Delaware’s newest Starbucks store debuted in North Wilmington on Friday with no ads or fanfare, save four
balloons in the company’s signature colors of white and green. Still, four people were waiting in line when the doors opened at 5 a.m.
The store, which replaced a Wendy’s at 4125 Concord Pike, is the 19th Starbucks in New Castle County. Store Manager Alicia Uebler said it offers two features most local Starbucks don’t – nitro coldbrew iced coffee and a drive-thru window.
Joanne Rooney, who has been a customer at the Starbucks on Marsh Road for more than a decade, said coffee drinkers in North Wilmington have been waiting for the store to open. “It’s a drive-thru. That’s what everyone wants. That’s huge,” she said.
The 3,000-square-foot store has a clean, modern vibe with dark grey tiles contrasting with white oak
laminate. It features a coffee preparation area with seating on the perimeter so customers can watch their drinks being made.
Starbucks, the second most valuable food brand worldwide after McDonald’s, has 39.8 percent of the U.S. coffee market, according to Statista. The chain is moving toward more spotlight on its baristas.
“They’re working on making all the stores more of an art piece,” said Daniel Fullman, a supervisor at the new store who has worked at three other Starbucks. “It’s really like they’re creating a stage where we can perform our craft, and they give us the opportunity to kind of express ourselves individually through maybe latte art or the way we decorate a drink.”
The store will feature coffee-tasting workshops where baristas and customers will discuss different roasts and how they bring out the flavors.
Customers’ eyes widened as they entered the new store, a stark contrast with the former Wendy’s. “Everyone who comes in says, ‘This is definitely not Wendy’s,’” Uebler said.
The store will employ 24 staff members, a larger number than most Starbucks because of the drive-thru window.