Starbucks Foundation will also award its first-ever Origin Grant in Mexico, focused on supporting women in coffee growing communities. The USD 500,000 grant to Save the Children will support the “Power of Me” program to create economic opportunities and promote resilience for 1,500 women in Puebla's coffee-growing communities through financial and digital literacy skills, entrepreneurship training, and support for women-owned businesses to start, grow and succeed.

In Puerto Rico, a market served by nearly 600 green apron partners that have expanded to 29 stores, a limited-edition, Starbucks partner-designed anniversary beverage will be available for customers to enjoy from September 7 to 14. A Puerto Rico-inspired Starbucks Card and 20th anniversary commemorative espresso mug will also be on offer in stores across the island while supplies last. Additionally, Starbucks Puerto Rico will re-introduce its popular Starbucks® Single-Origin Puerto Rico whole bean coffee and host the 17th edition of its Don’t Let It Fall initiative – a program where Starbucks Puerto Rico baristas/employees support  coffee farmers during the busy harvest season by visiting haciendas (local farms) across the island to pick ripened coffee cherries that would otherwise fall and go to waste.

As Starbucks commemorates its 20th anniversary in Latin America and the Caribbean, it remains focused on strengthening its commitment to support local coffee farmers, customers and green apron partners as well as the communities where we have presence. ​

Learn more about Starbucks 20th anniversary initiatives at Starbucks Stories Latin America.