Starbucks inhabits an old mansion on the Paseo de Montejo in Mérida. Photo: Facebook

Since opening in front of the Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City, Starbucks has been part of Mexico for 15 years, an anniversary the coffee chain is celebrating with a contest.

The Seattle-based chain has opened 600 branches throughout the country, including eight in Mérida, most recently at the Gran Hotel on Calle 60.

This is a landmark year for Starbucks in Mérida, as well. It was in 2007 when the chain first came to the city, opening a branch at the Gran Plaza mall. Back then, coffee consumption was less than half it is today, according to Ana Martini of TWL, a market research firm in Mexico City.

Alsea, the management company that runs Starbucks in Mexico, has commitment to invest 800 million pesos between 2017 and 2018 to continue its expansion here. Starbucks employs 7,000 workers in Mexico, and has pledged to comply with its contractual obligation to add another 50 branches and 1,200 jobs through next year.

Alsea, which also runs other chains including Burger King and Chili’s, says Starbucks is its most profitable brand, contributing 23 percent of its sales at the end of the second quarter of the year.

El Economista says 80 percent of Starbuck’s expansion budget will go toward new openings, 10 percent for remodeling and 10 percent for infrastructure issues.

Starbucks has presented a contest to celebrate its milestone. For the best personal story about going to Starbucks, the prize is a trip to Seattle to see the first Starbucks store and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. The second-place winner will be sent to Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, an experimental Starbucks estate on the slopes of the Poás Volcano in Alajuela.

Sources: El Economista, Linea Recta, Starbucks


Lee Steele is the founding publisher of Yucatán Expat Life, which has been publishing news and information about the peninsula since 2012.