Starbucks has opened its first store in Jamaica, making it the international coffee retailer’s 76th global market.
According to news from Chain Store Age, this latest brick-and-mortar location also represents Starbucks’ 17th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
The design of the new 1,200-square-foot Jamaican store, located at the popular Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, pays tribute to the country’s people and rich coffee heritage. The space is filled with distinctly local design elements, including pickled-wood vaulted ceilings and louvered windows that have been preserved from their original state.
The store features custom artwork from local artist Fiona Godfrey, who created a mural of a majestic lion using the colors of Jamaica — black, green, yellow and red — with touches of gold and ochre. The national symbol for Jamaica, a hummingbird, is also portrayed.
“The lion is meant to represent the heart and spirit of the Jamaican people,” said Denise Rodriguez, design manager for the Starbucks store in Jamaica. “He’s not a fierce or intimidating lion; he’s majestic and mighty, but gentle and caring — connecting eyes with the hummingbird, or Doctor Bird as it’s locally called, and embracing her, acknowledging her and respecting her.”
Gold is a prominent color throughout the store, including a coffee bar covered in walnut panels that feature subtle gold-painted reveals, a back wall granite embedded with delicate gold flecks and an excerpt from a Jamaican poem, “The Song of the Blue Mountain Stream,” by Reginald M. Murray, which is hand-painted in gold.
The familiar Jamaican greeting of “hail up,” hand-painted by a local sign company, greets customers as they enter the new Starbucks store, while a well-wishing “walk good” meets customers at the end of the coffee bar.
The Montego Bay retail location is operated by Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd., a joint venture between Ian Dear, CEO of restaurant management and franchise operator Margaritaville Caribbean Group, and Adam Stewart, deputy chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International.
Dear and Stewart plan to open 15 locations in Jamaica over the next five years, with the next store opening in Kingston in 2018.