Starbucks Coffee International, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), and Marinopoulos SEE, B.V. through the licensed company, Marinopoulos Coffee Company Bulgaria EOOD, today celebrated the opening of the first Starbucks location in Bulgaria, nestled in the heart of its capital city Sofia at 62 General Josif Gurko Street.
"We are humbled and proud to introduce Starbucks Coffee and the unique Starbucks Experience to customers with the opening of our first store in Bulgaria, a country filled with tradition and a rich coffee culture," said Yannis Kalfakakos, managing director of Marinopoulos Coffee Company Bulgaria. "We are excited to become a part of this great tradition and a part of the community."
Starbucks will be offering over 15 varieties of 100 percent high-quality arabica coffee beans and a wide selection of handcrafted beverages to customers in Sofia. Additionally, the company has been working closely with local food companies to develop complementary food offerings that use local ingredients and best meet the taste and lifestyle needs of the Bulgarian market.
"Part of our uniqueness is that every customer can customize their own beverage and enjoy it with some traditional Bulgarian favourite food items in innovative ways that are complementary to our high-quality coffee in an inviting environment," said Bistra Arsova, district manager of Marinopoulos Coffee Company Bulgaria.
The Starbucks Experience is distinctive in that it provides partners (employees) and customers with inspiration through ethically-sourced coffee, human connections, a sense of belonging and contribution to the community.
"Contributing positively to our communities and environment is a fundamental part of the Starbucks culture," said Kalfakakos. "In this spirit and in support of Starbucks? Shared Planet? goals, we will partner with SOS Children's Villages in Bulgaria to support the development of young people and help them discover and cultivate their potential."
Starbucks partners' work with SOS Children's Villages in Bulgaria will build towards a goal of one million hours of community service each year under Starbucks? Shared Planet?. As part of this program, the company announced a series of thirteen measurable goals for Global Responsibility in October. These initiatives define the way Starbucks engages with its customers and communities to do business responsibly and create a better future for the world.
"Being respectful of the surrounding environment and relevant within the community where we do business is important to us," said Martin Coles, president of Starbucks Coffee International. "It is essential that we enter Bulgaria with a strong and trusted partner that shares our values and passion for people, quality and service, attributes that Marinopoulos clearly has. Also, our continued collaboration in Central Europe and the Mediterranean is consistent with Starbucks strategy to leverage our successful strategic partnerships across multiple markets," continued Coles.
Extending successful partnerships into new territories is part of Starbucks international growth strategy. Marinopoulos has been a Starbucks business partner for more than six years, and through joint-venture companies has led the daily operations of approximately 145 Starbucks retail stores in five countries.