116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Business
SEATTLE - Starbucks is taking Howard Schultz's romance with Italian espresso and food to a new level with Tuesday's unveiling inside a Starbucks Roastery of a high-end shop inspired and implemented by master Milanese baker Rocco Princi.
Rows of fresh, round loaves of bread with the Princi name baked into the top rise over racks of buttery croissants and pastries of all sorts, backed by an impressive wall of cast-iron ovens. A rotating menu ranges from pizza to a spongy Delizia al Limone dessert at $11 a slice.
Along with the attached cocktail bar, Princi underscores Starbucks' long-running agenda to extend its business into the evening hours.
The opening is the first step in ambitious plans to take Princi's handcrafted food - with all ingredients supplied by the small-scale Italian cheesemakers, charcutiers and other producers whose photos Rocco Princi carries on his mobile phone - into hundreds of new highbrow locations.
The effort will test whether Starbucks has found the right recipe for sandwiching together investor expectations and artisanal attitudes, or whether it once again will encounter disappointment outside the premium coffee category that the company pioneered.
Schultz envisions, over time, more than 1,000 stand-alone Princi stores, as well as 1,000-plus Starbucks Reserve stores that sell only the company's Reserve single-origin coffees and food by Princi. It also will be a centerpiece of the 20 to 30 Roastery flagships he foresees 'in globally iconic cities.”
Lessons, and perhaps products, from the Princi line may also find their way into the conventional Starbucks stores, but 'it won't be everywhere,” he said.