Starbucks may be the top dog when it comes to coffee chains in the United States, but when it comes to food, they've struggled to find success. A 2012 acquisition of Bay Area bakery La Boulange resulted in all of their stores closing, and pricey grab-and-go lunch items haven't lived up to their value. However, the caffeine giant is hoping to change their foodie fortunes with an Italian bakery chain that will eventually spread across the nation.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks's new venture is centered around Princi, a six-location bakery boutique out of Europe that Starbucks invested in last year. They've since become Princi's global licensee.
Princi's first stop stateside is Seattle, where they've set up inside of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery to craft and sell their baked goods. Starbucks later hopes to expand Princi to their remaining global Roastery locations, and eventually aims to open up stand-alone bakeries starting next year. Each Princi location will sell over 100 items, ranging from traditional Italian baked goods to sandwiches.
For Starbucks, this represents a new chance to seriously get into food. The attempt is definitely bold, given Starbucks's previous struggles with La Boulange and the relatively small size of their new acquisition. However, if their attempt to bring a high-quality Italian bakery chain to the US succeeds, it could be huge for both them and Princi as both move forward together in the ever-competitive culinary scene.