SOUTH AFRICA – Multinational chain of coffeehouses, Starbucks plans to open eight new stores in South Africa under the new ownership of Rand Capital Coffee.

Rand Capital Coffee bought the licence of Starbucks in the country for R 7 million (US$445k) from the struggling Taste Holdings at the end of last year.

Taste opened the first Starbucks store in 2016 and had made plans of expanding the network to between 150 and 200 cafés, but it was met with large debt burden and cash flow issues.

Under the new owner, the coffee chain is expanding its footprints in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg and Pretoria, with the new stores scheduled to open in the four weeks from mid-November to mid-December.

“Starbucks is an iconic global brand, and when the opportunity arose to expand it into my home country, I grabbed the chance.”

CEO Rand Capital Coffee – Adrian Maizey

The move, according to IoL, will see the company employ 69 full-time employees and promote 21, bringing the total complement of permanent employees to 300.

Owner and CEO of Rand Capital Coffee, Adrian Maizey, is optimistic about Starbucks’ post-pandemic growth stating, “Starbucks is an iconic global brand, and when the opportunity arose to expand it into my home country, particularly as this is one of few remaining scalable regions where Starbucks is yet to have a strong presence, I grabbed the chance.”

Starbucks began in 1971 as a roaster and retailer of beans, ground coffee, tea and spices, with a single store in Seattle.

Today the company connects with millions of customers every day with its own special taste and offering that has seen the company grow to more than 30,000 retail stores in 80 markets.

Other than offloading Starbuks, Taste Holdings liquidated its subsidiary that held the licence for Domino’s SA after failing to find a buyer for the pizza chain.

The company undertook an on-line auctioning of contents of the franchise and due to the voluntary liquidation, the group had written off intercompany loans to the value of R450m (US$26.9m).

Taste has also sold its Maxi’s and The Fish & Chip Co right as it shifts its focus to luxury goods.

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