Starbucks in Medellín Opens Two More Coffee Shops

Starbucks in Santafé mall in Medellín
Starbucks in Santafé mall in Medellín

Starbucks in Medellín has opened two more coffee shops in the city. On Wednesday, December 14, Starbucks opened its second coffee shop in Medellín located in the Santafé mall in El Poblado.

And today the company is scheduled to open its third coffee shop in Medellín located in Oviedo mall in El Poblado.

Starbucks opened its first store in Medellín on September 1. And less than four months later the company now has two more coffee shops in Medellín for a total of three.

The new Starbucks in Santafé mall is located on the second floor near the Victoria’s Secret store. The new Starbucks in Oviedo mall is located a short walk behind Café le Gris to the right, which is near the entrance to the mall.

Both of the new mall-located Starbucks in Medellín are smaller then the first Starbucks in Medellín, which is a large stand-alone store.

There was a line at the new Starbucks in Santafé when I went on Sunday. This was nothing like the line at the company’s first store in Bogotá back in July 2014.

I understand on its opening day in 2014, the first Bogotá Starbucks had people waiting for hours in a line that stretched outside the door and along the street.

Starbucks originally entered the Colombian market back on July 14, 2014 with its first store in Bogotá. I happened to be in Bogotá two weeks after its first store in Colombia opened and I wrote about it on this website.

Starbucks now has 13 coffee shops in Colombia: 10 in Bogotá and three in Medellín. According to a report in the El Colombiano newspaper, Starbucks now plans to have up to 10 coffee shops in Medellín by the end of next year.

The company plans to have a total of 50 stores in Colombia by 2019

Starbucks’ business in Colombian market is a joint venture with Alsea and Grupo Nutresa. Alsea is a big restaurant operator in Latin America running several brands including Burger King, Domino’s Pizza and P.F Chang’s.

Note the above photo is the new Starbucks in Medellín located in Santafé mall.

Starbucks in Oviedo mall, before first day opening
Starbucks in Oviedo mall, before first day opening

The Menu at Starbucks in Medellín

The menu at the two new stores includes Coffee, Espresso, Teas, Hot Chocolate and Frappuccino.

Prices at both new stores are the same as is found in the first Starbucks in Medellín. Black coffee (tinto) comes in four sizes ranging in prices from 3,600 pesos to 4,900 pesos.

An American Espresso costs 4,500 pesos for a small, 5,000 pesos for a medium and 5,400 pesos for a large.

Hot Chocolate costs 7,400 pesos for a small, 7,900 pesos for a medium and 8,500 pesos for a large.

Caramel Frappuccino costs 9,300 pesos for a small, 10,200 pesos for a medium and 10,900 pesos for a large.

Starbucks in Latin America

Starbucks is a massive company with over 23,000 retail stores located in 65 countries. The company has been in Latin America since 2002 starting out in Mexico and Puerto Rico. The company now has 1,000 stores in 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Starbucks opened its first store in Mexico 15 years ago and the company now has over 430 stores in Mexico.

Currently, Starbucks in Colombia reportedly generates over 170 direct jobs.  The projection for the company is to reach up to 1,000 jobs when its goal of 50 stores is completed by 2019.

The company expects that it will likely enter another city in Colombia next year. My bet is this likely will be in Cartagena.

Starbucks buys about 400 million pounds of coffee per year and more than half of that comes from Latin America, mainly from Colombia.

Starbucks claims its stores in Colombia serve 100 percent locally sourced and roasted coffee for in-store beverages to honor the country’s coffee heritage and the company’s 45-year history of sourcing premium arabica coffee from the region.

In Colombia, Starbucks competes with Juan Valdéz with over 200 stores in the country. Juan Valdéz has stores in 16 additional countries including the United States.

Juan Valdéz’s response to Starbucks’ initial store in Bogotá, Colombia was to open a café in downtown Miami. Juan Valdéz now has six cafés in Maimi and is looking to open more in South Florida.

The first Starbucks in Medellín
The first Starbucks in Medellín

The Bottom Line

The first coffee shop of Starbucks in Medellín is a success. It’s been fairly busy each time I have walked by it recently. So the company quickly opened two more coffee shops in Medellín. And it plans to open up to seven more Starbucks in Medellín next year.

I suspect several of the additional coffee shops will be located in malls in Medellín. These are smaller and less expensive to open. And they are quicker and easier to open.

While some expats aren’t happy to see Starbucks in the city, I personally see this as a good thing. Starbucks is selling 100% Colombian coffee in its stores here in Colombia and they employee Colombians. So they are supporting the local economy.

The fact that Starbucks chose to enter the market is Colombia two and a half years ago is because Colombia has a growing economy. And it is underserved with upscale coffeehouses.

