Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced Tuesday that it’s officially in the Italian baking business.
The coffee chain opened its first Italian Princi bakery in Seattle as part of an investment to grow its Reserve Roastery locations.
Princi, which already has six locations in Milan and London, entered an exclusive agreement with Starbucks to offer its specialized Italian breads and food in all of the coffee chain’s new Reserve Roastery locations, with plans to open one in Shanghai in December 2017, Milan in late 2018 and New York, Tokyo and Chicago thereafter.
Starbucks’ executive chairman Howard Schultz said in a statement that Italian baker Rocco Princi has created an Italian food experience that he thinks is “unparalleled.”
“His passion for authentic food and respect for Milanese culture come through in everything he does, and I think our customers are going to fall in love with Princi,” Schultz wrote.
Each Princi location will now offer more than 100 menu items to its Starbucks consumers — from flaky cornetti to focaccia sandwiches filed with salame Milano and mozzarella di bufala, with all ingredients imported directly from Italy.
In 2016, Starbucks announced that it had joined a global investment team that included Milan-based Angel Capital Management and Pekepan Investments to expand Princi bakeries into international markets. Starbucks said it plans to open multiple standalone bakeries in addition to its Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations as part of the deal in 2018.