Starbucks Steams Up SA Retail

Something’s brewing on our retail scene. And if you’re into news of the store-front variety, then chances are you caught whiffs of it kilometres away. That is the opening of South Africa’s first Starbucks store.

Overseas Retail. Local Flavours.

So the beans are out the bag! Starbucks opened its doors in Rosebank, Johannesburg, recently. And if we must have our visual-merchandiser say, it’s not too shabby looking either. All 485m2 of it was designed with the South African consumer (and producer) in mind.

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Visitors to the Rosebank coffee shop will not be in want of something to while the time away as they wait in the queue. With a woven leather ceiling, copper mural of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and a variety of locally branded merchandise, coffee-holics will have plenty to entertain them while waiting for their brew. It also doesn’t hurt that Starbucks is supporting local businesses, as well – every piece of furniture at the store has been handcrafted and sourced from local artisans.

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Starbucks. The Coffee Alchemists

On the menu, one can expect to see caffeinated regulars, Starbucks does switch it up a bit with exotic and playful varieties. Fancy something different? Try a white chocolate mocha, a caramel macchiato or a mango frappuccino. You can also request your coffee to be made with full-fat, fat-free, soy or coconut milk (watch out Kauai)!

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A Bitter Aftertaste

With Walmart having bought into Massmart (think Game, Makro and Builder’s Warehouse), Burger King, Forever21, H&M and Krispy Kreme following close on its heels, we’re starting to wonder whether all this new found retail-giant attention on SA should be a cause for concern. We hope that local favourites, like Vida e Caffè and Motherland, have staying power now that the stakes have been upped.

In the meantime, maybe the best thing us worker bees on the ground can do is “Keep clam and drink a coffee.” Let a personalised Starbucks cuppa with your name, literally, on it sooth you.

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Hold-the-Phone Branding: Operator 25

Love branding? Get ready to eat your heart out when you see what Australian graphic design studio Pop & Pac did for the Operator 25 restaurant…

A New and Tasty Calling

Located in the building Melbourne’s first telephone exchange once called home, this brunch spot pays homage to its predecessor. Operator 25 respectfully nods to the history of the space from the name right down to the restaurant’s design. Yet, it still remains true to what owners Randy Dhamanhuri, Valerie Fond and Gede Karilo are truly passionate about – the food! (We promise not to get sidetracked this time.)

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Branding with Interior Design

Heritage can be felt permeating every aspect of the restaurant through the clever use of circles and lines –like the knobs, connection holes and cords of an old-school switchboard. Upon arriving to the restaurant, customers are greeted by a knobby-like sign. A rotatory-phone-esque font circles it, while a coffee cup is illuminated on one side and knife and on the other Inside lies interior décor with a wealth of visual cues – a Call-Me-Maybe poster, Pick-Up-Line sign for order collections, and “operators” donning uniforms with quirky expressions like “It Brew my mind.”

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All around, glossy, white subway-tiled walls complement the rawness of the building’s original facebrick walls, while bright Lichtenstein-inspired art brings an 80s pop art touch to the space. Above, bell-shaped brass lamps dangle from exposed cables to light up your menu as it announces that the staff are “At your beck and call.”

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About Pop & Pac Graphic Studio

You guys remember The Kettle Black? Well, Pop & Pac was the studio behind the branding of that Aussie restaurant too. So wee thought we’d shine a brighter spotlight on them – they deserve it!

If we’re ever in Melbourne, Operator 25 is definitely one restaurant we’ll be calling on…

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