Starbucks Just Opened Its First Italian Bakery In the U.S.
You'll be able to choose from more than 100 authentic baked goods.
Starbucks is opening its very first high-end Italian bakery at its Reserve Roastery in Seattle, where the coffee giant first got its start.
Starbucks Roasteries are basically amusement parks for coffee: They showcase the craft of roasting and brewing, featuring coffees from around the world. Now, through a partnership with Princi, an Italian bakery and café with locations throughout Europe, the Roastery will also serve a slew of Italian-inspired sandwiches, bread, pizza(!), and other baked goods. (Related: The Healthiest Things You'll Find On the Starbucks Menu)
Right now, Starbucks Roasteries sell a few food items, like their infamous cake pops, that are all prepared outside of its stores. But for the first time ever, they'll also make fresh baked goods on-site, using a mix of imported Italian ingredients and locally sourced products.
With more than 140 new items to choose from, the experience is meant to emulate what it would feel like if you lived in Italy and stopped by your local bakery for a croissant in the morning or a sandwich with freshly baked ciabatta for lunch. (BTW, did you know you can now get avocado on everything at Starbucks?)
Another big difference between the Starbucks bakery and a traditional Starbucks store is that it will serve cocktails, beer, and wine. So customers will be able to stop by after work for a quick drink and appetizers or stay for a whole meal.
The force behind this new concept is renowned Italian baker Rocco Princi, who's been in the business for three-plus decades. Right now Princi has five of his own locations in Milan and one in London. The Starbucks Seattle roastery will be his first venture in the U.S.
"His passion for authentic food and respect for Milanese culture come through in everything he does," said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks, in a statement. "I think our customers are going to fall in love with Princi."
Soon, Princi will be the exclusive food supplier for all Starbucks Roasteries, including the ones in Shanghai, Milan, New York, Chicago, and Tokyo. And if you don't live by a Roastery, don't worry. Starbucks will start opening stand-alone Princi stores across the country starting 2018.