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LOOK: Starbucks launches first community store in the Philippines

By Brooke Villanueva Published Sep 20, 2023 7:56 pm

If you’re a coffee lover, you might have a lot of Starbucks stories to tell. It could be about that day you had your much-needed “me time” at a nearby branch, the months you spent guzzling down as many drinks as you could for a planner, or that one afternoon you had unforgettable conversations with a friend or two over caffeinated drinks.  

From now on, you can make more memories with coffee as you contribute to the welfare of others at Starbucks’ first community store in the Philippines. 

Starbucks' first community store in the Philippines

In case you didn’t know, the beverage brand has been running a community store program in different parts of the world since 2015, including Seoul, South Korea; Washington, D.C.; Jakarta, Indonesia; Chicago, Illinois; among others, with an aim to “help strengthen the communities where we live, work, and grow.” 

For nearly a decade, the concept has been a way for Starbucks partners to “connect with, engage, and represent the communities they serve” across the globe. There are signing stores for the deaf as well as military family stores for service members, veterans, and their loved ones, to name a few.

On Sept. 20, Starbucks launched its first community store in Tondo, which has been known as one of the most impoverished slums in Manila, according to Channel News Asia. For every order you make, a portion of the proceeds will go to its partner youth organizations Young Focus and AHA! Learning Center to support youth education.

Inside the newly opened community store in Tondo, Manila

The store aligns with the overall vibe of Starbucks stores nationwide, but this one has design elements that encapsulate its purpose in the form of colorful murals dubbed Brewing Knowledge, Blossoming Communities by artist and environmental advocate Anina Rubio.  

Speaking with PhilSTAR L!fe, Rubio said she took inspiration from “nature’s diverse ecosystem as a perfect example of a thriving community, where each living thing is in harmony with the rest and there’s space for growth.” 

The Starbucks community store features murals by artist and environmental advocate Anina Rubio

“I also put coffee and books all throughout the piece since Starbucks fosters community growth through education with the help of its first-ever community store in the country,” she continued. 

Rubio shared that she and her team finished both artworks, one outside and another one inside, in five days. “But if you consider design stages, it took months of preparation and planning together with the Starbucks team,” she recalled.

Rubio with her team who helped her complete the murals at the community store

Starbucks Philippines president Noey Lopez told L!fe that it took them a year and a half to plan for their first community store, and they are preparing to build more of it in other underserved areas in the country as early as now.

“It’s a good start. We gotta do more and we already have,” he revealed. “We’re already looking at several other stores where we can do community stores as well because this is not the only community where we do business.”

One of the dining areas at the Starbucks PH community store

The first Starbucks community store in the Philippines is located at 1601 Jose Abad Santos Avenue corner Bambang Street, Tondo, Manila. It's open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.