Royal launch for Brunei’s first Starbucks
Hakim Hayat

STARBUCKS Coffee Company opened the doors to its first store in Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

Attending the opening ceremony at Mabohai Shopping Complex was HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah.

Also present were YAM Pengiran Anak Hajah Taiyibah Qalbul Bolqiah and Pengiran Haji Mohammad Hakimmuddin bin Pengiran Haji Hashim, YAM Pengiran Anak Hajah Ruqiyah Mataul Bulqiah and YAM Pengiran Anak Mansurah Izzul Bolkiah.

The opening of the store follows an expanded long-term relationship with Berjaya Food Sdn Bhd.

Brunei’s first Starbucks store is designed to reflect the chain’s 43-year-coffee heritage, while embracing Brunei’s culture by portraying the local way of life.

Apart from boasting a spacious and welcoming ambience, some key features of the store are a traditional coffee bar as well as a “slow bar” – a first for a Starbucks store in the Southeast Asian region – which allows customers to savour their coffee experience using the “pour-over”’ brewing method.

A communal table surrounds the slow bar, allowing customers and partners to connect.

Jeff Hansberry, President of Starbucks China and Asia Pacific, said they were pleased to bring the unique Starbucks experience to Brunei.

“By sharing our passion, we look forward to creating an inspired place for people to connect over coffee,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sydney Quays, Managing Director of Starbucks Coffee Malaysia and Brunei, said they look forward to being a part of the growing coffee culture in the country.

At the ceremony, HRH Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, together with Hansberry, Quays and Dato Francis Lee, CEO of Berjaya Food Berhad, cut the ribbon symbolising the official opening of the store.

Also present was Ricky Ho, Director of Berjaya Food Supreme Sdn Bhd.

Inside the newly-opened store, HRH sampled the first Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks Brunei.

Invited guests, including those from Brunei’s business community and the media, were also given the opportunity to savour their first sip of coffee from this latest Starbucks store.

Exclusively imported Starbucks merchandise, including an array of mugs and tumblers of different designs, were quickly snapped by many Starbucks fans and loyal patrons.

The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain’s long-standing strategic partnership with Berjaya Food “furthers their commitment to deliver high-quality arabic coffee, handcrafted beverages made by passionate baristas, distinct food offerings through legendary service”, Starbucks said.

Today, Starbucks operates more than 4,000 stores across 15 markets in the China and Asia-Pacific region. - Borneo Bulletin (17 February 2014)