Starbucks Corporation announced its role as global licensee and investor in Italian restaurant Princi, the renowned boutique bakery and café founded by Rocco Princi in 1986. Known for its artisan breads created from traditional family recipes, Princi’s five locations have become beloved experiences for customers across Milan and 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. Announced earlier this year, these immersive coffee experiences bring to life Starbucks line of premium, small-lot Reserve coffees in a retail space that allows the roasting, brewing, and craft of coffee to take center stage. The Shanghai and New York Roastery locations are on track to open in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years, but all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership,” says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO. “Rocco 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 daypart, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in Starbucks Roasteries and Reserve Stores.”
Considered by many as the finest example of a modern eatery, every detail is considered in a Princi store from the minimalist aesthetic designed by architect Claudio Silvestrin to the uniforms created by a renowned Italian designer. In addition, Princi locations are well-known for their 24 hours of operation, 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 realized how much we could also offer an international clientele,” Princi says. “I have long admired Starbucks, the values Howard has imbedded into his organization, and we are honored 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 also 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 U.S. and Canada, and will continue to bring customers authentic French homemade specialties, delivering true culinary artistry on a grand scale. Currently, Starbucks has nearly 24,000 stores worldwide and offers Reserve coffee in nearly 2,000 locations in 30 countries.