After Starbucks exit, 'Stars Coffee' debuts in Russia

STORY: Starbucks may have left Russia back in May.

But a new chain of coffee shops in the capital Moscow is hoping to replicate its success.

In more ways than one.

Russian restauranteur Anton Pinskiy and rapper Timati debuted new venture 'Stars Coffee' on Thursday.

Its logo and font might bear a striking familiarity to any coffee-drinker walking down the street.

But Timati insists it's all about perception.

"The American company gave its partner in Kuwait a right for a franchise in Russia. And this company was developing its coffee shops under this brand. When Starbucks decided to leave Russia, the company from Kuwait had lost interest in doing business without the brand. So they sold the right to their rental locations. We won the tender -- there were a lot of participants -- acquired it and made our own brand. That is it."

The conflict in Ukraine triggered a months-long exodus of Western corporations from Russia.

But local entrepreneurs are quickly filling that void.

In June, Russians celebrated a new era of fast food - with a homegrown version of McDonald's.

But these enterprises are not without their hard work.

Timati says that because Starbucks had its own resource and production base, they've had to find new suppliers.

Over 15 years, Starbucks grew its presence in Russia to 130 stores that employed a 2,000-strong staff.

While it declined requests for comment, the Seattle-based company referred to an earlier statement, that said it had made the decision to exit the Russian market and no longer had a brand presence there.