By Alan Markoff
The morning queue started at the serving counter, extended out of the front door and snaked across the Camana Bay Paseo before ending near Island Jewellers. To say the 15 August opening of the first Starbucks store in the Cayman Islands was eagerly awaited is an understatement.
Although Starbucks announced plans to open in the Cayman Islands last October, the location of the world-famous coffee brand next to Books & Books wasn’t officially announced until last month.
Starbucks has more than 30,000 stores across the globe and is one of the world’s largest restaurant chains and most recognisable brands. For Dart’s President of Business Development Jackie Doak, the opening of the store continues the objective of making Camana Bay a place where people want to be.
“Our goal is to offer the best experiences possible to those who live, work, play or learn at Camana Bay,” she said. “We are delighted to have Starbucks add a wonderful new experience to the Camana Bay community.”
The Starbucks store is owned by Caribbean Coffee Traders Limited and is sub-licensed and operated through Caribbean Coffee Baristas Cayman Limited, a consortium led by Margaritaville Caribbean Group. The group expects to open three additional stores on Grand Cayman over the next three years.
Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Margaritaville Caribbean Group, said he was excited to open the first of the Starbucks stores in Camana Bay and that he looked forward to expanding the brand across Grand Cayman.
“The beautiful Camana Bay location is a place where families, friends and individuals can connect,” he said. “It’s these daily connections and interactions that build communities, and we are honored to be part of yours.”
Starbucks, which was established in Seattle, Washington, in 1971, began its Caribbean operations in 2002, when it opened a store in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan. Since then, the brand has grown to more than 60 locations in seven Caribbean markets, including Aruba, the Bahamas, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. With the Camana Bay store opening, the Cayman Islands became the 19th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and the 81st global market for Starbucks.
Tim Grever, operations director for Starbucks Caribbean market, said the opening on Grand Cayman marked a key milestone for Starbucks’ expansion in the Caribbean region.
“We look forward to welcoming customers to this spectacular store and sharing some of the finest coffees from around the world, served by our passionate and knowledgeable baristas,” he said.
Jason Brown, the local partner of Caribbean Coffee Baristas Cayman Limited, spoke about how Starbucks was a good fit for Grand Cayman.
“With the diverse and growing economy and the melting pot of cultures who work in, live in or visit our Cayman shores, the opening of Starbucks will allow visitors and locals alike to enjoy the world’s finest coffee right here on our island,” he said.
Starbucks joins Camana Bay during a period of growth and development, which includes the ongoing expansion of Cayman International School, the construction of a 60,000-square-foot Foster’s supermarket and launch of Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential offering, OLEA.
The 1,500-square-foot Camana Bay store was designed to offer customers a unique experience that not only showcases the Starbucks brand, but that also celebrates Cayman Islands’ culture and heritage.
The store features designs and a colour scheme inspired by Cayman’s environment and heritage, all of which come together to create an authentic island café experience.
Artwork by locally based artist Tansy Maki is featured throughout the space. The natural beauty of the Cayman Islands is captured through the hand-painted 56-foot-wide mural, which features local flora and fauna, all painted in a calming palette of colours. The mural also features catboats in the distance, another tribute to Cayman Islands history.
The foreground features the siren, a Starbucks icon, lying in the water admiring the natural wonder of Grand Cayman.
This article was originally published in the September 2019 print edition of Camana Bay Times.
About the author
Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three years and has been writing professionally since 1997. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Alan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in English, and first moved to the Cayman Islands in 1982. He has 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians. He is a movie buff who spends many an evening catching a film at Camana Bay Cinema. It was at one of these movies that he met his wife, Lynn!