Hundreds of coffee lovers queued early on Thursday as international chain Starbucks opened its first cafe in sub-Saharan Africa.
The US-based global brand plans to open 12 to 15 more stores in South Africa over the next two years, with a long term plan of up to 150 outlets.
“The timing is right. We are going to offer coffee lovers a special experience,” said Carlo Gonzaga, chief executive of Taste Holdings, the local partner of Starbucks Coffee Company.
The cafe’s first customers formed a long line at Starbucks’ doors in the Rosebank shopping centre before the opening at 7.30am.
“This is long overdue,” said Norma Cooper, a bank employee.
“Starbucks has been one of the things missing from the South African scene.”
A second branch will open later this month at another shopping mall, also in the financial capital Johannesburg, but Gonzaga said there were no plans of expanding to other countries in the region.
Starbucks, which operates more than 22,000 cafes worldwide, has a presence in only two other African countries — Egypt and Morocco.
A caffe latte in the stylishly designed shop with copper artworks costs between R27 and R33.
— Bongani Matwa (@BonganiMatwa) April 21, 2016
— Tiisetso Thandi Gama (@tiiesto19) April 21, 2016
Is this #StarbucksSA Coffee made from Heavenly ingredients?
— Lemonade (@Marvin_Rage) April 21, 2016
— Abuti Josef (@AbutiJosef) April 21, 2016
Waiting from midnight for exceptionally average coffee. Your mom must be really proud of your life choices.#StarbucksSA
— Werner Weber (@TheWernerWeber) April 21, 2016
— Mark Palmer (@MarkPalmerComic) April 21, 2016
— Rasi Jeff (@LJRasi) April 21, 2016
— I am Tsungai (@TsungyD) April 21, 2016
People queuing at Starbucks to get a coffee… Wonder how many South Africans will take home an American accent today. #StarbucksSA
— Gavin Tucker (@Gavintucker) April 21, 2016
— Starbucks_SA (@Starbucks_SA) April 21, 2016
— Koketso_Q.I.T (@K_Middle9) April 21, 2016
— Kevin McLennan (@KevinMcLennanZA) April 20, 2016
— Nicolaas vd Walt (@nicolaasvdw_) April 20, 2016