New Starbucks cafe in YK readies for May 7 opening

The first Starbucks location ever in the NWT is prepared for its official opening on May 7.

Joining only two other Starbucks locations north of 60 (both in Whitehorse) a handful of staff were busy inside on May 6 with the final touches before the Old Airport Road cafe opens at 9 a.m. on May 7.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring Starbucks to the community for both Yellowknifers born and raised there and also people who’ve moved to Yellowknife,” said Erin Fenwick, spokesperson for franchise owner Soul Foods Group. “We know lots of people from Ontario and B.C. are missing Starbucks. We’re excited to bring our handcrafted coffee drinks to the city.”

The opening will come four days after the neighbouring KFC opened to a huge customer influx on May 3.

RELATED REPORTING: Hundreds of Yellowknifers welcome back KFC

The two businesses are part of the same project that has been planned for three years.

Starbucks will employ about 50 people across different shifts, a staffing level that will meet anticipated demand, said Fenwick.

“The response has been incredible and if it’s anything like KFC or even close to it we know it’ll be quite busy. We’ve seen a lot of response on Facebook and Instagram, especially from the younger generations.

“We hope it’ll be just as busy (as the KFC opening). A lot of people find comfort in their morning coffees. We’re happy to be part of peoples’ morning routines.”

Doors open at 9 a.m. A planned ribbon cutting ceremony was cancelled out of respect for the spread of COVID-19 cases in the city, said Fenwick.

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