Princi, Starbucks’ first independent bakery, opens in Seattle

There’s a new prince in the Starbucks empire, Princi, which opens Tuesday in Seattle as the coffee giant’s latest attempt to see if it can make bigger inroads into the lunch business.

While this is the first standalone Princi bakery and cafe in the United States, there are two that are part of the Starbucks Roasteries in Seattle and Shanghai. Starbucks spokeswoman Emily Benedict said the Princi empire plans to expand to Chicago and New York as independent bakeries in the fall.

The Seattle-based chain is following through on serving baked goods throughout the day.

“We do see lunch as the biggest opportunity,” said spokeswoman Sara Trilling, Starbucks’ senior vice president of food category and innovation, in September.

While the menu is subject to change based on location, the full Princi menu will include breakfast items like croissants, eggs and oats with Italian jam. Lunchtime offers include soups, pizza, sandwiches and salads from local markets. The dessert selection will include Italian tarts, cakes and other choices.

Princi bakery items are priced from $3.25 to $9.25.

The Italian bakery will also serve Reserve Princi Blend coffee that is exclusive to the Princi brand, along with beer, wine and cocktails.

The idea behind the bakery came from Rocco Princi, who trademarked the first Princi location in Milan in 1980. The village artisan bread baker now owns five locations in Milan and one in London.

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