An abundance of baked items are pulled from woodfire ovens and placed on counters before customers who contemplate their choices.
Will it be the crostata pastry loaded with dark chocolate and topped with raspberry jam, or a slice of rich tomato and mozzarella pizza that’s just been cut in a square with scissors? Perhaps a treat behind a long glass case that reflects the light and invite the eyes – a croissant, focaccia bread or cannoncini?
The Italian artisan baker behind these hand-crafted selections is Rocco Princi, who opened his first bakery in Milan in 1986, expanded to five renowned Princi specialty stores over the years, and is now bringing his signature artisanal baked goods to all new Starbucks Roastery locations, including Shanghai and New York. In a place where the roasting and brewing of the world’s finest coffees takes center stage with small lot Starbucks Reserve coffees, the Roasteries are the perfect environment for Princi’s masterful creations.
“You can feel the passion and craft that goes in to every morsel of food that he makes. Rocco is in his stores, behind the counter, teaching his people and delivering visually beautiful, mouthwatering food,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and ceo. “I’ve been exposed to great culinary experiences around the world, and nothing comes close to what Rocco Princi creates.”
‘From his heart to your hand’
The master baker is known throughout Milan for his artisan breads made from traditional Italian recipes.
“Baking is in his soul. That’s where his recipes begin; then it comes from his heart to your hand,” said Liz Muller, vice president of Starbucks Creative and Global Design. “When I think about the texture, aroma and taste of his food, a smile comes to my face. It is extraordinary.”
Muller, the designer behind Starbucks Roasteries, describes Princi baked goods and Starbucks Reserve coffees as “a beautiful marriage.”
“What we do with our small-batch coffees is take very special beans and develop a recipe to roast them perfectly. Rocco’s artisanal approach matches the care we take with our coffees, crafted and prepared with passion and care,” she said. “There is artistry to what we both do to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers.”
Princi store environments are a subtle, yet significant part of the customer experience. Natural materials, marble, and earth-colored stone, set the backdrop for baked items displayed with bright, warm lighting.
The design of Princi bakeries allows for transparency of ingredients. Customers see tomatoes, peppers, and flour in bins. The intentional presentation is similar to the Starbucks Roastery environment where customers are thoughtfully immersed in the experience of coffee roasting.
“We’re going to be baking from scratch in our Roasteries the kind of food that perfectly complements our most premium coffee experience,” said Schultz. “We are honored to be working with Rocco Princi to bring the leading Italian artisan bakery and food purveyor, Princi, to customers around the world.”