Bonjour, Quebec City! Starbucks at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

I was surprised to see a Starbucks as part of the mix of retail stores at Quebec City's Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. The last time I stayed here in November 2009, I didn't notice it. Well, there are five in Quebec City (one is across the river in Levis), all part of the Seattle-based company's expansion into La Belle Province.

According to The Financial Post, there are less than 50 stores in the province of Quebec, "a market that has traditionally been a tough one to crack for non-francophone businesses."

No surprise that Starbucks opened its first Canadian store in Vancouver, which is a 3.5 hour drive north of the Howard Schultz coffee bean empire. That was in 1987, and today there are 1,070 stores in Canada.

I've yet to go to Starbucks here during my time at the New France Festival, as generally I prefer patronizing a locally owned coffee shop, like the one in Edmonton. Starbucks Chateau Frontenac, located on the terrace level of the iconic hotel overlooking the St. Lawrence River, even has a Facebook page. So far, only one person "likes" it.

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