Starbucks teams with Italian baker to bring fresh-baked goods to select stores

Starbucks is about to try something it hasn't done in its 45-year history: It's going to start baking on site at select stores.

The coffee chain has teamed up with top Italian baker Rocco Princi to bring artisan bakery items to its upscale Roastery locations, which are slated to open in cities like New York and Shanghai starting in 2017.

These "mega-stores" are designed to be much larger than a traditional Starbucks cafe and allow the company to do small-batch roastings of "rare and exotic" Reserve coffees.

The company's flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in its home market of Seattle in 2014.

"This is an opportunity for us to elevate food," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told reporters ahead of the announcement. "This will once again reaffirm Starbucks' leadership in all things coffee."

Though Reserve brand coffees can be purchased from traditional Starbucks locations, Princi food will only be available at Roasteries and locations that exclusively serve Reserve coffee.

The company did not disclose how many Roastery locations would be opening, or how much it is investing in the deal with Princi.

Starbucks has been steadily entering the food market, growing its non-drink offerings from pastries to sandwiches. Back in January, the company revealed that it had seen a nearly 20 percent increase in revenue from food products year-over-year, due, in part, to its breakfast sandwich selections and lunch Bistro Boxes.