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The first Starbucks are coming to sub-Saharan Africa

Credit: David ParryCredit: David Parry
Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste, left and Kris Engskov, president, Starbucks Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).Photograph by David Parry — Starbucks

Starbucks’ aspirations toward global domination are one more step toward fulfillment, as the company announced plans Tuesday to open its first stores in sub-Saharan Africa. Through a licensed partnership with Taste Holdings, a South African managing group, Starbucks will open a store in Johannesburg in the first half of 2016 with more to follow.

Through the agreement, Taste can operate the Starbucks stores for as long as 25 years, as well as open them in other African countries.

Southern Africa’s growing middle class is drawing more international business, according to Bloomberg. Middle-class households in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to increase to 40 million from the current 15 million by 2030.

Starbucks plans to tweak its menu for southern African tastes, featuring items like locally-brewed Rooibos tea. The coffee chain follows a similar tactic in other international locations, licensing out stores and altering menus to suit the location.

Currently, Starbucks has only a few locations in northern Africa, located in Casablanca and Cairo. The chain’s expansion into southern Africa will be something of a homecoming for the coffee beans it sells, a large portion of which hail from sub-Saharan Africa.