Kory Tarpenning is a well-known figure in Monaco’s business community. The former Olympic pole vaulter is co-owner of the county’s three Starbucks, Nike store and Rossano Ferretti Hairspa, next to the Hotel de Paris.
Like other non-essential services, Tarpenning and his business partner Jean-Francois Calmes had to close shop when the Principality entered lockdown on March 17 in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “We had to put practically all our employees on temporary layoff, which was about 70 in total,” Tarpenning tells Forbes Monaco.
Monaco’s multi-phased deconfinement plan, as explained last night by minister of finance and economy, Jean Castellini, will allow all commercial activity to open from May 4, if businesses abide by strict new health measures.
“We plan to reopen the Nike store and the Rossano Ferretti Hairspa next week under the strict guidelines of the government, which means limiting the number of clients in the store at any one time, as well as following all of the hygienic procedures for safety,” explains Tarpenning.
“Additionally, we will reopen Starbucks but only for takeaway and obviously following the same rules set out by the government.”
Tarpenning, who will be part of a discussion on “Our Economy” during a TEDxMonteCarloSalon virtual session today 4:30 p.m., says it remains to be seen how quickly people will reengage in normal activity. “I am sure this will take some time to return to some sort of normalcy.”
Born in Portland, Oregon, Tarpenning opened the first Starbucks in Monaco in December 2013. He says the “initial reaction was fantastic” to the Jardin Apolline location, both from local residents and the thousands of daily commuters from France and Italy. “It goes without saying that the high number of international tourists who travel to Monaco for holiday have also been happy to find Starbucks upon their arrival,” he states.
The demand was so high for the coffeehouse chain—“a comfortable place to enjoy your favourite coffee as you would in your own home”— that the American opened a second location on the other side of Monaco. “We found a fantastic location on the rooftop of the Ni Box, outside the doors of the Fairmont Hotel and opened in August of 2016. This location has proven to be very strong as it serves a different customer base, which is driven largely by tourism.”
Tarpenning, 58, opened a third Starbucks in the main hall of the Monaco train station just before Christmas 2019. The café, a few steps away from the tracks, features the latest Starbucks design behind the bar, free Wifi, and seats approximately 60 customers, providing full view of the arrivals and departures screens.