Fake Starbucks store with same logo calling itself ‘We Proudly Serve’ opens up in poverty-stricken Venezuela
- A fake Starbucks café recently opened up inside supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela
- Jorge Nieves admitted that the shop is not affiliated with the Seattle-based company
- He said he purchased the ‘equipment and the product’ and that he was given ‘a guideline of what we could do and what we could not do’
- Employees at the shop are dressed in counterfeit Starbucks t-shirts and serve drinks that are sold between $3 and $7
A supermarket owner in communist-run Venezuela has brewed up the bizarre idea of ripping off Starbucks by serving up a cup of joe to the poverty-stricken residents while using the famous branding of the US coffee giant.
Jorge Nieves claimed he came up with the idea after he found himself with extra space on the second floor of a market in Caracas that is affiliated with e-commerce delivery site yeet.com and sought to find ways on how to improve the shopping experience.
‘What we did was obviously acquire the equipment and the product,’ he said in an interview with AFP. ‘Those who we made the purchase from gave us a guideline of what we could do and what we could not do. And that guideline is being perfectly fulfilled.’
There are no Starbucks in the socialist country, and it is unclear whether Nieves’ will be prosecuted for impinging on the company’s trademark.
Customers line up at a fake Starbucks shop that was recently opened inside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. The Seattle-based coffee giant’s famous drinks are being sold for $3 to $7.
A man drinks coffee at a fake Starbucks café that opened up at a supermarket in Las Mercedes, a district in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas
Customers have been waiting at least an hour on lines that formed outside the entrance of the fake Starbucks that is located in the second floor of a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela
Nestlé Venezuela, which said it is authorized by Starbucks to sell its products, said the shop was not affiliated with the Seattle-based coffee giant.
‘In light of recent mentions of Nestlé Venezuela’s alleged relationship with the opening of a beverage store that uses the STARBUCKS® coffee brand, the company informs the general public that Nestlé Venezuela has not been contacted or involved in marketing of these products in the country,’ Nestlé Venezuela said in a statement.
Starbuck added that it ‘can confirm that we do not have the We Proudly Serve Starbucks® coffee program in Venezuela at this time, and Nestlé is Starbucks’ exclusive distributor of this program.’
Customers seeking to try Starbucks drink stand on line outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, that is operating a fake franchise
Jorge Nieves claimed that his company purchased ‘the equipment and the product’ that is used to brew Starbucks drinks. ‘Those who we made the purchase from gave us a guideline of what we could do and what we could not do. And that guideline is being perfectly fulfilled,’ he said
Real Starbucks season cup (left) issued by the Seattle-based coffee giant and cups (right) being used at a fake Starbucks location that recently opened in Caracas, Venezuela
The bogus café features the famous green and white siren logo affixed to its windows and on a sign near the entrance where customers have been spotted lining up for hours at a time just to place their orders.
A wall inside the shop contains a large ‘We Proudly Serve Starbucks’ signage that makes reference to the coffee company’s program that provides premium drinks to workplaces and companies who also offer catering services.
Employees dressed in black T-shirts with the company logo serve drinks that range between $3 and $7 that are poured into the same paper and plastic cups that are handed out at official locations.
‘I came because I wanted to try something new,’ Emmanuel Gregio told the AFP.
Nestlé Venezuela is the only firm that is authorized by Starbucks to sell its product in the South American nation. ‘In light of recent mentions of Nestlé Venezuela’s alleged relationship with the opening of a beverage store that uses the STARBUCKS® coffee brand, the company informs the general public that Nestlé Venezuela has not been contacted or involved in marketing of these products in the country,’ Nestlé Venezuela said in a statement
A customer purchases a cold drink at a bogus Starbucks café in Caracas, Venezuela
Nieves never thought the fake Starbucks would gain so much attention in the former oil-rich nation, where the economy is suffering one of the worst depressions in the West and dropped by four-fifths between 2014 and 2020.
‘The first thing we consider should be clarified is that we are not a Starbucks store,’ Nieves told Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. ‘We understand that Starbucks Corporation directly serves all its points of sale, does not franchise, nor does it grant licenses to third parties.’
However, Nieves vowed he will continue to operate the café as long as it can ‘maintain quality standards and that the supplies and consumables are guaranteed to be original.’