Waianae Residents: Starbucks is a Good Sign for the Community

Jacob Miller
Jacob Miller
Pi'i Colburn
Pi'i Colburn

WAIANAE (KHNL) - The smell of Starbucks Coffee is just about everywhere on Oahu, everywhere except the Leeward side. That was until last week, when the popular chain opened its doors in Waianae.

The new Waianae Starbucks hasn't even been open for a week, but already, it has regulars.

"I usually get the White Chocolate Mocha Frappacino," says Jacob Miller. "Its pretty good and I always have it with whipped cream topped with cinnamon."

Starbucks knows they're offering a luxury, so they have market planning specialists who do lots of research. They won't open a new store, until they decide an area is affluent enough to support this kind of indulgence.

"I think its just proving itself, because we've been crazy busy ever since we opened," said store manager Pi'i Colburn.

Starbucks waited a long time to come to Waianae. The cheapest, "basic" coffee they offer is around $1.60, but most people here spend way more than that.

"In terms of price, it can go to maybe about seven or eight dollars, if they want it bad enough. And there are people who come every day and spend that much money."

"I ususally spend about 30, 40 0r 50 dollars a week" said Miller.

In the short time they've been open, the store has been very successful.

"Waianae people apparently love Starbucks because our sales are going through the roof," said Colburn. "I'm pretty sure we've broke some records out there because we've been busy from the time we open the door, to the time we close the door at night."

Colburn says she also plans to participate in Starbucks Corporate Social Responsibility program, and reach out to the community.

The new store is located in the Waianae Shopping Center on Farrington Highway.