Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Starbucks Argentina

I previously wrote about Starbuck's coming to Argentina. Tonight I went to one of their pre-opening events. Since it is opening, I can now come out and say that yes, we did get picked to be one of their product suppliers; in fact, we supply them with cookies and brownies.

This is Argentina's first store and it is located in the Alto Palermo Shopping Mall (Flash web site).

The store is big. It is also very cozy and comfortable. The outside seating is very spacious. I can't say enough good things about the place. I was very impressed. There are lots of comfortable chairs, couches, and ottomans. This place was made to entice you to stay and enjoy your cup right there on the premises.

As soon as I walked in the door I was offered a cappuccino brownie. Funny, I didn't supply this. Right away I saw John (this guy flies around the world and is in charge of making sure that all the international stores get the products right) and asked him if those brownies were his doing. He was guilty as charged and I humbly congratulated him; they were fantastic.

One other thing they seemed to have gotten right, and this is something that is very difficult to pull off, is that the employees that I have dealt with during this whole time are so enthused and so into this project you would think that this is their store. This is difficult to fake on an ongoing basis.

The store opens this Friday the 29th of May at 7am.

The previous post I wrote on this subject generated some passionate debate. In that post I also linked to other blogs that wrote about the impending arrival of Starbuck's. Makes for some interesting reading...

Below are some pictures of the event...


E.J. said...

Felicitaciones Frank por ser el proveedor de las delicias de esta cadena, eh probado sus muffins y cookies alrededor del mundo y se que tenes unos zapatos bastantes grandes que llenar y por algo te habran elegido.
Este fin de semana estare probando uno de esos deliciosos cafes con algun acompañamiento de tu factoria, despues te comento como anduvieron =)

Unknown said...

Hola E.J.!

Gracias por las lindas palabras. Si en algún momento tenés la posibilidad, también podrías pasar por nuestro local donde tenemos hasta mas variedades para ofrecer.

E.J. said...

Hola te agradezco la invitación, sin duda me dare una vuelta en mi próximo paso por Palermo, a ver cuando los veo por mis pagos en San isidro =).

Unknown said...

Hola E.J.

En San Isidro tenés

los Supermercados Disco

Al Queso, queso de Segundo Fernandez 38 en San Isidro

The Coffee Store de Acassuso en Av. Libertador 14855

Suca Chocolates
Manzane 907 esq. Alfaro en Acassuso

Falabella, Jumbo, Al Queso, queso en Unicenter en Martínez.

Seguro que hay alguno que dejé afuera.

Anabella said...

siempre te leo, que bueno lo de starbucks!
va a haber cinnamon rolls? muero por ellos!

Unknown said...

Hola Ana,

Muchas gracias por las lindas palabras. En realidad no se si los van a tener. Yo no los vi, pero la próxima vez voy a estar atento de los cinnamon rolls.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Frank!
I am a Starbuck's fan myself. I have bought from the Pike's Market place when I used to live in Seattle - and I have seen this baby grow. It is just comfort "food" for me, home away from home. I like Peet's coffee too.
Nothing corporate or anything about it and it is great that it was able to give you a shot in the arm in sales :-)
There is sure fire formula to their success - worldwide - and good or bad coffee - the muffins are great! Competition is always good for the buying public gives more options/choices.
Thanks Frank,

Unknown said...

Hi G,

If their muffin supplier is the same as their loaf cake supplier then I could just imagine them being very good.

Actually, the muffin recipe is owned by Starbucks and their cheff knows his stuff so I am sure they must be good.

I also agree, as well as some of Starbucks competitors. They know that the coffee industry, in general now, is going to have a glow from all the attention. The consumer wins almost any way you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Frank on your business connection. I'm glad to hear that an independent business factors into the behemoth of a company.

Unknown said...

Hi Mandy,

Thanks! That is a huge plus how these big companies are taking us little ones seriously.

Also, lucky for us, they are not the only behemoths looking our way these days.

But you have to like the trend of big companies reaching to little ones to be able to offer small scale quality to a larger group of people.

Andrew Owen said...

I have been reading your posts on Starbucks in Argentina with interest.

Personally I think it's a real shame that the generic coffee giant has entered the market. I know you've spoken in the past about there being space in the BA market for more coffee shops but with Starbucks' proven track record for flooding areas to force the closure of local shops, surely the local market will not be able to compete with the spending might of the large US multinational.

Starbucks is bland, generic, aggressive and foreign. I'm not sure how their entry into the BA scene can be anything but bad.

Unknown said...

Hi AJ,

Thanks for leaving a comment. I understand your point of view and I know you are not alone in your views.

The only thing I can give you is a local point of view. I myself come from Chicago so I have seen first hand the blanketing coverage of Starbucks.

I have also seen the same thing kind of happening in Mexico. I could be wrong, but I am convinced that it just can not happen here.

I am also convinced that they will be popular here, but not to the same extent as in the States or even Mexico. For now, you have a giant Coffee Chain enter a very competitive market offering a service and experience that was basically unmet. This product and service and experience that they offer are not for everyone, but there is a segment that does like it. I am so confident in this because it is basically the same target market that I zeroed in on when I started my own business.

My prediction for the first year is that they actually increase coffee sales for all the coffee chains except for the ones that try to be like Starbucks (In this market there is only one that I can think of that would fall in that category). They will also help in raising the bar for coffee accompaniments. Since they are using small producers and their focus is in uniform and consistent quality, more and more people are going to look for those types of products not just from them, but from others as well.

So for now, I guess we disagree.

adjwilli said...

I dont think Starbucks in BsAs will be putting out any local cafeterias soon, so its very nice to see a little refuge into USAness in the city. When I was there I kept craving coffee in a paper cup I could take around with me on my daily strolls. Nice work securing there supplier position too!

Unknown said...

Hi adjwilli,

Thanks! I agree with you. There were times I wish I had a cup of coffee while out with the babies.

They just made public their next two openings; one in Belgrano at Federico Lacroze and Tres de Febrero, and Viamonte y Callao.

The other two locations that should open before the end of the year are a guarded secret.

Sasa said...

Me encantaron los muffins de Arandanos... y el alfajor pero el muffin de chips chocolate me gusto pero me parecio 1 poco seco

Sigan ASI

Me encantaron los muffins de Arandanos... y el alfajor pero el muffin de chips chocolate me gusto pero me parecio 1 poco seco

Sigan ASI


Sasa said...

Hi Frank
Any knws on the two locations that should open before the end of the year?


Unknown said...

Hi Sasa,

If you liked the muffins, and alfajores you will love the cookies (hint, hint).

Viamonte & Callao is open and has been open for some time now.

3 de Febrero & Federico Lacroze should be open any day now if it isn´t already.

For January they are going to open in Palermo Viejo in Fuentes de Malabia (under construction right now).

There is also another location in Belgrano R, but I know less about the timing and location of this one.

Anonymous said...

gerat post

Unknown said...

Thanks Anon!