Starbucks investing in upscale chains

StarbucksStarbucks plans to open a new brand of stores called Starbucks Reserve-only starting next year.

The coffee chain has also joined global investment team, Milan-based Angel Lab and Pekepan Investments to expand the footprint of standalone boutique bakery’s and cafes into international markets.

Starbucks Reserve-only will offer premium, small lot reserve coffee in stores that will be approximately twice as large as current Starbucks stores and will feature ‘more of a cafe atmosphere’.

“We recognise our customers expect and desire a higher level of product and we want to give it to them,” said Howard Schultz, company chair and CEO.

The company plans to open the new stores next year in hundreds of locations.

Schultz said the new brand is part of a broader company plan to improve and expand its food offerings.

The company also announced earlier it has partnered with Italian restaurant Princi, the boutique bakery and café founded by Rocco Princi in 1986 known for its artisan breads created from traditional family recipes.

Princi’s menu will become the exclusive food offering in all new Starbucks Roastery locations, including Shanghai and New York and will be fully integrated into all new Starbucks Reserve-only stores starting 2017.

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 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,” Schultz said.

“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.”

Currently, Starbucks has nearly 24,000 stores worldwide and offers Reserve coffee in 2,000 locations in 30 countries.

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