The corner of Tyrwhitt and Cradock Avenues in Rosebank was pumping as ‘VIP’ crowds flocked to get their hands on a cup of Starbucks ‘liquid gold’, as the iconic international coffee brand opened its first store on Southern African soil.
An extension of their strong focus on the communities in which they grow and serve their coffee, the proudly South African flavour of the evening was palpable – from the locally-produced artisan furniture, sunrise/set inspired copper mural, and leather latticed ceilings; to celebratory performances from Tamara Dey, Zakes Bantwini, Nothende and Thulane Hadebe; storyteller Gcina Mhlophe; and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra.
Having consumed my quota, I can confirm that the coffee certainly lives up to its widespread reputation; and their food offering is both varied, and every bit as delicious! Praising the enthusiasm and skill of local baristas, the Starbucks team is determined to create a space where comfort of their customers is paramount - catering equally for the passing foot traffic of the hub of Rosebank; business or student minds wanting to gather around a table and thrash out ideas with their peers (or quietly surf the super-fast WiFi without worrying about how many cups of caffeine that might cost); and serious coffeeholics with a passion for the perfect cup, who might want to extend the ritual at the Reserve Bar. I, for one, am convinced; and certainly likely to ask #MeetMeAtStarbucks?, regularly in the days to come.
- Fiona Gordon