Starbucks was already a big coffee buyer in Colombia so why not also sell coffee in Colombia. To continue growing Starbucks has to expand in international markets as the US market is pretty saturated.

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    • Sorry, but Juan Valdez is not much cheaper – the prices at Juan Valdez in El Poblado are similar to what is listed in the article above in my experience.

      I have been to Starbucks in Bogotá many times and to the new Starbucks in Medellin since it opened and almost all of the customers are Colombian. Also Starbucks has better service and better products in my experience than Juan Valdez. I prefer Starbucks.

      I also agree with Alan’s comment below – there is more than enough room for both Juan Valdez and Starbucks in Colombia. We now have a choice in Medellín. If Starbucks first store wasn’t successful they would not have opened two more in Medellin in such a short time.

  1. There is more than enough room for both Juan Valdez and Starbucks as the notoriously conservative local palette adopts new tastes and a different approach to Café culture.

    Food is a different matter however, as anyone who has tried ordering Indian or Chinese food in Colombia can confirm.

    While this programme is a joint venture, I just wonder if Starbucks will, as usual, try to avoid paying Local Taxes with their customary Tax Avoidance schemes.

  2. I have been to the Starbucks several times this year and there is always a line so I just go next door to Krispy Kreme. No, I’m not saying they are better but unlike Starbucks it has lots of seats out of the sun, it’s air conditioned and convenient.

  3. Why spent at least 20 to 45 minutes in line to buy a coffee in Starbuck Store,when you can drink a nice cup of Colombian coffe in hundreds of stores and restaurants in Medellin, in less than 2 minutes with the same or better coffe quality and for much less than 3000 COP,dont make sense tome,when I can sit down in a Carulla,Jumbo,Euro or any restaurant,even in McDonald o Bergen King and enjoy a very tasty 100% nice Colombian coffe,expresso,capuchino,latte and many other products.I watched the lines and Starbucks and really is not many foreigners of tourist,mostly young Colombian people on a date,and Colombians families that allways like to try a new American store in the city..

    • I disagree! It doesn’t take 20 to 45 minutes at Starbucks – they aren’t that busy now that there are three of them. Also the coffee in Starbucks is better quality than most places in Colombia in my experience.

      Also most other “hundreds of places” don’t have free Wifi that works like Starbucks has. Even in Juan Valdez the Wifi frequently doesn’t work in my experience. And in many cases that cheaper coffee (Tinto) is made with commodity-quality beans, and sold in very small cups.

      Colombia has a quality standard for the type of beans they can export (that is the type that Starbucks buys for use inside Colombia and outside Colombia), and everything below that stays in the country for domestic consumption, much of it becoming Tinto that you can find everywhere but it is low quality that is pretty bad.

      • Hi Kate,

        Yes you are correct. I walked past two of the Starbucks in Medellín today and the lines were short. Also it’s good that people have another choice.

          • I also hope to see Starbucks in Sabaneta.

            Starbucks does sophisticated market research and with all the construction in Sabaneta it is a market they are probably looking at. I suspect they would prefer to be in the busy Mayorca mall.

      • The lines are starbuck are still there,just try Friday,Saturday or Sundays anytime,or after 6 pm any day,saying that starbuck is selling the best coffee in Colombia,and, the Colombian stores,malls and restaurants sell cheap and bad coffee,with no taste ,and use the worst coffee grains,its like saying that American invented the expresso coffee machine.For your knowledge the best coffee in the world is Colombian,and is coming for most regions in Colombia that is a country full of mountains where the best coffee grains are collected from farmers that work in this business for more than 60 years,and is a big competition among them to produce the best product,actually the best coffee in Colombia is not exported,because is consumed by millions in Colombia,and is the one I used daily in mi hpme ,is LUKAFE.300 better than the Starbuck coffee.You can find this tasty quality coffee in any MALL or store in Medellin,and not only in Poblado Avenue.I never had a problem with the wifi in any place with my4G cell phone wherever I go in Medelin,and I strongly disagree that the best coffee in COLOMBIA is sell at this new stores,people only visit for the curiosity of trying a new product or service ,or some that believes that they American allways do the best.Its funny,is like an American steak house open a new restaurant chain in Argentina o Brasil and they nserve the best beef.JA,JA,JA.

  4. Let’s hope Starbucks in Colombia goes the way of Starbucks in Melbourne, Australia. Real coffee drinkers don’t consume that shite. After the gloss wears off and people’s curiosity is satisfied they will (cross fingers) realise that what Colombians produce at home is far superior to that American shite that’s scraped off the floor and laced with so much sugar syrup your eyes bug out of your head. Pumpkin spice mocha latte? Please!