Fake Starbucks store with same logo called “We Proudly Serve” opens in poverty-stricken Venezuela
- A fake Starbucks coffee recently opened in a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela
- Jorge Nieves admitted the store was not affiliated with the Seattle-based company
- He said he bought “the equipment and the product” and received “instructions on what we could do and what we couldn’t do.”
- Store workers are dressed in counterfeit Starbucks t-shirts and serve drinks that are priced between $ 3 and $ 7
A communist-run supermarket owner in Venezuela concocted the bizarre idea of scamming Starbucks by serving a cup of coffee to the poorest locals while using the famous brand of the American coffee giant.
Jorge Nieves claimed he came up with the idea after finding himself with additional space on the second floor of a Caracas marketplace affiliated with e-commerce delivery site yeet.com and looked for ways to improve the shopping experience.
“What we have done is obviously to acquire the equipment and the product,” he said in an interview with AFP. “Those we bought from gave us direction on what we could do and what we couldn’t do. And this directive is fully respected.
There are no Starbucks in the socialist country, and it is not clear whether Nieves will be prosecuted for the company’s branding.
Customers line up at a newly opened fake Starbucks store at a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. The Seattle-based coffee giant’s famous drinks sell for between $ 3 and $ 7.
A man drinks coffee at a fake Starbucks cafe that opened in a supermarket in Las Mercedes, a neighborhood in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas
Customers have been waiting for at least an hour in queues that have formed outside the entrance to the fake Starbucks located on the second floor of a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela.
Nestlé Venezuela, which has said it is licensed by Starbucks to sell its products, said the store is 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® brand of coffee, the company informs the general public that Nestlé Venezuela has not been contacted or involved in marketing these products in the country, ”Nestlé Venezuela said in a statement.
Starbuck added that he “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 that program.”
Customers looking to try the Starbucks online beverage stand outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, which operates a bogus franchise
Jorge Nieves claimed his company purchased “the equipment and product” used to make Starbucks drinks. “Those we bought from gave us direction on what we could do and what we couldn’t do. And this guideline is fully respected ”, he declared.
A real seasonal Starbucks mug (left) issued by the Seattle-based coffee giant and mugs (right) used at a fake Starbucks location that recently opened in Caracas, Venezuela
The fake cafe sports the famous green and white mermaid logo affixed to its windows and a sign near the entrance where customers have been spotted queuing for hours just to place their orders.
One wall inside the store contains a large “We Proudly Serve Starbucks” poster that references the coffee company’s program that provides premium beverages to workplaces and businesses that also provide food services.
Employees dressed in black T-shirts with the company logo serve drinks ranging from $ 3 to $ 7 that are poured into the same paper and plastic cups that are distributed at official venues.
“I came because I wanted to try something new,” Emmanuel Gregio told AFP.
Nestlé Venezuela is the only company authorized by Starbucks to sell its product in the South American country. “In light of recent mentions of Nestlé Venezuela’s alleged relationship with the opening of a beverage store that uses the STARBUCKS® brand of coffee, the company informs the general public that Nestlé Venezuela has not been contacted or involved in the marketing of these products in the country, ‘Nestlé Venezuela said in a statement
A customer buys a cold drink at a fake Starbucks cafe in Caracas, Venezuela
Nieves never thought the fake Starbucks would get so much attention in the former oil-rich country, where the economy suffers from one of the West’s worst depressions and has fallen four-fifths between 2014 and 2020 .
“The first thing we consider needs to be clarified is that we are not a Starbucks store,” Nieves told Venezuelan newspaper El Universal. “We understand that Starbucks Corporation serves all of its outlets directly, does not franchise or license to third parties.”
However, Nieves has vowed that he will continue to operate the cafe as long as he can “maintain quality standards and supplies and consumables are guaranteed to be of origin.”