The ever-evolving Starbucks is setting its sights on a new audience. Lunch-goers and dinner-seekers have a new option available to them in Seattle, as the company opens the first stage of its bakery partnership with Princi, a London and Milan-based 24-hour bakery. The new addition to the Starbucks family will be its first stand-alone Italian bakery.
“We’re getting into the food business,” Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Princi will be fully integrated with bakery operations, so not only will we be roasting coffee, but we’ll be baking bread, pastries—the kind of Italian pastries you’ve never seen in America.”
The new menu will offer customers house-baked goods, including focaccia sandwiches, margherita pizzas, and tiramisu. Tuesday marked the first day customers could get their hands on the new products Princi bakery is offering at Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery in Seattle. Hopeful for the success of this new business venture, the company is looking to open more bakeries in all of its Reserve locations and stand-alone Princi bakeries. State-side Princi employees will be employed by Starbucks. Locations for the upcoming openings in the the U.S. will include New York, Seattle, and Chicago.
“There is a perception that Starbucks is selling an inferior product,” Nick Setyan, an analyst for Wedbush Securities, told The Washington Post in September. “Customers are saying, ‘How good can that salad or sandwich be if you’re not making it in front of me?’”
With full kitchens installed, staffed bakers and commessas, or “food ambassadors,” will be offering customers over 100 items on a full menu. According to Eater, there will be no need for printed menus, as this new business design is geared towards personal touches. Commessas will be tending to customers and informing them what is available at the moment based on their tastes. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options will be offered at the locations. Prices range from $3 to $11 for all of the goodies.
After the popular European bakery’s 1980 roots took firm grip in the hearts and stomachs of its customers, Starbucks stepped into the ring when it announced last July that it invested in Princi and took on the role of its global licensee.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership,” Schultz said in a statement at the time. “Rocco and his team at Princi possess a passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee.”
With this new design for a bakery partnership, Starbucks will be addressing its audiences more acutely and with calculated attention on their varying needs and desires.
Good luck on the new venture, Starbucks and Princi. We look forward to seeing your new business plan grow and thrive.