Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON, By David Rose – Following a difficult year which saw earnings take a hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic, Starbucks Coffee Company, in partnership with Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited (CCTL), opened its first store today in the island of Barbados.

The new café was opened at Haggatt Hall in St Michael and introduced locals to the Starbucks coffeehouse experience along with the variety of aromas and locally sourced offerings with a signature Starbucks twist. This is the fifth country CCTL has entered with its other markets being the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, Panama and Jamaica. Starbucks has a presence of more than 70 stores in 10 markets across the Caribbean.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to bring the unparalleled Starbucks experience to customers in Barbados, our 10th market in the Caribbean, in partnership with Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited,” said Ricardo Rico, general manager, Starbucks Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are confident that, together, we will provide value to our customers in a way that celebrates local culture and coffee traditions, while creating a positive economic impact in the communities of Barbados.”

Founding partner of CCTL and CEO of Margaritaville Caribbean Group Ian Dear stated, “We are thrilled to introduce the Starbucks brand on the beautiful island of Barbados. This opening allows us to continue with our solid growth in the region and will build on our long-term relationship with Starbucks while we continue elevating the coffee passion across the Caribbean. In every jurisdiction that we’re currently operating in, there is a positive outlook for continuous expansion,” he finalised.

Starbucks Corporation reported a 30 per cent beat on earnings as it generated a net profit attributable to shareholders of US $1.15 billion with an earnings per share (EPS) of US $0.97 for the third quarter. Consolidated net revenues for the third quarter was up by 78 per cent to a record US $7.5 billion with comparable same store sales up 73 per cent globally. Starbucks expects to generate a non-GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) EPS between $3.20 to $3.25 for its full fiscal year. EPS for the nine months was at $2.07 while the company declared a $0.45 dividend (US $530.6 million) for the quarter.

CCTL is a joint venture between Dear and Adam Stewart, founding partner of CCTL and executive hcairman of Sandals Resorts International. CCTL holds the exclusive right to operate Starbucks stores in Jamaica. After nearly four years of operation, CCTL has opened 11 stores in Jamaica which is four shy of its original 15 stores to be opened in four years. This includes spaces at the Sangster International Airport in St James, Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann and the AC Marriott Hotel in St Andrew.

“The expansion of the Starbucks brand into more Caribbean markets is an important milestone for our region. Not only does Starbucks brings the opportunity of employment and boosting of the local economy through the use of locally-made products in our stores, but Starbucks and CCTL also pride themselves on their commitment to the communities in which they serve, offering a safe and comfortable place for our customers to enjoy and connect with one another,” added Adam Stewart.

Despite the setbacks faced in the last year, Dear remains bullish on the prospects for the business as it expands its reach across the Caribbean region. This includes a commitment towards creating opportunities and delivering a unique customer experience with Starbucks.

“There are a few more countries that we have in our pipeline, but we can’t name the locations as yet. We’re very proud of the team and what we’ve accomplished in a short time. Adam Stewart as our partner has been a lifelong friend and he has demonstrated to be a true partner. Because of the cohesiveness of the partnership and how well the team has gelled, I think we have achieved a successful roll-out in these last three years. I’m proud of the team for their work. It has surpassed our expectations both from a perspective of the local market embracing the experience and surpassing the expectations that we continue to attract a whole new demographic and customer base.”