Pics: Joburg goes mad for Starbucks

Johannesburg – Hundreds of coffee lovers queued early Thursday in an upmarket Johannesburg shopping centre as international chain Starbucks opened its first cafe in sub-Saharan Africa.

The US-based global brand plans to open 12-15 more stores in South Africa over the next two years, with a long term plan of up to 150 outlets.

“The timing is right. We are going to offer coffee lovers a special experience,” said Carlo Gonzaga, chief executive of Taste Holdings, the local partner of Starbucks Coffee Company.

The cafe’s first customers formed a long line at Starbucks’ doors in the Rosebank shopping centre before the opening at 7:30 a.m.

“This is long overdue,” said Norma Cooper, a bank employee. “Starbucks has been one of the things missing from the South African scene.”

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