Q COSTA RICA – Starbucks announced plans to open a visitor center on its farm in Costa Rica sometime next year. The immersive coffee farm and café are meant to complement Starbucks’ Siren Retail premium brand by providing customers the opportunity to lean about coffee at origin.
The 242 hectare (600-acre) Hacienda Alsacia farm is a global research and development facility, Starbucks’ first farm when the company purchased it almost four years ago, in 2013.
Starbucks has maintained Hacienda Alsacia, located in Costa Rica on the slopes of the Poas volcano, as a typical working farm to learn about the environmental factors, costs and other challenges facing coffee farmers throughout the company’s supply chain.
The new facility will soon allow visitors from around the world to get a first-hand understanding of the agronomy work the company has been supporting and investing in for two decades.
The 4,275 square meter (46,000-square-foot) visitor center will allow customers to learn about coffee all along the plant’s path from a seedling through the coffee field, the wet-milling process, drying, roasting and to the café. It was designed by members of Starbucks’ in-house design team who also worked on the company’s first Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle.
“Our Roastery in Seattle, Washington offers one of today’s most immersive retail experiences, where the theater of coffee craft is on full display. We have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate what happens on coffee farms so that our customers understand the humanity and care that goes into each cup of our coffee,” said Cliff Burrows, group president Siren Retail and Global Coffee, Starbucks. “This visitor center allows us to create a connection between the people that grow the coffee, the role our farm plays in helping to ensure their economic stability, and the stores that roast and brew it for our customers every day.”
As part of this construction project, Starbucks anticipates that it will create dozens of short-term jobs as well as provide new opportunities for long-term employment on the farm when the visitor center opens.
Starbucks has been offering coffee from Costa Rica since the company opened its doors in 1971; its first Farmer Support Center opened in Costa Rica in 2004 and has since moved to the coffee farm.
Starbucks has 11 stores in Costa Rica that are operated by its licensing partner Premium Restaurants of America. Starbucks Costa Rica recently launched a special edition single-origin packaged coffee sourced from Hacienda Alsacia for customers to enjoy in market.