From Greener Stores to Inspiring Design: How Starbucks is Growing in Latin America

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a region that has always been close to Starbucks heart and key to the brand’s growth. Since 1971, Starbucks has purchased coffee from local farmers and today, half of the company’s coffee is sourced from coffee farmers in LAC.

And now, 20 years since opening its first stores in Mexico and Puerto Rico, Starbucks is more committed than ever to investing in thriving communities across the region – including in a new market: Guyana

Starbucks recently surpassed its 1,600th store milestone in the region and expects to open approximately 120 more stores by the end of 2023, continuing to meet the needs of local customers in the communities it serves.

Closer to customers

Every day Starbucks works towards creating unique experiences that reflect the values and history of the local community. Part of that, of course, comes from Starbucks stores, where customers can enjoy their favorite hot or cold espresso-based beverages in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

As the company opens more stores in new cities, the focus will remain on meeting our customers’ needs, emphasizing on-the-go lifestyles and growth in new drive-thru stores. Since early 2022, Starbucks has opened nearly 50 drive thrus regionally, including five first-in-market drive-thru stores. 

The first, located in Cali, Colombia, features a mural inspired by the city and its people, depicting the local music (salsa) and dance traditions. In Barbados, the building that houses Starbucks El Sueño drive-thru was once a lighthouse that dates back to 1910 and is located close to Worthing Beach. The stores in The Bahamas and Jamaica are specially designed to provide a unique, on-the-go experience, featuring beautiful designs and murals that create inviting atmospheres for customers who come and wish to stay awhile. The newest store in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic pays homage to the popular destination, also known as the “Jewel of the Caribbean”, combining high-quality Arabica coffee and a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere inspired by the local culture.

Additionally, and in keeping with the theme of customer convenience, Starbucks opened a small-format location in Barbados, where customers can purchase their favorite Starbucks menu items while visiting Barbados’ renowned platinum coast. In Punta del Este, Uruguay, customers can visit the beautiful Starbucks store that features walk-up windows, located within walking distance of the popular Brava Beach.

For a greener future

Starbucks is also committed to growing in LAC through a commitment to building a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future. The company strives to give more than it takes from the planet and to cut water, waste, and carbon footprints by 50% by 2030. To achieve this goal and become a truly resource positive company, Starbucks opened its first Greener Store in the region, located in Chile, designed to use 50% less water and produce 20% less carbon.

This is only the first of many Greener Stores to come, as Starbucks aspires to build all new stores in Latin America and the Caribbean under the Greener Stores framework by the end of 2023 and moving forward.

All about connection

Finally, at Starbucks, coffee is a means of connection. This is why it is of utmost importance to honor the traditions of LAC communities with programs that support local coffee farmers and stores that celebrate local art, architecture, and history.

Such is the case with Starbucks first store in Antigua, Guatemala that was opened as Starbucks 1,500th store in LAC. This already iconic store was designed in partnership with local artists and artisans to capture the artistic, warm and colorful spirit of this historic city.

In addition to highlighting the beauty of the amazingly restored building, the store features artwork ranging from murals to woodwork and impressive tapestries. The store also includes a magnificent patio where customers can enjoy their favorite beverages al fresco.

Elsewhere, the Teatro Nacional, an incredible French-style building in the heart of El Salvador’s capital, houses one of Starbucks most magical stores. With a classic look and one-of-a-kind ceiling mural styled after the original art of the building, this store is worth a visit. 

Another stunning architectural gem is Bolivia’s Café 24 store. Once the former residence of one Santa Cruz’s most important citizens, Melchor Pinto, a prominent local doctor and activist, this unique building has been restored to its historic, colonial style, preserving the original wood and hand-made cement tile floors.

With stores in every corner of the region, Starbucks is highlighting the beauty and history of the outstanding local community and proudly participating in a rich coffee heritage.

Because Starbucks is all about connection. This means bringing the coffee experience the company is known for to people near and far, providing consistent, personalized moments and  building on a history of sustainability in the region.

Find out more about how we’re growing and elevating the Starbucks Experience in the region on the Historias Starbucks site.

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Experience the magic of Starbucks holiday drinks around the world