Starbucks Coffee Company and Baristas Del Caribe, LLC, an affiliate of Empresas Fonalledas, a family-owned Puerto Rican group of companies, announced Wednesday that Baristas Del Caribe has acquired exclusive rights to operate Starbucks 19 stores in Puerto Rico.
Through a strategic licensing agreement, whose financial terms were not unveiled, Baristas Del Caribe will leverage its local market knowledge to further grow the Starbucks retail business in Puerto Rico, building on more than a decade of brand loyalty and trust, company officials said.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Starbucks in Puerto Rico,” said Rich Nelsen, senior vice president and general manager for Starbucks Latin America. “Baristas Del Caribe is part of highly respected family-run group of companies that shares Starbucks foundational values of driving performance through the lens of humanity, as demonstrated by their strong history of investing in people, delivering an exceptional experience to customers, and creating opportunities for the communities they serve.”
“By teaming up with Empresas Fonalledas we believe we can position the Starbucks retail business for continued expansion in the region and take the brand to even greater heights,” he said.
Starbucks opened its first store in San Juan in 2002 and currently has 19 stores across the island, employing more than 340 employees. Upon successful completion of the transaction, Baristas Del Caribe will assume full operating control of Starbucks stores in Puerto Rico, and plans to develop new stores including a new location in Macy’s at the Empresas Fonalledas-owned Plaza del Caribe mall in Ponce.
“This agreement is not only a vote of confidence from Starbucks, but an opportunity to combine our expertise in the areas of commercial real estate, retail operations, and high quality products, with our in-depth knowledge of the market to further drive growth and profitability for one of the most respected brands in the world,” said Jaime Luis Fonalledas, executive vice president of Empresas Fonalledas Inc.
“We are building on a strong foundation with Starbucks as our company’s Tres Monjitas brand currently serves as Starbucks fresh milk provider in Puerto Rico. Starbucks has also been part of our group of tenants in Plaza Las Américas for the last two years,” he said.