Starbucks to open its first store in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Starbucks says it will open its first cafe in Colombia, where the popular Juan Valdez chain has a very firm foothold.

The Seattle-based chain says the Bogota store will open in the first half of 2014 and be operated through a joint venture between the company's Latin American franchisee, Alsea, and the food company Grupo Nutresa.

Starbucks says it has "aggressive plans" to open cafes across Colombia over the next five years.

CEO Howard Schultz says Starbucks has discussed with Colombia's coffee federation increasing its use of Colombian coffee worldwide by about 20 percent over the next three years.

The federation is a partner in the Juan Valdez chain, which has more than 225 shops, mostly in Colombia. Starbucks says it has more than 650 stores in Latin America.