With only three Starbucks locations in Provo, all built inside of already-existing buildings, the global franchise has made a major move by opening its first stand-alone location in Provo next to Brigham Young University.

Starbucks Regional Director Brad Nielsen said the company has taken time to develop significant establishments in the Provo-Orem area due to the exponential growth markets Utah and Idaho are seeing.

The international coffee company began opening locations in more highly-populated parts of the state before making its way to smaller towns and growing university cities.

A little over a year ago, the company opened locations in Pleasant Grove and Vineyard, and there are plans to open more locations in Saratoga Springs and Draper later this year.

“It’s just been a matter of finding the right real estate and right locations,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen was born and raised in the Provo area, graduating from the old Provo High School before attending Brigham Young University from 1983-1987.

Nielsen’s father, Swen Nielsen, retired as Chief of Police over the Provo City Police Department after over 37 years in law enforcement and more than 20 years in Provo.

“Provo is where I grew up,” Nielsen said. “I love this city. I was super excited to be a part of helping select the store to come there. It’s a place that I love, and I think it’s beautiful.”

Leaning on the physical beauty of the area and the history behind Mt. Timpanogos, Nielsen asked a Salt Lake City Artist to paint a mural inside the location that depicts the unique and beautiful nature of the area.

Evan Jed had nine days to finish the mural, ending the process with an 18-hour sprint to the finish line.

The mural depicts Mt. Timpanogos with rays of golden light coming from behind the massive rock structures.

In the left corner, Jed included an homage to the original legend of Timpanac the indigenous warrior and Utahna the indigenous princess by including the princess’ face among the hills.

“It’s the only store in the entire system that has something like that,” Nielsen said.

The new location is expected to bring about 25 employee positions to the area with benefits such as health care, paid time off and free tuition through Arizona State University’s online program.

Starbucks has already begun the process to open a second location. The new location, expected to open toward the end of 2021, will also bring about 25 new employment opportunities.

The company is looking to position the second location on South University Avenue.

The first location at 1158 N. University Avenue has since opened and is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until June 1.

After June 1, the location expects to open earlier and remain open later. At the present time, the location is only take drive-thru orders.

This location is No. 59 in the state of Utah.

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