Eight Facts to Celebrate 100 Starbucks in Russia

Starbucks Counter with U.S. Ambassador and Crew

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ilaria Parogni – August 12, 2015)

American coffeehouse chain Starbucks Coffee celebrated the opening of his 100th Russian branch in Tuesday. The new venue is located inside the shopping center Galereya in St. Petersburg, the company announced on social media.

Starbucks is currently holding celebrations at the new location and at the company’s flagship store on Moscow’s Arbat. Jazz bands are due to perform, and master classes devoted to the secrets of coffee brewing will be held throughout the week.

Whether you are a fan of the brand or a coffee snob, it’s hard to downplay Starbuck’s role on the global market. The company’s net income in the third quarter of 2015 increased 22 percent, with total revenue climbed to $4.88 billion, Bloomberg reported in July. The Moscow Times shares a few interesting facts about the company’s presence in Russia.

1. The first Russian branch opened in Moscow in 2007

Starbuck Russia is a relatively young player on the Russian market. The company opened its first store inside the Russian capital’s shopping center Mega Khimki in September 2007. Three months later the second branch was unveiled on Arbat.

2. A trademark squatter prevented them from entering the market for three years

The reason behind Starbuck’s tardy arrival in Russia was a legal battle with Russian lawyer Sergei A. Zuykov. As The New York Times reported in 2005, Zuykov had been hoarding brand names in Russia with the sole intent of exorting money from the companies holding the original trademark in their own countries. Starbucks became one of his targets in 2002, with Zuykov saying that he would abandon his registration in exchange for $600,000. The coffehouse chain refused to pay and took Zuykov to court, where the squatter was defeated in 2005, The Moscow Times reported at the time.

3. Starbucks branches currently operate in 9 Russian cities

You can find Starbucks in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Sochi, Yaroslavl, Ekaterinburg, Tyumen and Samara, according to the company’s Facebook page.

4. Sochi housed a secret Starbucks during the 2014 Winter Olympics

NBC employees at the Olympic media center in the Russian city of Sochi, on the Black Sea, were able to purchase Starbucks drinks from a private 24-hour kiosk set up by the American media outlet during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The secret stand offered a limited menu of specialty espressos and chai drinks, The Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

5. Starbucks was one of the pioneers of banning smoking in public places in Russia

Way before a smoking ban in public places was introduced in Russia in 2014, Starbucks was one of the few establishments to take a hard line on cigarettes, forbidding them on its premises. The reason had little to do with health and environmental concerns, The Moscow Times reported in 2011.. “Coffee beans are very porous,” a company’s spokesperson was quoted as saying. “They suck in the smoke, which affects the taste.”

6. A Starbucks espresso in Russia is twice as expensive as one in New York

As of Aug. 6., a Tall Americano in a Starbucks branch in Moscow was 180 rubles ($2.84), while the drink cost $2.65 in a store in New York, data collected by The Moscow Times show. A Tall Latte and Single Espresso cost 240 and 110 rubles respectively ($3.25 and $1.73) in Moscow, while the same beverages could be purchased in New York for $3.25 and $0.80 respectively.

7. The Starbucks Russia menu is tailored to the Russian taste

Raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and focaccia sandwiches with chicken breast, ham, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese are among the options offered by Starbucks in Russia, according to the company’s website. Starbucks in Russia also offer the cheese curd pancakes called syrniki, and the cookies sold in Moscow are made by a local company.

8. Moscow is home to the first Starbucks inside a bank

The first Starbucks-bank hybrid (Starbank?) debuted in Moscow in 2015, Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported. A joint initiative of the coffeehouse and financial group Otkrytiye, the open-plan venue offers customers the opportunity to fill out papers for credit cards and open a bank account in a cozy environment, while savoring a cappuccino or two. “You usually go to the bank out of necessity,” Project Director Khoren Morozov was quoted as saying. “While coming here is enjoyable.”

[featured image is file photo, not directly related to article subject matter]