Starbucks Opens A Standalone Chain Of High-End Italian Bakeries

Starbucks is known for its high-quality coffee, and now the chain has food to match. November 7 marks the opening of Princi, Starbucks' new Italian bakery-cafe at the Reserve Roastery in Seattle. It's the brainchild of acclaimed artisan baker Rocco Princi, who runs six additional standalone stores across Milan and London.

Say farewell to cake pops. The new location's menu offers over 100 authentic items, such as baked eggs, caprese salads, buffalo mozzarella-stuffed focaccia sandwiches, cookies, and tarts. Each dish, priced between $3 and $11, will be made with fresh ingredients imported straight from Italy. You can even swap your White Mocha Latte for a cocktail instead.

"We're getting into the food business," Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz told The Washington Post. "Princi will be fully integrated with bakery operations, so not only will we be roasting coffee, but we'll be baking bread, pastries — the kind of Italian pastries you've never seen in America."

Unlike traditional eateries, Princi will not have a printed menu. Customers will be approached by "commessas" — or food ambassadors — to guide them through food sampling, tasting, and ordering.

Over the next few years, fans can expect to see the Princi menu offered at Starbucks Roastery Reserve locations in Shanghai, Milan, New York City, Tokyo, and Chicago. Each café's kitchen will be stacked with bakers and chefs with a collective 125 years of culinary experience.

For more on the Seattle-based coffee giant, check out these 20 things you didn't know about Starbucks.