Starbucks has become a global licensee and investor in the Italian restaurant and bakery chain Princi, which has five locations including one in London.
The investment team, which includes Milan-based Angel Lab and Pekepan Investments, will focus on expanding the number of standalone Princi locations worldwide as well as making Princi the exclusive food purveyor at the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms in Shanghai and New York.
The move will mean that Starbucks will begin producing food inside its stores for the first time.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “Rocco Princi [founder] and his team at Princi possess a passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee. The attention to detail, the care invested in selecting the ingredients and the artistry of preparation is second only to the service Rocco offers customers inside his Princi stores.
“I can think of no better pairing for our most premium coffee experience and am excited by the possibilities we envision in Princi food elevating every day-part – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – in Starbucks Roasteries and Reserve Stores.”
Princi locations are well-known for their 24-hour operations, offering customers everything from light breakfast to impressive dinners from an ‘always-on’ beechwood fired oven.
“As a young man, I dreamed of the opportunity to bring traditional Italian baking to customers in my country but when I opened our location in London, I realised how much we could also offer an international clientele,” said Rocco Princi, founder of Princi Restaurant (pictured). “I have long admired Starbucks, the values Howard has imbedded into his organisation and we are honoured to be a part of bringing to life an entirely new retail environment with the Roasteries.”
In addition to the expansion of standalone Princi specialty stores and inclusion of fresh baking in Starbucks Roasteries, the company will partner with Rocco Princi to bring a premium food experience to its new Reserve-only stores starting in 2017.
Since the acquisition of La Boulange in 2012, Starbucks reinvented its food portfolio at more than 14,000 stores in the US and Canada, and will continue to bring customers authentic French homemade specialtiesy on a grand scale.
Currently, Starbucks has nearly 24,000 stores worldwide and offers Reserve coffee in nearly 2,000 locations in 30 countries.