Image courtesy of Starbucks
On Tuesday, July 31, Starbucks opened its first standalone Princi bakery and cafe in the United States, located at the north end of downtown Seattle. This follows the February opening of a Princi bakery inside of its Seattle Reserve Roastery.

Starbucks worked closely with Rocco Princi and his team to design the new location. It takes inspiration from Princi’s original Milan (Italy) bakery and the nearby Starbucks Reserve Roastery, with natural materials, earth-colored stone, hand-blown glass light fixtures, hand-rubbed plaster on the walls, and an overall commitment to craftsmanship.

“When you first walk into a Princi bakery, you’re suddenly hit by the energy, the theater, the smell,” says Christian Davies, Starbucks vice president, Creative Global Design & Innovation. “Your first impression is the abundance and seduction of food. That’s what we’re trying to create with a distinctly Italian look and feel to bring that passion to life.”

Image courtesy of Starbucks
Fresh baking on-site is a centerpiece of the new establishment, and a brightly-lit food case stretching along the width of the space provides a visual landscape of freshly-baked breads, pizzas, and desserts. The new store features the full Princi menu of artisanal baked goods. Among the myriad items available to customers are steel-cut oats with Italian jam, baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, cornetti sandwiches made with prosciutto cotto and fontina, soups, salads, focaccia sandwiches, pizza, hot entrees, Italian cakes, tarts, and other desserts. 

“We wanted to make sure every one of these elements is created with the same level of detail that Rocco puts into his food,” says Davies.

Throughout the course of each day, beverages will be a major focal point. Starbucks Reserve Princi Blend is the signature coffee offering, along with handcrafted espresso beverages made on a manual espresso machine. Additionally, Bar Mixato is a unique beverage counter that will serve traditional Italian aperitivo such as cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits. These beverages will be accompanied by complimentary small plates.

Image courtesy of Starbucks
A patio area for customers to relax and enjoy their food and beverages will open up to a planned new city park later this year.
“When you go to Italy, you’ll always find people on the patio,” says Davies. “I hope customers will come here and find the spirit of Milan.”

In the fall, more standalone versions of Princi bakery are expected to open in Chicago and New York City.