If consumers thought spending more than $4 for a latte with extra foam and coconut milk made them feel fancy, just wait until they hear about Starbuck's latest business deal.
The Seattle-based coffee company announced the acquisition of Princi, an Italian upscale bakery and pizzeria. With this new deal, Starbucks has plans to open its own line of high-end cafés that are inspired by the taste of Italy.
With this acquisition, the coffee company will open new stores called Starbucks Reserve-only, which will look more like cafés than fast food java joints and that will be twice as large as current Starbucks locations. Starbucks Reserve-only will sell a wide selection of premium, small-lot reserve coffees with coffee beans being roasted in-store. These locations are expected to start opening next year. The cafés will also feature manual espresso machines with four different brewing methods so that customers truly get the cup of caffeine they are seeking to sip.
Since these are high-end stores, consumers can expect to pay even more for coffee, although the menu and prices have not yet been revealed. Of course, this comes after news that Starbucks will be raising the prices of its cups of coffee at existing locations.
However, customers may expect to be able to order fresh pastries, pizza with tomato and mozzarella, focaccia bread or cannoncinis.
Besides a new chain of high-end establishments planned to be opened that serves Princi food, the deal also allows the company to sell Princi menu items into its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room location based in Seattle. This means it's the first time that in-store baking will come to the chain, which can help bring more fresh and tasty items to the menu instead of the typical bagel or cake pop.
"We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership," said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. "Rocco and his team at Princi possess a passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee. 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."
Starbucks also has plans to open more of its Roastery mega-stores in Shanghai and New York in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
This move will help Starbucks to improve its food selection as it finds a way to capitalize on the food sales market, which it has been attempting to do since acquiring La Boulange bakeries for a reported $100 million in 2012 — an attempt that is viewed as being unsuccessful.
While financial details were not revealed about this new acquisition, the company is allowed to license Princi's name and brand globally.
There are currently five Princi bakery and café locations in Milan and London, whereas the company first opened in 1986 by Rocco Princi and has become known for its artisan breads. Starbucks has plans to open more Princi bakeries, along with adding its items to its new stores.
The Starbucks Reserve-only locations will open in 2017.
Photo: whity | Flickr