It took Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz 45 years — and over 25,000 locations in 75 countries — before he felt ready to take his coffee company to the country that perfected the cappuccino. Starbucks’ first-ever location in Italy, set to open in late 2018, will take up 25,000 square feet of the Poste di Milano building on the Piazza Cordusio in Milan. Pictured above, it’s a fittingly dramatic locale for Schultz’s current pet project, of which he said last year: "Starbucks history is directly linked to the way the Italians created and executed the perfect shot of espresso. Now we're going to try, with great humility and respect, to share what we've been doing and what we've learned through our first retail presence in Italy."
Given its size and scope, Starbucks’ first retail space in Italy will not be a grab-and-go coffee shop. It will be a Roastery, the elevated concept the company debuted in Seattle in 2014. These are larger facilities where single-origin beans are roasted and coffee drinks are prepared at a bar offering a buffet of brewing methods, from siphon to pour-over. Starbucks says the Milan store will be its fifth Roastery, following Seattle, which is already open, and forthcoming locations in Shanghai, New York, and Tokyo. The company plans to open 20 to 30 Roastery locations worldwide.
Schultz got sentimental in the company’s latest release: “It took us some time to find it, but once I walked through the old Poste building, I knew that it would be the perfect location to honor the craft of coffee and pay respect to the uniquely Italian culture in which it will be served. This store will be the culmination of a great dream of mine — 33 years in the making — to return to Milan with one of the most immersive, magical retail experiences in the world.”
Once the Milan Roastery is open, the company will branch out with smaller satellite shops in and around Milan, which will use beans roasted at the central facility. All in all, the company plans to employ 350 locals in its first push into the Italian market.
In addition to the coffee drinks, Milan’s new Starbucks Roastery will feature savory and sweet pastries from Princi bakery, as previously reported.
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