Starbucks to Enter Cambodian Market This Year

U.S. coffee giant Starbucks will enter the Cambodian market by the end of the year, with two outlets planned for Phnom Penh, the company said in a press release Thursday.

Starbucks said that its first cafe would open at Phnom Penh International Airport by the end of the year, with a second set to open in “downtown Phnom Penh” in early 2016.

“We look forward to becoming a part of Cambodia’s local coffee culture, embracing its traditions and sharing our deep passion and knowledge of the best coffees from around the world,” John Culver, Starbucks’ president for the Asia-Pacific region, said in the statement.

Maxim’s Group, a Hong Kong food and beverage company, will be the company’s official licensee in Cambodia, according to the statement.

Chang Bunleang, managing partner of the local Brown Coffee chain, which has 10 outlets in Phnom Penh, said that while Starbucks was a well-known brand among Cambodians, consumers would ultimately determine their coffee choices based on quality.

“A lot of time [our] coffee is actually handcrafted, and Starbucks is going too much to fully automated machines. So it’s not an art, it becomes like a machine-made drink,” Mr. Bunleang said.

“A coffee lover, I believe, will want to look at the whole process of making coffee.”

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