Starbucks Corp. has invested in the boutique Italian bakery and café concept Princi, based in Milan and known for its artisan breads, the company said Wednesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Starbucks joins with investment firms Angel Lab and Pekepan Investments for the deal, which includes a stake in a London location of the bakery.
As a result, Starbucks will become a global licensee of the bakery brand and will bring Princi products to its new Starbucks Roastery locations planned for Shanghai and New York, scheduled to open in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The Princi products will also be available in all Starbucks Reserve-only stores, starting in 2017, the company said.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chair and CEO, in a statement.
With the investment, the Princi chain will also grow with stand-alone specialty stores, the company said.
Starbucks will become a global licensee of the bakery brand.
Founded by Rocco Princi in 1986, the bakery-café chain includes five locations worldwide. The bakeries are 24-hour operations offering light breakfasts to dinner from an “always on” beechwood-fired oven, Starbucks said.
“Rocco and his team at Princi possess a passion for hand-crafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee,” said Schultz. “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.”
Starbucks acquired the French-inspired La Boulange chain in 2012 and reworked food offerings across its core brand, including 14,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Those products will continue to be available, the company said.
Starbucks has about 24,000 stores worldwide.
This story was originally published by Nation’s Restaurant News.