The CEO of the coffee giant on the Chennai factor and expansion
They found it worked at their stores in Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi and have applied the same philosophy to Chennai as well. “We try to create an inviting environment that the locals can connect to,” says Avani Davda, CEO of Tata Starbucks Limited. The coffee giant’s first store in Chennai and 50th in India, at Phoenix Market City, is certainly inviting. Sporting deep browns and reds,it has colonial furniture and a map representing the coffee belt, made by local kalamkari artists. “The designs have taken elements from Chennai—the temples, textiles, spices,” she says, adding that they have also employed the ancient technique of wood-stamping on the walls.
Yes, you will be treated to a menu that is standard across all Starbucks outlets across the country—with their special Indian Estates blend that uses locally sourced and roasted beans as well. Fans can stop by for a freshly brewed cuppa that is served hot, iced, decaf or half-decaf, with regular or soy milk. Plus,there is the signature hot chocolate, muffins, desserts, scones, sandwiches, wraps and more. But Chennai is the first to offer salads, that will soon be added in other stores too. Ask for their Pour-Over Set, an exclusive product for Chennai. This, we’re told, is your ticket to brewing that perfect Starbucks cuppa at home, provided you take home their beans of course.
Growth on the cards
Speaking of beans, we wonder if Starbucks’ high-quality beans will hit shelves of retail stores as well, as is the case back in the US. Davda assures us that they are looking at it, “but over the next two to three years.” Meanwhile, expect other Starbucks outlets to mushroom in “key shopping destinations, over six to 12 months.”
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