Starbucks Opening New Bakeries In Reserve Roastery Locations
The newest menu items at Starbucks’ (NASDAQ:SBUX) Seattle Reserve Roastery location is freshly baked bread and focaccia sandwiches. Starbucks opened a high-end Italian Princi Bakery inside the location on Tuesday. The new offerings from the bakery include more than 100 menu items made from ingredients imported from Italy.
Rocco Princi, founder of the bakery, opened his first store in the Italian town of Villa San Giovanni when he was 21 years old. In 1986, he expanded his bakery, adding a location in Milan. The bakery currently has just six 24-hour bakery locations worldwide. The bakery is wildly popular among residents in Milan and London
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the launch of the bakeries last year. Last July, Starbucks announced that it had invested in Princi and had become the company’s global licensee. Schultz said at the time, “Of all the great culinary experiences I have had, there are none that come close to what Rocco Princi has done.”
The bakery items will come to other Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations over time, with the current schedule showing them launching in Shanghai in December, Milan in late 2018, and in New York, Tokyo and Chicago later. The company plans to eventually open bakeries inside all of its Reserve locations. Starbucks also plans to open standalone stores in 2018.
The new Princi locations will have full kitchens staffed with bakers and “food ambassadors” called commessas. Schultz said, “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.” Items will be priced between $3 and $11.
The move is a shift for the massive coffee chain. Starbucks is preparing to open its first coffee shops in Italy next year, with a Reserve Roastery in Milan being the first scheduled. Schultz said, “Having Princi in the Roastery in Italy will give us instant credibility, among other things.”
The Seattle-based chain has tried for years, with mixed success, to get its customers to think about the company as a food destination. In 2012, the company paid $100 million for La Boulange, a San Francisco-based company with 23 stores. Starbucks planned to open about 400 new locations in five years, but canceled those plans in 2015, saying the La Boulange bakeries were “not sustainable for the company’s long-term growth.”
However, Starbucks has seen a significant revenue increase from its food sales in recent years. About 20 percent of Starbucks’s $21.32 billion in revenue last year came from food sales, up 16 percent from five years ago. The amount would probably be higher, but many Starbucks stores haven’t had kitchens to prepare foods on site.
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