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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, 28 June 2010 10:43

A Starbuck Wine Idea for Barista

Whereas Barista has not made much headway in their wine sales at their Delhi café, Starbucks feels the time is right to experiment with another café with the same concept under their own brand, after running it successfully under two cafés owned by them but without using the Starbuck name .

Starbucks experimented with two stealthy-like coffee shops and called them 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea and Roy Street Coffee & Tea over a year ago. The two cafes also served beer and wine and offered live entertainment for the masses, a part of the plan which worked out quite successfully. They have now decided to abandon the stealth cafe model and decided to sell wine and beer in one store under their own name.

The industry watchers are keenly following the developments at the leader’s end. A few independent cafés already serve wine and beer and have been very successful and quite cut up about the company copying the idea from them But there are also several people even in Seattle who are opposed to the idea-arguing that café is hardly a place where one should sell wine.

At the Olive Way location on the Capitol Hill in Seattle, the store is being renovated in July for a couple of months before re-opening with wine and beer also on the Menu with the Starbucks label, The world's largest coffee company has been testing separately at nearly a dozen locations around the globe including  Spain and Japan. If the experiment is successful, it will be scaled to the other Starbucks stores around the country.

It plans to have a different décor with muted, earthy colors, an indoor-outdoor fireplace, cushy chairs, and a menu with wine from the Pacific Northwest's vineyards and beer from local craft brewers, this 2,500-square-foot store will reopen in the fall with espresso machines in the middle.

The machines at Olive Way will be part of what executives call a coffee theater. Counters will be narrower, about 25 cms at some place, to bring customers closer to the baristas; the machines will brew one cup at a time to extract deeper flavor from beans.

The menu at Olive Way will be bigger, full of savoury foods that pair with coffee, wine and beer. And customers will be able to customize the offerings, some of which will be freshly made.

The Company is cautious enough to admit that it would wait for the result and if implemented, each store will have its own flavour too. But the management is optimistic that some stores in vibrant urban neighborhoods would find takers of the concept.

Barista would be watching the development closely, no doubt. Not only would they be looking to get some pointer to help them make their projects in Delhi, Bangalore and the new ones coming up in Mumbai, Starbucks has revived its wish to enter India after gaining a foothold in Japan and would be formidable competitors.

Though Howard Schultz, CEO has declined to comment on speculation that it would tie-up with Jubilant Foodworks belonging to the Bhartias, as reported by the media in January-end, the two companies may still form a partnership.


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