Starbucks: Serving Coffee and Community at River District

After much anticipation, the River District community can now get their caffeine fix at their very own Starbucks with Reserve location at 8540 River District Crossing, right in Town Centre. Since its grand opening in mid-April, Starbucks River District has already made a wonderful impression on the local residents, with many coming down for their regular cup of joe, taking their time and sitting in, while enjoying the friendly, welcoming aura and plentiful natural light that this gorgeous new location provides, thanks to glass overhead sectional garage doors that can be opened up to the expansive patio.

Welcome to Starbucks River District!

We sat down with Gavin and Sandie, the managers of our new favourite neighbourhood hang out, to welcome them to River District and discuss two of our favourite things – Coffee and Community.

Gavin and Sandie, Starbucks Managers


Starbucks is a household name – but what people may not know too much about is the difference between a typical Starbucks and a Starbucks with Reserve location. Starbucks with Reserve locations offer everything the typical Starbucks does with additions exclusive only to the Reserve brand. These additions include certain types of coffee that are available only in limited quantities and special brewing technology not available at other Starbucks.

Nitro Cold Brew

“One of the biggest offerings we have that is not available at non-Reserve locations is our Nitrogen Infused Cold Brew,” says Gavin, Starbucks Store Manager. “Rather than brewing coffee hot and cooling it down with ice as we do with Iced Coffee, we instead brew it for over 20 hours without heat, allowing all the natural soft citrus flavours and deep sweet notes of the coffee to be extracted. After that, we infuse the Cold Brew with nitrogen to give it a smooth, creamy texture and mouth feel. Because of this texture you don’t necessarily need to add milk or cream- but it’s delicious with vanilla sweet cream as well.”

“Another thing specific to Starbucks with Reserve locations is the special Clover brewing method. It’s a vacuum brewing method that adjusts temperature and brewing time specifically for every single blend or roast coffee bean. You’re left with a cup of coffee that highlights all the notes of the coffee with an exceptionally clean finish,” Gavin adds.

Limited quantities of special coffees sourced from around the world can also be found only in Starbucks Reserve locations. Sandie, Starbucks Area Manager elaborates, “Every year, Starbucks travels the world in search of great, 100% ethically sourced, fair trade coffee that we want to share. These are then offered at our stores as small-lot Starbucks Reserve Coffees for a limited time. Of these, the Rwandan Abakundakawa blend – a bright, citrusy coffee – is my favourite.”

Rwanda Small-Lot Coffee

“After the Rwandan civil war, thousands of widows found themselves the sole breadwinners for their families. They came together to form a coffee co-op and took over complete operation of the business from the coffee farm, to production, to sales. I find it so touching that even in difficult situations we still bear witness to the strength of women who have come together and done something wonderful at the face of extreme adversity. And every time someone buys a cup of Abakundakawa, they are supporting these women,” describes Sandie.


The residents of River District are so happy with the newest addition to their neighbourhood at Town Centre, and the feeling is certainly mutual. We asked Sandie and Gavin why River District is the perfect location for Starbucks with Reserve.

“We wanted to be here at the very start, at the ground level of a strong community. Knowing the vision that was coming to life, we wanted to be an integral part in the growth of this beautiful waterfront community. Wesgroup, the property developer’s core values also align so strongly with ours as sustainability, innovation, and environmental conscientiousness are all principles that we hold dear to our hearts,” says Sandie.

“It’s a great feeling starting small – planting a seed in our minds about the idea of a Starbucks here, watching it grow as the buildings slowly rise from the ground, getting to know all the construction workers here, getting to know regulars who come in their pyjamas, and now as more residents move in we are into the exciting next phase of letting them know that we are here, that they are welcome to come here, relax, and have a cup of coffee in their second home.”