Starbucks has announced it will open its first store in Italy next year. But the new location—smack of the center of Milan's financial district—won't be any ol' store. The coffee behemoth will open another Roastery, one of just a few in the world.
Starbucks' Roastery launched in 2014 in Seattle, with another planned to open in New York next year. (Shanghai and Tokyo will also have their own Roastery locations.) The Roastery experience is quite different from a traditional Starbucks' store. Here, you can watch your rare coffee beans roasted, then select the way you'd like them served—by pour-over, coffee press, or siphon, just to name a few. The large space leaves plenty of room to host meetings, or simply learn about the blends from the certified coffee masters—the only people who are able to work at the Roastery. (The Seattle location has 200 books on coffee on its shelves.)
The new Roastery will be housed inside the Palazzo Delle Poste building on Piazza Cordusio. It's a 25,000 square foot building, if that gives you any idea just how big these particular stores can be. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a written statement that he selected the location himself.
"It took us some time to find it, but once I walked through the former Post Office 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," he said. "This store will be the culmination of a great dream of mine—34 years in the making—to return to Milan with one of the most immersive, magical retail experiences in the world."
Indeed, it might have taken Starbucks so long to open a location in Italy because, well, this coffee-centric country might not welcome such a chain within its borders. But Starbucks says it's taken that into consideration as it planned this first location, which will be made for the Milanese customer. To that end, an Italian baker, Rocco Princi, will provide baked goods for the Roastery.
Starbucks won't stop at this special Roastery, however. The coffee company also says it will open several more (standard) stores throughout Milan in 2018, which should provide about 350 jobs to the area, Starbucks estimates.