© Scott Anderson
Shar Nickol, Front Store Manager of Starbucks along with Jahnaya Mann, Managing Partner, join with Pharmasave owner Ron Heeg, Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer, project construction contractor Darryl Wallace from Wallace Construction to cut the ribbon to formally open Starbucks in Swift Current.
Bolstered by sales numbers that caught the eye of head office, Swift Current's Pharmasave location now boasts a licensed Starbucks location.
Formerly operating as a We Proudly Serve, the location at Pharmasave recently completed the final renovations to allow it to operate as a full Starbucks.
"We feel real lucky to have been given this opportunity to bring this into the city," explained Managing Partner Jahnaya Mann.
She highlighted that both Starbucks and Pharmasave have similar operating philosophies.
"Our companies have similar values and goals, and we believe our people are our greatest asset, and ultimately focus on what makes the customers lives better and easier."
In early June of 2012, Pharmasave opened a locally-owned cafe We Proudly Serve, part of Starbucks Food Service division. However they continued to push towards a licensed store, as the customer response to Starbucks was above expectations.
"We were fairly certain that we would have a really good response, but to them it definitely was (a surprise)," she said. "It was a challenge to convince Toronto and Vancouver that we had an adequate calling for their coffee in a city with about 17,000 citizens."
Pharmasave partner Al Chilton, who was unable to attend last Thursday's grand opening, provided the following statement on adding the Starbucks at their downtown Pharmasave.
"This is just another time that the people of the Southwest have shown that they will support, beyond what large companies expect, and how proud we are to be part of proving that."
"We were actually informed recently about what a big deal this is for our company and our city," Mann said. She pointed out that Starbucks gets hundreds of licensing applications each year, and Swift Current now has one of just six existing Master Licensing agreements from Starbucks Coffee Canada.
Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer said attracting Starbucks is a nice addition to downtown revitalization. The city has been able to grow by boasting the important comforts and securities of small town living, while offering some of the amenities of larger centers.
"One of those amenities that we all used to only get when we went to bigger cities was a Starbucks coffee. Because of them and their efforts to bring the franchise here, we have Starbucks in Swift Current. So we thank them for their continued leadership and vision and commitment to the people of Swift Current and to our downtown core."