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Starbucks opens first Princi location, teases more to come in 2018

  • Situated in the company's flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, the Princi bakery is Starbucks' stepping stone into the highly coveted lunch segment.
  • The menu at Princi in Seattle includes more than 100 items including croissants, foccacia sandwiches and salads.
  • While Princi food will only be available at Starbucks' Roasteries, the company plans to open standalone Princi stores starting in 2018.
Starbucks opening Princi bakery in Seattle.
Source: Starbucks
Starbucks opening Princi bakery in Seattle.

Starbucks latest menu innovation has nothing to do with limited-time Frappuccinos.

More than a year after investing in high-end Italian bakery Princi, the coffee giant has finally opened its first location. Situated in the company's flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, the Princi bakery is Starbucks' stepping stone into the highly coveted lunch segment.

Starbucks has been steadily entering the food market, growing its non-drink offerings from pastries to sandwiches. Last week, the company said that it has seen revenue from food increase 15 percent year-over-year and now food sales account for 21 percent of sales in the U.S.

"This is an opportunity for us to elevate food," Howard Schultz, Starbucks' founder and executive chairman, said after inking the deal with Princi in July 2016.

Sandwiches and salads offered at the Princi bakery in Seattle.
Source: Starbucks
Sandwiches and salads offered at the Princi bakery in Seattle.

The menu at Princi in Seattle includes more than 100 items including croissants, foccacia sandwiches and salads.

Princi bakeries will be incorporated to all of Starbucks' future Roastery locations including the Shanghai Roastery, which is slated to open in December; the Milan Roastery, which will open in late 2018; and in the New York, Tokyo and Chicago Roasteries, which do not have official opening dates.

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" coffees.

While Princi food will only be available at Starbucks' Roasteries, the company plans to open standalone Princi stores starting in 2018.

Last week, Starbucks reported revenue that fell below Wall Street estimates as foot traffic at its Starbucks cafes has slowed. Starbucks customers are spending more while they're there, which helped the company hit earnings targets.

Still, Starbucks had to moderate expectations for its long-term growth, and slashed estimates for 2018.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told CNBC Friday he was "optimistic" the company will exceed these new targets.