To compete with high-end coffee companies such as Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea and Blue Bottle Coffee Co, Starbucks plans to open its first Starbucks Reserve store in its hometown of Seattle, Washington. The new store will be the first of 1,000 planned locations, Reuters reported.
The Reserve store will be housed in Starbucks’ headquarters and seeks to go beyond the company’s drink menu at the Seattle Reserve Roastery with offerings like nitro draft lattes. In addition, it plans to offer alcoholic drinks and items from Princi Italian bakery.
Overall, the project seeks to “redefine customer connection and continue to serve as a halo to the rest of the business,” according to Howard Schultz, Starbucks co-founder and executive chairman.
While Starbucks has been opening approximately 700 of its traditional stores each year, it eventually plans to launch to 30 Reserve Roastery locations and 1,000 Reserve stores. In addition, the company plans to bring the Reserve experience to its traditional stores by installing Reserve bars at 20 percent of them.
The news comes about two years after Starbucks invested in Princi, an Italian boutique bakery and café known for its artisan breads.
At that time, Starbucks joined a global investment team that included Angel Lab and Pekepan Investments. The group was focused on expanding the number of Princi locations worldwide, as well as making Princi the exclusive supplier of food at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms in New York and Shanghai.
“We have never baked in our stores in 45 years,” Schultz said in a press release announcing the deal. “But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership. 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 everyday part — breakfast, lunch and dinner — in Starbucks Roasteries and Reserve Stores.”