Princi bread for Starbucks: the new alliance with the US brand and a shop in Seattle in 2017

Jul 21 2016, 07:57 | by Livia Montagnoli

The alliance between Howard Schultz and Rocco Princi confirms the renowned coffee chain’s attention in regards to Italy, where Starbucks will land in 2017 in Milan. Meanwhile Princi bread will be sold in the most prestigious Starbucks stores and in a year’s time will have its own store inside the Seattle flagship coffee shop, founded in 1971.

While waiting for Milan

Although not in Italy just yet, the wait will however end soon, with the first ever (one of many?) opening in Milan. Meanwhile Starbucks continues its lucky streak and confirms its attention for Italy: the one country where it has had the most trouble taking off. The times are now mature for frappuccino and tall, American style caffeinated beverages. The world’s most famous US chain of coffee houses boasting the biggest global market appeal, only a short time ago confirmed its commitment to include Italy in its list. In Italy Starbucks had to face deep-seated tradition and habit: not an easy task. While in Italy specialty coffees are currently trending – a sign that things are actually changing – Starbucks vows to not subtract espresso lovers from their morning ritual. Rather, come spring of 2017, offer the Milan public a valid 360 degree alternative. 

The deal sealed with Princi

Howard Schultz, Ceo at Starbucks, who relies on the Italy project designed by Antonio Percassi (the same person dealing with Wagamama in Italy, as we recently learned), seems seriously committed to threading a series of important alliances, thus helping the brand’s international growth. This can be said for the deal sealed with Princi, Italy’s most well-known bakery brand worldwide. The bakery was founded by Calabria native Rocco Princi in Milan thirty years ago. This was a bread baker with sit down meals started at a time when nobody else was doing this: a business model that’s greatly appreciated overseas. It’s not a chance that after five openings in Milan, Princi landed in the UK and challenged the vivacious bakery scene. The creative charm and quality of Italy that came with the British openings of Princi immediately lent him the moniker of “the Armani of bread”.

Could this be why Schultz, at the helm of a 19 billion business wanted Princi in the international joint venture recently signed in London (with active help from AngelLab of Angelo Moratti, who favored the connection with Percassi in talks to reach the agreement on the Milan opening)?

Princi bread sold from Shanghai to Seattle

The commercial agreement, according to voices, is particularly tasty for the Milan bakery. The participation is as exclusive supplier for the higher tier Starbucks stores (venues selling premium coffee), starting with New York and Shanghai. This is an unbelievable opportunity for Princi to conquer new markets and using the pull of such an important partner who is so actively present in China. In the very Shangai venue Princi will co-star in the new concept of Roastery, offering clients a format that relies heavily on bread.

The next leg of the journey will be Seattle where Princi will open a store with its insignia inside the very first ever opened Starbucks in Seattle back in 1971. This confirms how Schultz is serious about this new partnership. Passion for Italy has been high on the Starbucks list, after all.


by Livia Montagnoli
translated by Eleonora Baldwin

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