QCOSTARICA – Juan Valdez, the Colombian coffeehouse chain, is headed north to Costa Rica with an aggressive plan to open ten stores in the local market. The first is to be located in La Sabana and not City Mall, as was earlier announced.
The Colombian company will be going head-to-head with Spoon, Britt and Starbucks who are working on an expansion of their menus and improving customer service as part of their strategies in the face of new competition.
Spoon says it will expand its coffee and restaurant format, with new products and more emphasis on quality. Cafe Britt says it will continue to expand its newly launched “Britt Break” format of small cafes.
Starbucks in Costa Rica will continue opening more locations, the latest was last month in front of the National Stadium in La Sabana.
For Starbucks, the arrival of Juan Valdez in Costa Rica is no big deal. The American chain has already gone head-to-head with Juan Valdez with its aggressive entry into the Colombian market last year.
The arrival of Juan Valdez is a challenge for Costa Rica coffeehouses, as the Colombian chain focuses on quality.
“Costa Rica is a country of where there is a connoisseur coffee, growing in sophistication and is in search of new proposals as Juan Valdez, a product of great recognition in the world,” said Marco Ara, executive director of JV Central Corporation.
The aim is to make a large investment of not less than ten stores, added Ara.
The Juan Valdez cafes will be about 160 square metres (1.700 square feet) and evoke the origins and tradition of coffee.
Created by Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers through Procafecol S.A.; the latter being a company established in 2002. It was named after Juan Valdez, Colombia’s longtime coffee icon and a household name in the United States.
Juan Valdez is the only international coffeehouse authorized to officially sell Colombian coffee. In September 2007 it was given protected designation of origin granted by the European Union after an international dispute won by the Colombian National Federation of Coffee Growers on intellectual property, and the lawsuit brought against a Costa Rica-based company using the Juan Valdez slogan (Juan Valdez drinks Costa Rican coffee).