Recognized around the world by the trademark coffee grower and his donkey, Juan Valdez is a household name in Colombia and the largest and most common coffee brand in Barranquilla. Popular with locals and foreigners alike, Juan Valdez offers a static menu of traditional coffees, iced drinks and a few types of juice plus a basic menu of cakes, cookies and typical snacks.
On the downside (depending on your perspective), here in Colombia, coffee is traditionally served in a tiny cup and Juan Valdez is no exception; the largest size available is 16 ounces. Also, unlike in North America or Europe, the locations aren’t particularly comfortable. There are no sofas or armchairs.
Here in Barranquilla, Juan Valdez holds market share; as of yet no other brand name cafes have taken hold to such a large extent. There is word of a Starbucks on the way, and it will be interesting to see how some stiff competition impacts service.