Bo’s Coffee opens biggest store in Marawi; Starbucks drive-thru launched in Davao 

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LOCAL CAFÉ chain Bo’s Coffee, which has a nationwide network of about 100 shops, opened its biggest store in Marawi City, the company announced Sunday.   

“The almost 1,000 sqm structure of Bo’s Coffee will be a steady symbol of recovery, resiliency, restoration and rebirth for the community,” the company said in a post on its Facebook page.   

A large part of Marawi’s central area was damaged by a five-month heavy gun battle in 2017 between government forces and ISIS-linked militant groups that laid siege to the city.   

The special committee that oversaw the city’s reconstruction program reported in May last year that rebuilding work, mostly for public infrastructure and relocation houses, was 72% complete. Rehabilitation work is continuing with the extension of the special committee under the new administration.   

The Bo’s Coffee shop, located in the capitol area, has a “360-degree panoramic view” of the city, the company said.   

In Davao City, Starbucks recently launched its 6th local store and the first with a drive-thru service.   

“We are pleasantry surprised how strong the business here in Davao, specially here in Damosa IT Park. I think it’s a combination, its drive-thru plus its much larger store,” Noey T. Lopez, president of Rustan Coffee Corp., licensee of Starbucks in the Philippines, said in an interview.  

Starbucks opened its first store in Davao City in 2011 with a branch at the Abreeza Ayala Mall. It has since opened two other shops at SM Malls, one stand-alone shop near the Davao Convention Center, and another at the IT Park Matina.   

“It’s a great sign, there’s so much opportunity, not just in Davao but in Mindanao,” Mr. Lopez said.  

He said the coronavirus pandemic fast-tracked the development of drive-thru stores.   

“You weren’t allowed to mingle in a café, we’ve been growing that part of the business. Not only in Davao but throughout the Philippines,” he said.   

Starbucks has over 400 stores in the Philippines, with over 30 offering drive-thru service.— Marifi S. Jara and Maya M. Padillo